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PHIL 345 - Environmental Ethics, syl ver 3 Instructor: Kenneth Shockley Office: 236 Eddy Office Hours: daily, 9:00-9:40; 12:00-12:45 (if these times do not work, do not hesitate to arrange an appointment) tel: 491-5518 email: [email protected]
PHIL 345 (Environmental Ethics) Course Description Environmental ethics is an area of study that examines how humans ought to relate to and interact with their environment as individuals, through organizations, and as a species. This course is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of the key philosophical issues and arguments within this growing field. It will be of particular value not only to Philosophy majors and those concentrating in environmentally oriented disciplines, but also to those with a keen interest in humankind’s complicated relationship with our natural environment. In this course we will consider the nature of this relationship, humankind’s responsibilities to and regarding that environment, the kinds of actions prescribed by those responsibilities, and possible justifications for those responsibilities. In particular, we will examine the merits of considering our responsibilities to the environment from an entirely human-centered standpoint, possible alternatives to this approach, and various ways these options might be applied to actual environmental problems. To engage in this examination adequately we will need to consider both theoretical issues underlying various approaches to the environment and the various ways those approaches have been put into practice.
Required Texts: David Schmidtz and Elizabeth Willott, eds. Environmental Ethics: What Really Matters, What Really Works, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2012) ISBN: 978-0199793518 Recommended Texts: Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac [many editions] Course Requirements Attendance and Participation: (5%) Class meetings consist of both lecture and discussion. Attendance is required and active participation in discussion is an essential part of the course. Quizzes: There will be four short take home quizzes (15% each), one each Friday. Students will have 72 hours to complete each quiz. Reports: 35% of the final grade will be based on three short two-page reports (less than 700 words), on relevant topics in the news. Therefore, you will need to read a quality news service; you should be ready to discuss relevant articles with the class. These reports may take the form of analysis, reflection, or criticism. The first two reports short reports will each count for 10% of your grade, the final short report will count for 15%.
Evaluation Schedule Due dates and grade percentages are as follows: Assignment Attendance and Participation First Quiz Second Quiz First Report Third Quiz Second Report Fourth Quiz Third Report
Date ongoing assigned 5/19 assigned 5/26 due 5/26 assigned 6/2 due 6/2 assigned 6/9 due 6/9
Percentage of Final Grade 5% 15% 15% 10% 15% 10% 15% 15%
Student Outcomes: By the end of the course, students should be able to …
Method of assessment …
Identify and critique major theories of environmental value.
Four competency-based quizzes in which students must answer 4 out of 5 questions (80% answered with sufficient detail = outcome achieved) Four competency-based quizzes in which students must answer 4 out of 5 questions (80% answered with sufficient detail = outcome achieved) Reports connecting current course material to current issues in the news media (theory or problem characterized and applied to non-trivial case = outcome achieved) Discussion and participation (active participation on three occasions over the term = outcome achieved) Reports (must utilize at least one theory or problem addressed in course in independent research to achieved outcome)
Identify examples of the practical applicability of theories of environmental value
Examine current environmental issues in the news media and use theoretical materials of the course characterize those issues. Engage in clear discussion of the relation between environmental values, environmental problems, and environmental issues. Perform extended independent research into the practical and theoretical challenges involving environmental values.
Classroom Etiquette Students are to treat one another, as well as the instructor, with respect. To this end, - Cell phones and other electronics should be turned off, silenced, or disabled during class. Students using electronics in class without permission will be asked to leave. Laptop use will only be allowed with explicit permission. - Students should arrive on time for class, and refrain from leaving prior to the end of class.
- Students should address one another, as the instructor, respectfully. - Students who engage in harassment or aggressive behavior toward one another, or the instructor, will be asked to leave. In extreme cases additional measures will be taken.
Grading Scale Final grades for this course will be a composite of letter grades for written work and numerical grades for quizzes. This composite will be formed according to the distribution noted above. When necessary the following conversion will be used: 98-100 = A+ 93-97.99 = A 90-92.99 = A87-89.99 = B+
83-86.99 = B 80-82.99 = B77-79.99 = C+ 73-76.99 = C
70-72.99 = C67-69.99 = D+ 60-66.99 = D 0-59.99 = F
Late Assignments, Extensions and Make-Up Any paper turned in after its deadline will have its grade discounted by one grade per twenty-four hours (or fraction thereof) that the paper is late (e.g., a paper that would have received a B+ would receive a B if late by 20 hours, and a C+ if late by 70 hours). Late quizzes will be reduced proportionally (that is, the numerical equivalent of one step of 24 hour period that the quiz is late). This requirement will be strictly enforced. Please note that deadlines for essay assignments are final. No extensions will be granted except in the case of major illness with medical documentation, or for comparably serious and well-documented reasons. Make-up assignments will only be allowed in extraordinary, well-documented circumstances such as medical emergencies. Do not assume make-up assignments will be allowed.
Citation of Sources Written work will usually require that students rely on a range of sources. These sources must be cited. Any standard form of citation (e.g., APA, MLA, Chicago) is acceptable. Plagiarism, Cheating, and the CSU Honor Code Each paper or quiz you turn in must be your own work, and it must have been written specifically for this class. Please note that the presentation of the work of someone else as your own constitutes plagiarism (see http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/guide.cfm?guideid=17). This course will adhere to the CSU Academic Integrity Policy as found in the General Catalog – 1.6, pages 7-9, and the Student Conduct Code (http://www.conflictresolution.colostate.edu/conduct-code). Any student whose work does not conform to university policies on academic integrity will, at a minimum be subject to a grading penalty (almost always a grade of ‘F’ in the course), and will be reported to the Office of Conflict Resolution and Student Conduct Services.
