Philosophy of the Environment (PHIL*2070) | College of Arts

Philosophy of the Environment (PHIL*2070)

Term: Winter 2015


Environmental Philosophy concerns itself with philosophical aspects of the complex phenomenon often called "nature". Looking at the natural world, to the relationships between humankind and the natural environment, to history of land-use, water-use, air-use and animal use, it asks questions such as: How has 'nature' been conceptualized in the Western philosophical tradition, in aesthetics, science, and ethics? What are the links between how we have thought about and conceived aspects of the natural world, and our habits of acting toward it? What arguments have been offered for the view that humans are superior among creatures and are these convincing? How have our ways of thinking across thousands of years helped establish in us the possibly erroneous truth that humankind is subject and hence somehow different than, or separate from, this wondrous object called nature. This course may touch upon: climate change, ecological restoration, gender, resource extraction and justice, biotechnology, obligations to future generations, risk assessment and discount rates, species loss, conservation vs. preservation.


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