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Lecturer: Prof.ssa Francesca Pongiglione 

Climate change: what should we know, and why a.y. 2021/22


Moral philosophers, when arguing in favor of curbing climate change, tend to take for granted that ignorance about climate change is culpable. Existing data on knowledge and beliefs on climate change, however, show a concerning amount of false beliefs. Few studies have investigated the culpability of those who exhibit ignorance of climate change. This seminar will focus on ignorance about climate change arising from encounters with pseudoscience. Specifically, I will present the extant data relating to climate change, which show how distinguishing between science and pseudoscience may pose a challenge to the untrained eye. We will apply the existing theories on epistemic responsibility to the case of ignorant agents who encounter pseudoscience. First we will focus on the conditions that make their ignorance culpable, by referring to epistemic vices. Afterwards, we will explore the conditions for being excused, by analyzing the infosphere that surrounds climate change. It will be argued that, in topics like climate change, there is a significant effort from interested parties in producing and disseminating hard-to-detect pseudoscience and disinformation. This significantly influences the attribution of blame to ignorant agents, as epistemically virtuous persons might end up with false beliefs without being blameworthy for that.


December 14th, 2021, h 14-16.30


- Robichaud P (2017) Is ignorance of climate change culpable? Science Engineer Ethics 23: 1409-1430 


Tipologia corso : Seminario

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2021-2022

Luogo : Iuss, aula 1-15

Durata : 2.5 ore