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Stephen M. Gardiner: Climate Change and Institutions for Future Generations

March 16 at 4:00 pm5:30 pm

Stephen M. Gardiner, a white man with short salt and pepper-colored hair and a beard, is standing and looking forward. He is wearing a dark-colored blazer with a gray shirt underneath

The Humanities Forum presents the Evelyn M. Barker Memorial Lecture, featuring Stephen M. Gardiner, professor of philosophy at the University of Washington, who will speak on Climate Change and Institutions for Future Generations: Calling for a Global Constitutional Convention.

We are in the early stages of a new, “intergenerational turn” in political philosophy. This turn is largely motivated by the threat of global climate change. Stephen Gardiner argues that part of the problem is a serious governance gap for concern for future generations. In this talk, Gardiner sets out his diagnosis, that we face a basic standing threat called the tyranny of the contemporary. He also proposes a solution: a global constitutional convention aiming at producing intergenerational institutions with standing authority and a broad remit. He then responds to objections from those who support more limited approaches to institutional reform.

Stephen M. Gardiner is Professor of Philosophy; Director, Program on Ethics; and Ben Rabinowitz Endowed Professor of Human Dimensions of the Environment at the University of Washington, Seattle. Gardiner has published on a diverse range of topics including intergenerational justice, the ethics of geoengineering, the precautionary principle, climate justice, Aristotle’s account of the reciprocity of the virtues, Seneca’s approach to virtuous moral rules, and Socrates’ political philosophy. His most recent books are Debating Climate Ethics (Oxford, 2016), with David Weisbach; the Oxford Handbook on Environmental Ethics (Oxford, 2016), co-edited with Allen Thompson; and The Ethics of “Geoengineering” the Global Climate (Routledge, 2020), co-edited with Catriona McKinnon and Augustin Fragniere. Gardiner’s main areas of interest are ethical theory, political philosophy, and environmental ethics. His research focuses on global environmental problems (especially climate change), future generations, and virtue ethics.

This lecture may be attended in person at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery. Please visit here to reserve a seat.

Visitors to some indoor spaces at UMBC are required to wear masks. Please visit here for current information.

UMBC is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive environment for all faculty, staff, students, and visitors. Live-captioning will be provided at all online events. To request additional accessibility accommodations, please contact us at dreshercenter@umbc.edu.

The Evelyn Barker Memorial Lecture is organized by the Department of Philosophy, and is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and the Dresher Center for the Humanities.

Photo courtesy of the speaker.


March 16
4:00 pm – 5:30 pm
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