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Oxford Summer School - Climate Science and Environmentalism: Philosophical Investigations, 7-14 August 2021, UK

Publish Date: Jan 24, 2021

Deadline: Feb 28, 2021

Event Dates: from Aug 07, 2021 12:00 to Aug 14, 2021 12:00


Climate Science and Environmentalism: Philosophical Investigations


In an era of ‘climate emergencies’ and controversies surrounding ‘global warming’, we explore the relationship of philosophy to environmentalism, and introduce the field of philosophy of climate science.

We investigate the emergence and development of ‘climate science’ and consider how philosophy engages with its concepts and practices. A variety of themes, such as catastrophism and scepticism, will be considered, and problems about climate data and models will be examined.  

Finally we explore ‘anthropogenic climate change’ and recent, associated problems such as the ‘hockey stick’ and ‘climategate’ controversies. This will lead us to evaluate the ethics, politics and economics of climate change.      

Programme details

Session 1

Science and Philosophy: historical relations and transformations

Session 2

Philosophy and environmentalism: from ‘deep ecology’ to ‘green philosophy’

Session 3

Contexts and attitudes: climate, catastrophism and scepticism

Session 4

The emergence of ‘climate science’ and its key developments 

Session 5

Climate science and philosophy: preliminary problems and definitions  

Session 6

Climate data and philosophy: from stations to palaeoclimate  econstructions   

Session 7

Climate models and philosophy I: types of model and their construction

Session 8

Climate models and philosophy II: uses and evaluation

Session 9

Anthropogenic climate change I: from detection to projection

Session 10

Anthropogenic climate change II: some specific controversies and disputes

Session 11

Further perspectives: non-western philosophy and the environment

Session 12

Climate change: politics, ethics and economics


Dr Martin Ovens


Martin Ovens has taught courses in Philosophy and Religious Studies for OUDCE since 2005. Among his research interests are scepticism and philosophy of science. 

Course aims

This course aims to introduce, elucidate and examine problems in the philosophy of climate science.

Teaching methods

All summer school courses are taught through group seminars and individual tutorials. Students also conduct private study when not in class and there is a well stocked library at OUDCE to support individual research needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be expected to understand:

  • Core themes, problems and arguments in philosophy of climate science
  • Relationships between philosophy and environmentalism
  • Problems about the ethics and politics of climate change
  • Specific controversies and disputes associated with anthropogenic climate change

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

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Host Countries

United Kingdom