Climate Change – Uncertainties, Thresholds and Coping Strategies. Normative Perspectives

September 8, 2014 - September 12, 2014
University of Graz


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Organizers: Univ.Prof. Dr. Lukas Meyer (Graz) and Dr. Dirk Brantl (Graz/Tübingen)

Venue: Schloss Retzhof, Leitring (near Graz, Austria)

Time: September 8 – September 12 2014

Between September 8th and 12th 2014, the Department of Philosophy at the University of Graz is organizing a Summer School on normative issues regarding climate change. Anthropogenic climate change has emerged as one of the main areas of concern in the 21st century. Strategies to deal with climate change and its possible consequences are imbued with uncertainty. The Summer School attempts to reach a better understanding of climate change uncertainties and, while doing so, to develop normative criteria for thresholds. Thresholds can be understood as critical points where a small change in a natural or social system suffices to induce a qualitative change for the whole system. During the Summer School, we will analyze and assess the normative implications of reaching such thresholds in the context of climate change. These considerations will be connected with the development and evaluation of possible strategies to cope with climate change.

Topics covered include but are not limited to questions of adaptation and mitigation, moral and political aspects of climate justice and the impact of epistemic limits to the normative assessment of actions regarding climate change.

The Summer School is funded by the European Science Foundation and organized within the context of the ESF project ENRI Future as well as the recently established interdisciplinary doctoral program “Climate Change – Uncertainties, Thresholds and Coping Strategies” (for more information please see and

The Summer School is designed for PhD students in the field of philosophy as well the social and natural sciences (such as sustainable development, environmental economics, meteorology, climatology) whose projects are concerned with normative issues of climate change. Students can apply either to participate only or to participate and present part of their project. Slots for presentation are limited and will be selected by the organizers according to the quality of the project proposals. A total of 30 students will be accepted.

Speakers include Stephen Gardiner (Seattle), David Heyd (Jerusalem), Andrew Williams (Barcelona) and Rahul Kumar (Toronto), Dominic Roser (Oxford), Klaus Steigleder (Bochum), Richard Sturn (Graz), Harald Stelzer (Potsdam) and Lukas Meyer (Graz).

The event will take place at Schloss Retzhof in Leitring, near Graz (for more information please see Lodging expenses are paid for by the organizers. Travel expenses must be covered by the participants. To apply for participation only, please send a PDF file containing an application letter (briefly describing your research interests and explaining why you would like to attend the summer school), a current CV, and contact information for two referees to [email protected]. Students who want to present a paper are asked to send the same documents as well as an abstract (no more than 500 words) of their proposed presentation. The deadline for all applications is June 30th, 2014.

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