Special Needs If you are a student who needs accommodation, please feel free discuss this matter with me. If you do require accommodation, bring this to my attention as soon as possible. A memo from Resources for Disabled Students may be required before the provision of accommodations. For further information,
Disclaimer: Please note this syllabus constitutes a projection of my expectations of the course. As instructor I reserve the right to revise the syllabus to reflect the reality of progress through the course material, and to reflect other eventualities.
Reading Schedule (tentative) UNIT 1: Introducing Environmental Ethics 5/15 and 5/16 Welcome, Introduction, Leopold, and Callicott Readings: Aldo Leopold, “Thinking Like A Mountain” (distributed); rec: Lynn White, Jr., “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” 5-11; J. Baird Callicott, “Environmental Philosophy is Environmental Activism: The Most Radical and Effective Kind” 11-17
UNIT 2: Respect for Nature 5/17
The Value of the Natural World Readings: Christopher Stone, “Should Trees Have Standing? Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects” 85-90; The Last Man and the Search for Objective Value, 42-47; Peter Singer, “All Animals are Equal” 49-59 Recommended: Ethical Reasoning and the Value of Environmental Philosophy Readings: “Rules, Principles, and Integrity: A General Introduction” (xv-xxiii)
Respecting Nature and Valuing Wholes Readings: Paul W. Taylor, “The Ethics of Respect for Nature” 102-114; Holmes Rolston III, “Values in and Duties to the Natural World” 66-71; Recommended: David Schmidtz, “Are All Species Equal?” 114-122
The Land Ethic Readings: Aldo Leopold, “The Land Ethic” 124-129 First Quiz Assigned
UNIT 3: Holistic Ethics 5/22
Deep Ecology Readings: Arne Naess, “The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement: A Summary, 129-132; Bill Devall and George Sessions, “Deep Ecology” (distributed); Val Plumwood, “Being Prey” 266-271
Challenges for Holism Readings: Elliott Sober, “Philosophical Problems for Environmentalism” 132-145; Ramachandra Guha, “Radical American Environmentalism and Wilderness Preservation: A Third World Critique,” 145-152
UNIT 4: Ecofeminism 5/24
The Logic of Domination Readings: Kristen Hessler and Elizabeth Willott, “Feminism and Ecofeminism” 155-157; Karen Warren, “The Power and Promise of Ecological Feminism” 157-170
Global Perspectives on EcoFeminism Readings: Greta Gaard and Lori Gruen, “Ecofeminism: Toward Global Justice and Planetary Health” 170-187; Gita Sen, “Women, Poverty, and Population: Issues for the Concerned Environmentalist” 187-194
UNIT 5: Environmental Justice 5/26
Balancing Environment, Justice, and Democracy Readings: Kristen Shrader-Frechette, “Environmental Justice: Creating Equality, Reclaiming Democracy” 204-217; Vandana Shiva, “Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution, and Profit” 217-220; David Schmidtz, “Natural Enemies: An Anatomy of Environmental Conflict” 220-227 First Response Paper Due; Second Quiz Assigned
UNIT 6: Overpopulation and Scarcity 5/29
no class, Memorial Day
The Tragedy of the Commons Readings: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons” 403-406; and David Schmidtz, “The Institution of Property” 406-420; Diamond (distributed)
Difficult Choices Readings: David Schmidtz, “When Preservationism Doesn’t Preserve” 449-458; Holmes Rolston, III, “Feeding People and Saving Nature” 504-516
UNIT 7: Wild, Wilderness, and Restoration 6/1
Wild Nature and Restoration Readings: John Muir, “Hetch Hetchy Valley” 230-231; Robert Elliot, “Faking Nature”; Eric Katz, “The Big Lie” (distributed); Andrew Light, “Ecological Restoration and the Culture of Nature” (distributed)
Recommended: Martin Krieger, “What’s Wrong with Plastic Trees?” 232-244; Elizabeth Willott, “Restoring Nature, Without Mosquitoes?” 244-258; David Pitcher and Jennifer Welchman, “Can an Environmental Paradise Be Regained?” 258-264 6/2
Class Cancelled Second Response Paper Due; Third Quiz Assigned
Climate Change: What can I do? Readings: Sinnott-Armstrong, Walter, “It’s Not My Fault: Global Warming and Individual Moral Obligations” (distributed); Shockley, K, “Individual and Contributory Responsibility for Environmental Harm” (distributed)
UNIT 9: Environmentalism in Practice 6/8
Engaging the Public Readings: Bryan G. Norton, “The Environmentalists’ Dilemma: Dollars and Sand Dollars” 628-634; Bryan G. Norton, “Fragile Freedoms” 634-639
Three Modes of Public Engagement: Readings: Paul Watson, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” 639-644; Kate Rawles, “The Missing Shade of Green” 644-654; Andrew Light, “Taking Environmental Ethics Public” 654-664 Third Response Paper Due; Fourth Quiz Assigned