Éthique et justice climatique : entre motivations morales et amorales

Michel Bourban, Pierre André

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In a situation of urgency, philosophers can no longer rely exclusively on ideal theories of climate justice grounded on purely moral motives. It has become necessary to build nonideal approaches. We propose to give serious consideration to the problem of motivation to act by putting forward some prudential reasons for tackling climate change—with the aim not of replacing existing but inadequate moral motivations, but of strengthening them. First, we identify three major ideal approaches that have so far prevailed in climate justice research, grounded respectively on deontological ethics, on virtue ethics, and on utilitarianism. We highlight their practical limitations, particularly with regards to the problem of motivation to act. Second, we open the way for an alternative nonideal approach to climate justice based on amoral motivations issuing from a careful examination of global systemic disruptions as well as of specific national and local situations. This approach cannot be ignored if one wishes to motivate nation-states, corporations, and individuals to act. However, our goal is not to replace ideal theory with nonideal theory, but rather to complete the former with the latter for a more comprehensive account of climate justice that distinguishes the problem of moral justification from the problem of motivation.
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)4–27
JournalLes ateliers de l’éthique
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes

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