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Some Scalar Issues in Climate Ethics

Berry, Evan
Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly

The intensifying processes of globalization have forced scholars and policy-makers to recognize the limited capacities of nation states and have reanimated interest in cosmopolitanism and in global ethics, that is, the idea that people are directly responsible to each other rather than indirectly through collective agencies such as states. This article describes problems that attend the shift from states to persons as the kinds of agents most suited to respond to climate change. It argues for more philosophical attention to the levels of organization and scales of analysis that make sense in the context of global challenges.