The Ethics of Water: From Commodification to Common Ownership

02 May 2023

Climate change and the ever-expanding sphere of water commodification raise important ethical and sociopolitical questions and ramifications that are not reducible to only distributional concerns. Philosophical, normative work on climate change is prolific, but there is considerably less research on water issues specifically. Drawing on research in democratic political theory and environmental philosophy,

Cameron Fioret poses and addresses five main questions in his book:

  1. What right, if any, do people have to water?
  2. What are the putative harms of privatizing and commodifying water?
  3. Should naturally occurring necessities for human life, like water, be considered owned in common as common territory or property?
  4. If so, what are the most compelling normative and ethical grounds for justifying common ownership of water?
  5. How might people’s rights to access to water be protected through legal and political means, and what role might local and transnational political activism play in hastening the implementation of such protections?

In answering these questions, the argument contributes to the burgeoning study of water ethics and justice within academic philosophy while working through the lens of non-ideal theory and a hybrid engaged philosophy.


Tuesday, 2 May 2023

10.00 - 11.30

UNU-CRIS (Björn Hettne Meeting Room), Potterierei 72, Bruges

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Cameron Fioret

UNU-CRIS Visiting Research Fellow

Cameron Fioret works closely together with Nidhi Nagabhatla. Cameron is a Visiting Scholar in the University of Michigan's Water Center in the Graham Sustainability Institute, as well as a Policy Analyst at Environment Climate Change Canada. He completed his Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS-funded PhD at the University of Guelph under the supervision of Dr. Monique Deveaux, Canada Research Chair in Ethics and Global Social Change. He has also been a Visiting Postgraduate Research Student at the University of Edinburgh.

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