Philosophy of the Environment (PHIL*2070)
Term: Winter 2016
This course is a combination of lecture and seminars. Environmental philosophy is the active investigation into how we have thought about “the environment” and how that thinking has played a role in how we have acted, i.e. in creating the “environmental crisis” we now face. Environmental philosophy asks such questions as: How has ‘nature’ been conceptualized in the Western philosophical tradition? What arguments have been offered for the view that humans are special among creatures, and are these arguments compelling? What connections can we surmise between the ways that plants & animals have been conceptualized and the ways that humans have acted toward them? This course may cover such topics as: animal rights, climate change, resource extraction and justice, biotechnology, obligations to future generations, risk assessment and discount rates, species loss, conservation vs. preservation paradigms, environmental aesthetics, ecofeminism, ecocriticism.
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