Michael L. Gillespie
Focuses on the challenges, principles, and controversies of sustainability. Analyzes the sustainability issues, identifying the values underlying societal actions and conflicting perspectives, and considers the ecological, ethical, and human well-being ramifications of following different sustainability proposals and cultural trajectories.
How to recognize, analyze, interpret, and respond to current ethical issues facing society. How to explore personal beliefs and philosophical assumptions relating to such issues. How to articulate (in writing and speaking) critical responses to the ethical dimensions of public issues.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
In-class discussion (small and large group) of selected controversial issues. Instructor presentations on background philosophical views and key concepts. In-class discussion of written critical responses to readings and case studies.
Some interest in social issues, experience in critical reading and writing, and willingness to engage in exploration of personal commitments and philosophical assumtions are helpful.
Class assignments and grading
Short papers responding to selected readings (either critical responses or personal reflections). Exams over main issues and ethical interepretations. Shared investigation of a selected social issue
Performance on written short papers, exams, shared investigation, and class participation.