By In Call For Papers Comments Off on Climate Ethics and Climate Economics: How to Finance ‘Well Below 2°C’?

Climate Ethics and Climate Economics: How to Finance ‘Well Below 2°C’?

Proposal deadline extended to March 10th

The second of six ESRC-funded workshops exploring issues where the ethics and economics of climate change intersect will be held at the University of Nottingham on 13-14 April 2016. The keynote speakers will be John Broome and Armon Rezai.

The spotlight of the workshop will be on the economics and ethics of rapidly increasing the climate finance necessary to meet the Paris Accord mitigation goal of well below 2°C. Estimates of the necessary annual investments in low/zero emissions energy generation to meet this goal are from 1000 to 2000 billion USD. This is three to six times current investment levels. The workshop will address recent proposals from John Broome and others to ‘borrow from the future’ to pay for mitigation. The idea is to use some form of debt financing and investment diverting to achieve mitigation ‘without sacrifice’ from the current generation and to break political logjams. We also encourage papers on other topics on increasing climate financing, such as alternative financing proposals, financing the Green Climate Fund, and assessments of the true obstacles to scaling up climate finance. Finally, we are happy to consider other proposals that are at the intersection of climate ethics and climate economics, but not focused on financing.

We have space for up to six additional presentations, and ten discussants. Funds are available to cover accommodation and internal UK travel expenses for three research students and early-career researchers. Papers will be circulated before the workshop.

Those wishing to present a paper should submit a 500-word abstract by 10th March to both Aaron Maltais ( and Matthew Rendall ( Anyone interested in serving as a discussant should send the organizers an expression of interest by the same date. Applications simply to sit in on the workshop are also welcome. If applying for funding, please indicate that you are a student, or the year that you received the PhD.

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By In News and Events Comments Off on New Edinburgh Research Centre

New Edinburgh Research Centre

Eidyn: The Edinburgh Centre for Epistemology, Mind and Normativity is a new research centre at the University of Edinburgh. Drawing on Edinburgh’s past success in the fields of epistemology, ethics (particularly meta-ethics), and philosophy of mind and cognitive science, the centre will be home to a number of funded and pilot research projects within these areas, including the AHRC-funded project Emerging Themes in Meta-Ethics. There will also be postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting professorial fellows attached to the centre; further details will be posted in due course.

For more information:

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By In Uncategorized Comments (5)

Workshop on Epistemic Expressivism

University of Edinburgh, 15-16 October, 2011.

Details, including online registration can be found here:

Speakers include: Matthew Chrisman, Terence Cuneo, Allan Gibbard, Klemens Kappel, Michael Lynch, Michael Ridge, Benjamin Schneider, Moritz Schulz, Folke Tersman, and Seth Yalcin.

The workshop dinner will be at Chop Chop in Edinburgh (near Haymarket Station).


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By In Metaethics Comments (15)

Supervenience, Properties, and Relations

Supervenience-based arguments for moral naturalism have tended to apply only to moral properties, not to relations.  One might have thought that they could easily be generalised so as to apply to relations as well.  However, as I'll argue here, this may not be so easy.


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By In News and Events Comments Off on Workshop on Practical Reasoning

Workshop on Practical Reasoning

University of Edinburgh

28-29 June 2009

Speakers: Simon Blackburn, Campbell Brown, Matthew Chrisman, Jonathan Dancy, Jamie Dreier, Graham Hubbs, Kent Hurtig, Elinor Mason, Sean McKeever, Michael Ridge, Michael Smith, and Jay Wallace. (Notice a couple of PEA-Soupers in there.)

More information here.

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By In Value Theory Comments (55)

Good and Bad

Sometimes I hear people (well, philosophers) compare the goodness of one thing with the badness of another. They say, for example, the goodness of pleasure is less than the badness of pain; or pleasure is less good than pain is bad. Do such comparisons make sense?

Here’s a reason to doubt that they do. They seem similar to comparisons such as the following:

  • Ben Wallace is less tall than Mugsy Bogues is short.
  • Sydney is less hot than Glasgow is cold.
  • Wood is less hard than feathers are soft.

But it’s not clear what these could mean.

Can anyone make sense of this?

[Update: I neglected to say before that my thinking about this issue was prompted by an interesting talk which Tom Hurka recently gave here at Edinburgh.]

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By In Uncategorized Comments (22)

Giving Mill Pain

While we’re having a mini-Mill-fest, I thought I’d try out the following wee argument, which I’ve been thinking about lately.

John Stuart Mill [thanks, Dale M.] famously held that ‘higher pleasure’ (roughly, pleasure of the intellect) was superior to ‘lower pleasure’ (pleasure of the senses). Moreover, on what is perhaps the standard interpretation of Mill, he held that the value of higher pleasure was so much greater as to have lexical priority over lower pleasure. Of any two lives differing only in the quantities of higher and lower pleasure they contain, the life with greater higher pleasure is always better, regardless of the particular quantities involved. No gain in lower pleasure, however great, could ever by itself fully compensate for a loss in higher pleasure, however slight.

It is, I gather, somewhat controversial whether this interpretation of Mill is correct, whether he really did hold the extreme, lexical priority view. Here, however, I am not so much interested in interpretative questions as in the substantive philosophical question whether this view commonly attributed to Mill, whether correctly or not, is itself plausible. If Mill himself did not hold the view, others do. (For example, Roger Crisp, who attributes the view to Mill, also endorses it himself in his book Mill on Utilitarianism.) So it’s worthy of investigation, independently of its historical connection with Mill.

I shall argue that the view is not plausible. As any hedonist surely must agree, pleasure is not all that matters in evaluating a life. Pain matters too. Two lives that are equal in pleasure might nonetheless be unequal in overall value, because the pleasure in one might be accompanied by greater pain than the pleasure in the other. However, as I shall argue, any plausible hedonistic view of the value of life, which incorporates both pleasure and pain, will be inconsistent with the lexical priority view.


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