Office: FAO 221
Martin Schönfeld teaches in the Department of Philosophy. He earned his Ph.D. in Philosophy (minor: the History and Philosophy of Science) with a thesis on Kant. He teaches environmental ethics, comparative thought (German and Chinese), and future-oriented topics related to climate change and sustainability. His area of specialization is climate philosophy.
Philosophers have examined climate change with regard to justice. The outcome is climate ethics, an applied, analytic inquiry. The next step is to find out, more broadly, what climate change means for ‘being in the world’. This would be climate philosophy, a foundational and synthesis-based inquiry, which is what Schönfeld’s research is about. The reason for this new inquiry is that the climate crisis discloses a cultural maladaptation, which causes a blow-back from nature to culture and poses a fundamental challenge to ideological and socio-economic conventions. Applied, analytic approaches do not deal with this evolutionary interplay. Climate philosophy studies the existential impact of climate change. It examines what this impact means for the progression of cultures, the fate of religions, and the maturation of human identity.
Ph.D. Indiana, 1995.