Sustaining the Individual in the Collective: A Kantian Perspective for a Sustainable World

Kantian Review 27 (3):405-420 (2022)
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Individualist normative theories appear inadequate for the complex moral challenges of climate change. In climate ethics, this is especially notable with the relative marginalization of Kant. I argue that Kant’s philosophy, understood through its historical and cosmopolitan dimensions, has untapped potential for the climate crisis. First, I situate Kant in climate ethics and evaluate his marginalization due to perceived individualism, interiority and anthropocentrism. Then, I explore aspects of Kant’s historical and cosmopolitan writings, which present a global, future-orientated picture of humanity. Ultimately, Kant’s philosophy offers a unique take on the climate deadlock capable of sustaining the individual in the collective.

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Zachary Vereb
University of Mississippi


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