“Ethics and the Environment,” a new “Engaged Humanities” lecture series begins September 19 at UNC Asheville. The lectures will explore the continuing importance of the traditional Humanities disciplines for the problems of the 21st century and will view environmental issues through the lens of philosophy. These free lectures will take place in UNC Asheville’s Laurel Forum, Karpen Hall.
The Engaged Humanities Lecture Series includes these presentations:
• 7 p.m. Thursday, September 19: “'Satisficing:’ A Rational Choice Principle for Sustainability,” with Grace Campbell, UNC Asheville humanities lecturer. This talk argues in favor of “satisficing” as a reasonable choice principle. Satisficing refers to an individual’s decision to choose what is satisfactory or good enough, instead of a better alternative. Campbell states that choosing less is necessary in an age of overconsumption and domination over other species and future generations.
• 7 p.m. Thursday, September 26: “Should We Move the Whitebark Pine? Rethinking Environmental Values as the Climate Changes,” with Clare Palmer, professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University. This talk will examine benefits and risks associated with moving the whitebark pine, a conifer threatened with extinction by non-native fungus and the changing climate. Palmer maintains that climate change requires rethinking environmental values, and that this rethinking should be understood as a truly interdisciplinary enterprise.
• 5:30 p.m. Friday, October 11: “Aristotle on the Ethics of Communicating Climate Change,” with Melissa Lane, professor of politics at Princeton University. The ethics of climate change communication is a growth area in cognitive psychology, sociology, and political science. Lane’s lecture draws out ideas about rhetoric, practical intelligence, and virtue from Aristotle that can help to establish an ethical framework within which climate change may be better communicated and understood.
The series is sponsored by the NEH Distinguished Professor. For more information, visit humanities.unca.edu or call 828.251.6808.