Thomas Heyd

Thomas  Heyd
2015-2017 Former Visiting Research Fellow
Centre for Global Studies

Studied Philosophy in Germany, Spain and Canada, teaches in Canada, Germany, Spain and Latin America. He writes in Environment and Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Modern European History of Philosophy. His present research focus continues on the cultural dimensions of climate change, with a particular interest in the idea of a “Natural Contract”. Member of the Editorial Board of the journal Environmental Ethics, as well as of the Advisory Council of the Toda Institute for Global Policy and Peace Research, the Eco-Social Studies Centre of the University of La Laguna, the Business Group of the International Society for the Philosophy of Architecture, the European Network for Environmental Ethics. Besides being Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Victoria Centre for Global Studies he is Research Fellow (2014 and 2015) at Université de Troyes, Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies and Sustainable Development (CREIDD).

While global environmental changes due to human activities are accelerating, there is a growing gulf between increasingly more sophisticated policy tools and the values and principles by which members of society govern their lives. The absence of an appropriate mediating conception between the realm of policy and the realm of individual values, principles and actions may help to explain the lack of progress on issues with long-term, global impacts, such as climate change. My objective, while Visiting Fellow, is to complete a writing project aimed at a better understanding of the contribution that Michel Serres’ proposal for a ‘natural contract’ may make for the development of environmental policy based on an appropriate conception of our relationship to the natural world.