Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Philosophy

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Christopher Preston

Commitee Members

David Sherman, Ashby Kinch


climate change, complicity, climate ethics, individual accountability for climate change harms, Christopher Kutz, Iris Marion Young


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Applied Ethics | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Other Philosophy


As individuals, how should we understand our personal complicity in climate change related harms? In this thesis, I argue that the predominant way we think of complicity within the Western moral paradigm—that is, as a distribution problem—is inadequate in helping us understand the nature of our complicity in climate change related harms. This inadequacy, in turn, psychologically hampers individual citizens residing in high-emitting nations of the Global North from effective and sustainable social and political engagement with climate change. To address the inadequacy and obstructions that result from it, I follow the discussion between Christopher Kutz and Iris Marion Young as they respectively build alternative conceptions of collective accountability (for Kutz) and collective responsibility (for Young) within the Western philosophical tradition. After situating their approaches in light of climate change, I gesture, as a conclusion, towards several ways we may begin to shift our understanding of complicity practically in our personal, social, and political lives.



© Copyright 2020 Shalomita Kristanugraha