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Environmental Ethics



2017 Spring

About This Class

This seminar examines the values and ethical assumptions in problem solving about the environment, enabling students to perfect their reasoning about environmental law and policy.  It introduces various ethical approaches to resolving environmental problems, including:  intrinsic value, biocentrism, utilitarianism, eco-feminism, deep ecology, social ecology, eco-centric, and religious/spiritual.  These ethical foundations are applied to concrete environmental policy issues, covering aspects of species and place restoration, climate change, relationships of humans to the non-human world, global justice, and responsibilities to future generations.  A central goal of the course is to assist students in developing and refining a personal and professional environmental ethic.
Course materials include interdisciplinary readings on the environment in philosophy, religion, law, natural science, and literature.  Students prepare a seminar paper and present their work to the class.  Students may take the seminar for 2 or 3 credits, and requirements vary depending on credits elected.
Method of evaluation:  Seminar paper and presentation to the class.  (Requirements vary depending on credits elected 2 or 3 credits.)
Perspective requirement.
 MELP ethics distribution requirement.

Class Code



Environmental Law