Climate Virtues Ethics: A Proposal for Future Research

Document Type: Research Paper


Professor, University of Paderborn, Germany



Climate virtue ethics points to the subjective/personal dimensions of climate ethics, which have been largely neglected by previous research. There is a lot of research from diverse fields that pertains to the cultural and the individual dimensions that come along with climate virtue ethics, but, as of yet, these dimensions have hardly been examined together. Future research on climate virtue ethics should draw from religions, as religious traditions contain “thick” ideas that may inspire our thinking about how we can envision a life of personal moral integrity and what sustainable life styles may look like in the future. In order to unearth the potentials (Habermas) of these “thick” ideas that are contained in religions, we need to perform close readings of our traditions and ask those traditions which visions of human life they may offer in light of current moral challenges. Future climate virtue ethics is an endeavour that asks for the cooperation of theological ethics, comparative theology, moral psychology/behavioural business ethics, environmental psychology, social theory, and so forth.


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