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Environmental Ethics

Concentration Adviser: Jane Costlow; students should also consult with Professor Tracy in the Department of Religious Studies/Philosophy.

Environmental Ethics is the academic discipline which studies and reflects upon the moral dimension in the human-nature relationships. This moral dimension in all human action with natural environments arises because of the impact of values on our perceptions and conceptions of nature. In doing environmental ethics, one steps back from the particular context of decision making, which may be influenced by personal choices and community values, to ask what really is the morally-fitting response to an environmental situation or issue. Because environmental ethics is rooted in a wide range of philosophical traditions and depends upon the clear and careful thinking of the philosophical mind, most courses in the concentration are in this discipline.

Courses that count for the fourth course (200- or 300-level) requirement within the core:

  • ENVR 229 The Electric Grid
  • ENVR 240 Water and Watersheds.
  • AN/ES 242 Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
  • ENVR 310 Soils.
  • AN/ES 337 Social Movements, NGOs, and the Environment.
  • ENVR 350 Environmental Justice in the Americas.
  • ECON 222 Environmental Economics

Environmental Studies, Ethics Concentration Requirements:

  1. ES/PL 214: Environmental Ethics
  2. Philosophy 256: Moral Philosophy; or Philosophy 257: Moral Luck
  3. Philosophy 258: Philosophy of Law; or Political Science 227: Judicial Powers and Economic Policy.
  4. INDS 228 Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment; or one additional philosophy course in ethics (at any level: 100, 200, or 300).
  5. One of the Philosophy seminars in Ethics: Philosophy 324, Topics in Ethics (324 A, C or E); or Philosophy 325: Seminar: Topics in Metaethics,  Moral Rules and/or Particulars (325B)

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