Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Martin Schönfeld, Ph.D. (Deceased)

Co-Major Professor

Alex Levine, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joshua Rayman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Govindan Parayil, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Morris, Ph.D.

Committee Member

George Philippides, Ph.D.


Climate Ethics, Actionability, Psychoanalysis, Econo-Philosophy, Productive Orientation, Biophilia, Necrophilia, Pathology, Narcissism, Alienation, Interiority


Given the current juncture in history, humanity is faced with the herculean task of adapting to a tumultuous present and a gimmer future. Should climate projections be accurate, there is little time to waste. This work makes the claim that we are not only in a political gridlock but also in an academic one. Researching climate philosophy from its inception, the concluding view is that no major progress, outside of a standardized descriptive analysis, has been achieved. Thus, the work evaluates an array of climate philosophers e.g. Stephen Gardiner, James Garvey, Peter Singer, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, etc., with specific emphasis on the economic philosopher John Broome, suggesting that their recommendations and assessments fall short of being totalizing in scope and therefore of producing viable theories that, if practically sought after, can achieve social sustainability. To fix the problem of a lack of social and strategic trajectory, I offer up Erich Fromm's humanistic philosophy as a suggestive model. In doing so, the argument is made that this can aid in reorienting our external/empirical obsession by shifting our focus toward our ‘interiority—our internal worlds and psyches—, since a necessary condition in achieving sustainability is changing our mindset. By focusing on the human psyche, its structure and needs, can our behavior finally shift in a way that compliments scientific recommendations and ecological demands. Hence, Fromm lends the climate philosophy discussion an ontological framework from which to better direct and more readily navigate toward less socially precarious and more ethical inclined waters.