“my view is that philosophers do better to paint a picture in which we urge trust in the consensus of the scientific community,based on features of that community’s social organization.” (Winsberg p. 161)
Philosophy and Climate Science (Cambridge 2018) appears to be the first book of its kind, promising a thorough and rigorous investigation of the philosophical and methodological issues that arise in the problematic and controversial field of climate science. It is long overdue because the scholars in the history and philosophy of science have by and large neglected this particular science. The two outstanding exceptions are Philip Kitcher and more recently Eric Winsberg, Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida.
Philip Kitcher recently retired from Columbia College NY with a claim to the title of the premier philosopher of science of his generation due to his list of publications and the chairs that he has occupied. With Evelyn Fox Keller he wrote The Seasons Alter that portrays a dystopian future in a warming world that probably represents Peak Alarmism. Any advance on a pandemic that kills billions of people?
In a similar vein but less flamboyant mode Eric Winsberg’s Philosophy and Climate Science is a sustained defence of the methods and conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and those who share its mission to promote alarm about the future of the planet. Consequently this book is not a solution to the apathy of the philosophers of science in the face of the shortcomings in the mainstream of climate science but instead it is part of the problem. This book cannot be recommended even at a remainder price unless you are looking for yet another example of the failure of the academic “dogs” to bark a warning.
to be continued