Our Projects

Forums on
Sustainability in Philosophy

We are happy to announce our August Forum on Teaching Sustainability, by Zoom video call on Friday, August 23, 1-2:30pm EST (USA and Canada) / in the evening in Africa and Europe / in the late morning in west coast North America. Most of us, if not all of us, will teach large numbers of students starting in September and many of us get to decide what these students will read, think about, and discuss. We believe we should take advantage of this opportunity to engage our students in conversations about climate crisis. In this forum we will discuss different ways to do this, including introducing discussion into non- environmental ethics courses, specific papers for general education courses, and dealing with “hot moments” that prove difficult to manage in an inclusive and respectful manner. 
 
If you have a specific class syllabus you’d like to share or would like to speak specifically about a class you’ve taught or are preparing to teach, please reach out directly to Rebecca at rmillsop@uri.edu.

Each month our members come together via video forum to discuss our current projects and goals. Please see our recent and future topics below. If you are interested in joining future forums, please reach out to us by emailing us at philosophersforsustainability@gmail.com. We would love for you to join us!

  • March 2019: Sustainability Advocacy in Philosophy Organizations
  • April 2019: Drafting Sustainable Practices Guidelines
  • June 2019: Member Suggestions for Sustainability Guidelines
  • July 2019: The APA Good Practices Guide
  • August 2019: Teaching Sustainability
  • September 2019: Our Sustainability Guidelines

Advocacy in
National Philosophy Associations

Drawing on similar efforts in the United Kingdom, the American Philosophical Association has recently drafted a good practices guide for philosophers, which has already been widely read and influential in a range of departments. So far, our main coordinated effort as Philosophers for Sustainability has been in advocating for the American Philosophical Association (APA) to agree to develop and disseminate guidelines on sustainability for the philosophical community at large. Thank you to everyone who contacted the APA, and to everyone who helped think about this project.

And we succeeded! The APA has asked us as a group to draft sustainability guidelines, which — pending APA approval — will be adapted for including it its good practices guide. Philosophers for Sustainability will retain intellectual property rights, including rights to disseminate the guidelines on our own and advocate for other philosophical societies to adopt and promote them. In other words, there is no essential limitation to US organizations here — just a great opportunity to reach hundreds of philosophers who teach tens of thousands of students. 

Given this opportunity, we’ll be devoting our summer forums to the project of drafting sustainability guidelines for philosophers.

Advocacy in
Philosophy Departments

Many campuses and philosophy departments are ripe for interested philosophers to take on local projects that promote sustainability. You can hold discussions or events in your department or city, start a reading group, advise current and new students groups on campus, help local climate groups get access to your campus, incorporate sustainability into the concerns of your Minorities and Philosophy chapter, or partner with local groups to lead conversations on climate issues outside academic. Any of these would encourage people around to think and talk about their role in climate change. We are happy to help coordinate people who want to take on such projects, and put you in touch with each other.

Integrating the
Environment into our Teaching

The International Society for Environmental Ethics has an excellent collection of syllabi for courses related to the environment. We are beginning a complementary collection of philosophy syllabi that aim to include material on the environment in courses that are not primarily about the environment. Introductory courses in general, as well as courses on the philosophy of science, responsibility, oppression, atrocity, future generations and many other topics, raise issues in which climate change looms large. As climate change increasingly impacts most aspects of life on this planet, is it more naturally included in a very wide range of teaching. If you have a syllabus you would like to share, please send it to philosophersforsustainability@gmail.com.

We have many other projects we would like to take on and we are in the process of starting some of them. Stay tuned for more, and please get in touch with any proposals!