Sustainability in Philosophy
Through May 15th, we are actively collecting all suggestions for Good Practices guidelines, from you and everyone else. We would love suggestions from anyone, regardless of prior contact with us, and especially from members of groups that are underrepresented in philosophy and/or particularly impacted by climate change. Feel free to hold local events for people to brainstorm together, or also just start informal conversations and/or encourage people to contact us. Suggestions can be emailed to email@example.com.
We will be holding forums in May and June regarding the guidelines. We will post with more specific information about those forums in the very near future.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!