Climate change and virtue ethics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Over the past two decades, virtue ethicists have begun to devote increasing attention to applied ethics. In particular, the application of virtue ethical frame- works to the environmental ethics debate has flourished. This chapter reviews recent contributions to the literature in this field and highlights some strengths and weaknesses of thinking about climate change through a virtue ethical lens. Section “Two Benefits of Virtue Ethical Approaches to Climate Change” explores two benefits of applying virtue ethics to climate change: (a) we can better capture the phenomenology of our moral experience, and (b) we avoid the problem of inconsequentialism. Section “A Catalogue of Environmental Virtues” analyzes various practical proposals that have been put forward in the form of specific environmental virtues. Section “An Objection to Virtue-Oriented Approaches to Climate Change” reconstructs a fundamental objection to the idea of using a virtue ethical normative approach to tackling the urgent and imminent dangers of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of philosophy of climate change
EditorsGianfranco Pellegrino, Marcello Di Paola
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783030169602
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameHandbooks in philosophy
ISSN (Print)2524-4361
ISSN (Electronic)2524-437X


  • Virtue ethics
  • Virtue theory
  • Climate change
  • Character
  • Environmental virtues
  • Green virtues
  • Inconsequentialism


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