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Climate Change and the Moral AgentIndividual Duties in an Interdependent World$
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Elizabeth Cripps

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199665655

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199665655.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Climate Change and the Moral Agent

Elizabeth Cripps

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents climate change as a challenge to moral theory. It introduces the notion of a weakly collective moral duty, with correlative individual duties, as a way to meet that challenge. Five starting assumptions are laid out and briefly explained: 1) that scientific consensus can be accepted on anthropogenic climate change; 2) that climate change will impose serious suffering, by depriving individuals of fundamental human interests or capabilities; 3) the no-harm principle; 3) the principle of beneficence (weak and moderate versions); 5) that these two moral principles can be reformulated so as to avoid the non-identity problem. The methodology of the book is explained and a potential objection regarding scope is rejected. The structure of the argument is laid out.

Keywords:   climate change, climate science, capabilities, no-harm principle, principle of beneficence, non-identity problem

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