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Research topic: Environmental Ethics and Philosophy

The research on environmental ethics and philosophy seeks to critically develop – and challenge – the existing ethical and metaphysical principles codifying the relationship between humans and nature.


Challenging existing ethics

With an international reputation for being the academic home of Arne Næss, the Center for Development and the Environment advances interdisciplinary environmental studies that bring philosophy together with cultural and environmental history, ecology, biology, and anthropology. We take on board the leading voices of contemporary environmental philosophy which describe the present crisis of Western civilization as a crisis of relationship. We also address more pragmatic, communication-based approaches both to the environmental crisis and to the advancements in biotechnology.

SUMs research attempts to explore

  • What should be the value foundations of a revised, updated model of sustainable development? Where should we look for inspiration?
  • What kind of ethical paradigm shift do communities in the rich North, poor South and fast developing economies need to face the climate crisis?
  • What kind of ethics should be the premise for meeting the future wave of environmental refugees?
  • What is the role of environmental discourses in framing the environmental despoilation and how do they bear on the prevalent models of environmental philosophy, history and ethics?
  • Last but not least, we attempt to critically address the ancient questions which have preoccupied nature philosophy from Lao Tsu to Arne Næss: what is it to be human and how should we revise our vision of “good life” on a planet in peril?
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Published Aug. 17, 2011 3:52 PM - Last modified Mar. 1, 2017 8:43 AM