Environmental Ethics

Course Description

An exploration of ethical theories as they inform and are applied to contemporary environmental issues such as animal rights, habitat loss, species extinction, pollution, industrialization, population control, ecofeminism and political ecology. Western cultural and ecological assumptions are examined through the lenses of humanitarian, eco-centric, utilitarian, deontological, and ethics-of-care perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

  • Articulate and critically reflect on a variety of ethical perspectives on environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of different ethical views regarding human responsibility for their environment and the aggregations of species that inhabit it.
  • Demonstrate a familiarity with the fundamental issues addressed by ecologists and philosophers working in the field of environmental ethics such as finding a balance between development through consumption of natural resources and stewardship through conservation of resources and the possibility of establishing a common set of values that result in shared responsibilities for the environment by all stakeholders.
  • Identify the relevance of different ethical and cultural traditions throughout the world in the acknowledgement and resolution of environmental problems.
  • Identify and critically reflect on both historical and contemporary social movements and leading individuals who have had important impact on environmental issues.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how scientific principles and ethical systems can be conjoined to foster environmental awareness and develop practical solutions to environmental problems.


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School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

“Our faculty are established scholars and creators in their own fields. They are dedicated to making your entry into their disciplines a successful one, preparing you for your career as well as graduate study.”
School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
Jackson M., Class of 2021, Military Veteran