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Environmental Ethics (PHIL 2171)

Total Credits: 3
Lecture Credits: 3

Description: This course applies a range of multicultural ethical theories to contemporary issues affecting ecosystems: climate change, wilderness preservation, animal rights, food, energy, green initiatives and sustainable growth, among others. You will learn to think critically about the relationship between human beings and the environment, including the place of urban centers in the natural environment and essence of our moral obligations to the land. You will be encouraged to think about these issues from a global perspective and to gain awareness of global and local connections.

Topical Outline:
1. A survey of major theories, such as: Biocentric individualism, Holism, Ecofeminism, and Indigenous Ethics
2. A critical analysis of historical, social, economic, cultural, and philosophical factors that shape the way we understand the environment and our sense of ethical judgment
3. A comparison between differing ways to evaluate environmental ethical judgments, such as: environmental justice, cost-benefit analysis, the logic of scarcity, risk-assessment of novel technology, and the virtue of simplicity
4. Applications to contemporary issues, such as: Global climate change, pollution, wilderness preservation, biodiversity and species extinction, animal rights, food issues, and urban growth and technology

Learning Outcomes:
1. Explain and evaluate major multicultural environmental ethical theories
2. Demonstrate an understanding of the historical and social context of environmental issues and theories
3. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems
4. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues
5. Discern patterns and interrelationships of bio-physical and socio-cultural systems

Prerequisites:  ENGL 1110 or ENGA 1110

  • Goal 6
  • Goal 10