T PHIL 456
Critical exploration of selected philosophical and literary texts pertinent to ethics attending the natural environment. Topics for consideration may include animal and nature rights, social ecology, natural value (instrumental, inherent, intrinsic), anthropocentrism v. Deep Ecology, and environmental aesthetic theory.
There are two fundamental questions that run through this course: what is our relationship to the natural environment, and what should it be? As part of our exploration of this question we will look at issues of value: • What is the value of nature, and is it ‘out there’ already, or do we somehow place it there? • How have answers to this question varied over time and as a result of certain events and writings? • How do we decide how to determine the value of the natural environment? • What duties do we have to the environment? This course is designed to help students develop sensitivity and critical awareness in their thinking about environmental issues. It also has components that encourage students to explore their relationship with the natural world on a more intuitive, emotional level. It will also impart information to you about different philosophies and how they have influenced the way we relate to the natural world. This course aims to help you to gain an appreciation of the interconnectedness of all life forms on earth, and to understand that the way we value and act in the environment has far-reaching repercussions.
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