Mitchell Center to host talk on philosophical questions in sustainability April 19

The Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine will host a talk, “Field Philosophy as Engaged Research: Practice, History, and Theory,” at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19. 

Sustainability raises a host of philosophical questions about ethics and values, knowledge, power and more. And yet, philosophy is not part of the predominant approaches to and discourses around sustainability. 

In this talk, speaker Adam Briggle, associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Texas, will discuss how philosophers have fallen victim to disciplinary capture, which consigns them to irrelevance or, at best, very indirect impacts. Public philosophy, in various ways, seeks to change this situation, and it is having a renaissance. The talk will focus on field philosophy, which is a species of public philosophy that is both a collaborative practice of engaged scholarship and a theory of knowledge that contrasts with the disciplinary model of knowledge production.

Briggle wrote “A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking” and “Thinking Through Climate Change: A Philosophy of Energy in the Anthropocene,” and co-authored “Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy” with Robert Frodeman. He currently serves on the Sustainability Framework Advisory Committee for the city of Denton, Texas, which is drafting a local climate action plan. He is also involved in social and political movements for transgender rights in Texas.

 All talks in the Mitchell Center’s Sustainability Talks series are free and are offered both remotely via Zoom and in person at 107 Norman Smith Hall. Registration is required to attend remotely; to register and receive connection information, see the event webpage.

Please note that face coverings are required for all persons attending Mitchell Center Sustainability Talks. 

Updates for this event will be posted to the event webpage. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Ruth Hallsworth, 207.581.3196;