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Joey Montgomery


Why you should reduce your carbon dioxide emissions – An argument through a re-examination of ‘practical rationality’


Research details

An important interdisciplinary task is to assess policies for preventing accelerating environmental change. But a long-standing problem in the development of this assessment is that we lack a satisfactory account of why an individual should act to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions– for example through personal reductions in domestic energy – given that the behaviour of one individual typically has negligible effect on large scale environmental changes. This is known as the problem of inconsequentialism.

The principal aim of my research is to solve the problem of inconsequentialism. The solution I offer is through a re-examination of the concept of practical rationality; I argue that often individuals should reduce their emissions because it is practically rational.

My research is often interdisciplinary. I employ scientific evidence about climate change in philosophical and ethical arguments for reducing emissions. Because of this my research has interdisciplinary impact. It addresses the widely noted gap between the increasing physical knowledge of the risks of climate change and ecosystem loss on the one hand and the failures of individuals to act in response to this knowledge on the other.

Other information

At The University of Manchester, I received a BSc in Mathematics and Philosophy, and an MRes in Philosophy. My PhD is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

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