Philipp Haueis to Present for Department Lecture Series
The Department is excited to announce our first lecture of the year. Philipp Haueis from Bielefeld University will be presenting his talk, Political Goals of Scientific Concepts: The Case of “Climate Crisis,” on November 7, 2022. The talk will be held in New North 204 at 6:15 p.m. Please see the abstract below. We hope you can attend!
Political Goals of Scientific Concepts: The Case of “Climate Crisis”
Philipp Haueis, Department of Philosophy, Bielefeld University
Recent work in practice-based philosophy of science suggests that conceptual change is
justified when using a new concept achieves an epistemic goal to a higher degree. Conversely, scholars working on conceptual engineering and conceptual ethics stress that new concepts of, e.g. gender or race should contribute to the pursuit of social-political aims, such as the fight against injustice. Yet it is also clear that many natural scientific concepts are associated with political goals. The goal of using “global warming” or “climate crisis” to detect and describe anthropogenic causes of climate change, for instance, is associated with political goals of mitigation (stop burning fossil fuels) and adaptation (e.g. prevent harm caused by extreme weather events). In this talk, I ask when it is legitimate to use scientific concepts to pursue political goals in general, and which concept is best to pursue the goals of climate mitigation and adaptation in particular.