Purposes and Agents in Global Environmental Sciences
This is a project of the Templeton Foundation Agency Directionality & Function initiative, supported through extended collaborations between researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Philosophy of Science, Western University's Rotman Institute of Philosophy, and the Institute for Ethics & Public Affairs at Bowling Green State University. It seeks to explore, evaluate, and augment the theoretical frameworks of Earth systems scientists, ecologists, and climate scientists using concepts of function, purpose, and agency, especially considering increased understanding of interdependencies and feedbacks between geologic, thermodynamic, ecological, and biological processes. In particular, they will analyze and systematically catalog the different implications for explanation, prediction, and intervention found in heterogeneous conceptual models with an eye to providing a pragmatic operational framework for researchers across disciplines and ontological perspectives. A key output of this work will be scholarly resources that feed directly into applications for policy and resource management decision-making.