[ESIP-all] Upcoming Foundations & Examples for how to tackle (Geo)ethical Dilemmas Seminar

Ruth Duerr ruth.duerr3 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 8 17:21:00 EDT 2020

I thought that many ESIP folks might find this seminar interesting!

Foundations & Examples for how to tackle (Geo)ethical Dilemmas
Ronin Institute <http://ronininstitute.org/> Research Scholar Seminar Series
Presenter: Martin Bohle <http://ronininstitute.org/research-scholars/martin-bohle/>
Date/time: September 16 at 10:00 AM US ET / 2:00 PM GMT (local time)
Attendees: General public
Register <http://shorturl.at/DOPX2> ahead of time to get the meeting link!

Summary: This essay is about less-than-satisfying circumstances, and imperfect solutions. To that end it presents some theory, experiences and examples for how to tackle ‘geoethical dilemmas’. Geosciences co-shape the human niche, that is, the planetary network of twinned natural and cultural landscapes. Bundled by global supply chains, humans restlessly alter it through engineering, production and consumption. In turn, human agents face counter-intuitive system-behaviour, irreversible path-dependency, and multi-facet values and interests, including ‘ethical dilemmas’. 

Facing such premises, geoethics explores cultural substrates to nurture the skills of agents when facing suchlike ‘wicked’ system-features. Initially, geoethics was conceived for geoscientists, that is, their professional functions in various societal contexts. Subsequently, geoethics evolved into an epistemic, moral hybrid for citizens interacting with the Earth system. Geoethics amended by Kohlberg’s hierarchy of moral adequacy and Jonas’s imperative of responsibility results in a ‘geoethical rational’, namely, to act: ‘actor-centric, virtue-ethics focused, responsibility focused, knowledge-based, all-actor-inclusive, and universal-rights based’. Less-than-perfect guidance, such as the geoethical rational offers, can support agents to navigate the human niche, that is coping with ‘ethical dilemmas’.
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