Skip to main content

Department of Philosophy

Special Issue

Values and Pluralism in the Environmental Sciences: From Inferences to Institutions

Many of the talks at the colloquium will be featured in a special issue in Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. We invite you to download the Call for Papers as a PDF. The issue will focus on the environmental sciences, a mosaic of fields ranging from restoration ecology to forestry to climatology, unified by their attention to the relationships between humans and their habitats. It is a field that revolves around understanding environmental systems and ameliorating environmental problems, aiming to support the provision of natural goods and provide guidance to policymakers deciding how to regulate individuals and industries. Environmental sciences and management are pervasively laden with non-epistemic values, and so provide fertile ground for analyses of coupled epistemic and ethical values. A sustained survey of the field can surface a number of paradigmatic questions with implications for science and values more generally. How, for instance, should environmental scientists define the boundaries of an ecosystem under investigation? Through what processes and practices can we determine which and whose values ought to inform environmental science, and at what stage in scientific practice? How should we manage conflicts between different values? And how could or should the institutions supporting environmental sciences and environmental management be organized to adequately represent divergent values?

Contributors are welcome to explore other questions that will advance scholarship on how the ethical, social, and political do and should inform the environmental sciences, management, and associated institutions and industries. We also welcome scholarship addressing more general questions on doing science in a pluralistic society that can shed light on environmental sciences. Philosophical as well as well as social scientific investigations of these issues are encouraged. Participation in the colloquium is not required to contribute, and we are expecting contributions from participants and non-participants.

Interested authors should prepare full manuscripts for blind review according to the author guidelines established by Studies in History and Philosophy of Biology and Biomedical Sciences and available here. During the submission process, please select “VSI: Values in Env Sciences.” If you have any questions about either the colloquium or the special issue, or would like us to review a 300-word abstract before you prepare your manuscript for submission, please contact the editors:

Zachary Piso
University of Dayton

Viorel Pâslaru
University of Dayton


Department of Philosophy

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1546