Environmental Ethics and Intergenerational Justice
We face multiple environmental crises. Climate change is accelerating, biodiversity is in freefall, plastics are everywhere, and soils are depleted. In our research, we treat these crises as fundamentally social, political, and ethical, and of particular concern from an intergenerational perspective: future people are entirely vulnerable to our present choices, and our present failures to prevent multiple ecological disasters raise multiple questions of justice that we address in our research. We are committed to working across multiple disciplines, and with external partners, to focus our research on ethically sound solutions to improve the world for our descendants.
Ross Carroll's research interests are in the history of early modern political thought, with a focus on eighteenth and nineteenth century Britain and France. His first book, Uncivil Mirth: Ridicule in Enlightenment Britain (Princeton 2021), recovers the Enlightenment debate on the appropriate use of ridicule as an instrument of moral and political reform. He has also published recently on Mary Wollstonecraft's views on political economy, the history of contempt as a political and moral concept, and the hidden intellectual labour performed by the wives of great political thinkers such as Alexis de Tocqueville. At present Carroll is writing a short book on Edmund Burke and plans a future research project on the political thought of the French political theorist and abolitionist, Gustave de Beaumont.
Lise Herman’s research bridges the fields of comparative politics, party studies and normative democratic theory, with a primary focus on the theory and practice of democratic partisanship. She has written extensively on the role of partisan agency in the contemporary crisis facing representative democracy. This includes the rise of the populist radical right in established democracies and processes of democratic backsliding in newly established democracies - with a particular focus on Hungarian politics.
Catriona MacKinnon’s main research interest is currently in the area of climate justice and climate ethics. Her research adopts a broadly liberal approach which reflects her other research interests in contemporary liberal political philosophy (especially Rawls), and the theory and practice of toleration. In her work, she takes seriously what we owe to future people in the face of the climate crisis. Although most of her work has been in 'pure' political philosophy, she is increasingly engaged in transdisciplinary work on climate justice in order to better inform climate policy. Before coming to Exeter she was the Director of the Leverhulme Doctoral Programme in Climate Justice, and Director of the Centre for Climate and Justice, both at the University of Reading.
Jack's research lies in the space between ethics, political thought, and philosophy of nature/biology. He is primarily interested in the inter-relations between human understanding of nature, especially the organic world, and thought/action in the socio-political and environmental spheres. He has published on the political significance of contemporary understanding of evolutionary and developmental biology; the tendency to appeal to 'nature' as a source of moral and political authority; and the role of the interpretation of organic phenomena in bioethical reasoning. He is currently doing research on the attitude of wonder in environmental and social relations, on the relationship between dehumanization and species essentialism, and on the Aristotelian concepts of life and flourishing.
‘The Panglossian Politics of the Geoclique,’ Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy(forthcoming).
‘The Justice and Legitimacy of Geoengineering’ (with S. Gardiner), Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 23(5), 2020, 557-563.
‘Climate justice in the endgame for 2 degrees, ‘British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 21(2), 2019, 279-286.
‘Climate justice: integrating economics and philosophy,’ ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS, 28(5), 2019, 977-978.
‘Governing Climate Engineering: a Proposal for Immediate Governance of Solar Radiation Management’ (with al.), SUSTAINABILITY, 11(14), 2019.
‘Sleepwalking into lock-in? Avoiding wrongs to future people in the governance of solar radiation management research. Environmental Politics, 28(3), 2019, 441-459.
‘Endangering humanity: an international crime?,’ Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 47(2-3), 2017, 395-415.
‘Should We Tolerate Climate Change Denial?,’ Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 40(1), 2016, 205-216.
Climate Change and Future Justice, Routledge, 2011.
‘Bioethics, the Ontology of Life, and the Hermeneutics of Biology,’ in Phenomenology of Bioethics: Technoethics and Lived Experience ed. Susi Ferrarello. London: Springer Nature, 2021. Pages 1-21.
‘Out of Order: Lorraine Daston on Being ‘Against Nature.’ Global Discourse 11 (2020) Pages 289–294
‘The Changing Space Between Politics and Biology.’ Contemporary Political Theory 16 (2017) Pages 541–548.
- 2015-20: Programme Director, Leverhulme Doctoral Programme on Climate Justice.
- 2014-16: Research Fellowship, The Leverhulme Trust, ‘Postericide: Crimes Against Future People’.
- 2007: Senior Research Fellowship, British Academy/Leverhulme Trust.: ‘Corrective Justice and the Precautionary Principle: Liberal Approaches to Climate Change?’.
- 2006: Research Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust. ‘Tackling Climate Change in a Liberal Framework’.