Philosophy 245: Environmental Philosophy

M,W 2-3:15, Maybank 206


 

       Ned Hettinger                                                                                          Office: 16 Glebe, Rm. 201

       Spring 2009                                                                                             Office Hrs: T, TH 12:10-2:10

       Office Phone: 953-5786                                                                          (Also, stop by my office or

       Email:      hettingern@cofc.edu                                                               make an appointment)

       Webpage: www.cofc.edu/hettinger  

       Course webpage: http://www.cofc.edu/hettinger/Environmental_Philosophy_Sp_09



Course Description


This course examines some contemporary developments in environmental philosophy, including environmental virtue ethics, environmental aesthetics, the ethics of global warming, and some recent writings of J. Baird Callicott. Callicott is presenting a lecture at the College this spring (and will be visiting our class) and so we will examine some of his most recent work. Callicott is one of the foremost defenders of “ecocentrism” (the idea that natural systems have intrinsic value). For environmental aesthetics, we will be reading a recent book by Allen Carlson, the most prominent philosopher in aesthetics of the environment. The course will be structured by Dale Jamieson’s recent introduction to environmental ethics. Jamieson is perhaps the most careful environmental philosopher and he ties environmental ethics to fundamental issues in ethical theory. We will also be sampling some writing in what may be the most exciting recent development in environmental philosophy, the emergence of environmental virtue ethics. We will conclude with a look at the ethics of the most serious environmental problem: global climate change.

 

Evaluation 

 

     Midterm exam (22%) (Tentative date: Wednesday, February 25th)

     Final exam (22%) Monday, May 4 12-3.

     Major Paper, including a paper proposal (32%). A 6-8 page paper on some topic of your choice in the area of environmental philosophy.

     Paper Presentations (5%): Each student will give a presentation about her or his paper to the class. A one page synopsis of the paper will be given to the instructor and classmates at the beginning of class before the presentation. The presentation should explain the issues and arguments in your paper. This means that significant work on the paper will need to be completed before the presentation. Classmates and the instructor will ask questions about and provide suggestions for the paper. The instructor will provide written comments on the synopsis. Students will use the feedback from these presentations to improve their papers. Students will sign up for dates to present their papers.

     Reading Quizzes (10%), Class Participation (4%), and Attendance (5%): There will be brief quizzes at the beginning of class on the reading for that class period, typically one per week. I do not give “make ups” for these quizzes, but I do offer “free quizzes” allowing students to replace missed quizzes. Also, you may email me a summary of the reading for that day before the class and this will count for the quiz should there be one. Class participation includes quality of class involvement. Attendance is particularly important in this class. I want you to learn from each other. Also, developing the skill of thinking philosophically requires practice and following examples. These can't be adequately done on your own. Poor attendance will lower your grade; extremely poor attendance is a sufficient ground for failing the course. Assignments, reading quizzes and an attendance sheet are given at the beginning of class. It is your responsibility to sign the attendance sheet. If the sheet somehow misses you during the class, please come up after class and sign it.




Readings (available at the bookstores or on course webpage)


       --Dale Jamieson, Ethics and the Environment: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2008)

       --J. Baird Callicott, selected articles:

“The Land Ethic” in Dale Jamieson, ed., Companion to Environmental Philosophy (Blackwell 2001)

                         “What ‘Wilderness’ in Frontier Ecosystems?” Environmental Ethics 30 (Fall 2008)

"Should Endangered Species Have Standing?: Toward Legal Rights for Listed Species" forthcoming in Philosophy and Public Policy (with William Grove-Fanning)

“My Reply” in Wayne Ouderkirk and Jim Hill, eds., Land, Value, Community: Callicott and Environmental Philosophy (SUNY 2002).

       –Environmental Aesthetics

--Allen Carlson, Nature and Landscape: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics (Columbia, 2009).

--Ned Hettinger, “Evaluating Positive Aesthetics” (draft) and “Animal Beauty, Ethics, and Environmental Preservation” (draft)

       --Environmental Virtue Ethics

Louke van Wensveen, “The Emergence of Ecological Virtue Language,” Ch. 1 of Wensveen’s Dirty Virtues: The Emergence of Ecological Virtue Ethics (Humanity books, 2000)

Rosalind Hursthouse, “Environmental Virtue Ethics,” in Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, ed. by Rebecca L. Walker and Philip J. Ivanhoe (Oxford, 2007)

Philip Cafaro, “Glutton, Arrogance, Greed, and Apathy: An Exploration of Environmental Vice” in Ronald Sandler and Phil Cafaro, Environmental Virtue Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)

       –Climate Change and Ethics:

Steve Gardiner,'Ethics and Global Climate Change', Ethics 114, April 2004.

Steve Gardiner, 'A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption', Environmental Values 15. August 2006. Commentary by Peter Singer.

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Tentative Schedule, Environmental Philosophy, Spring 2009

Revised continually


Jamieson’s Ethics and the Environment

1.    Jan 12: Introduction

2.    14: Jamieson, Ch 1 “Environment as an ethical question”

3.    21: Jamieson, Ch 1 again

4.    26: Jamieson, Ch 2 “Human morality”

5.    28: Jamieson, Ch 3 “Meta-ethics”


Callicott

6.    Feb 2: “The Land Ethic” in Dale Jamieson, ed., Companion to Environmental Philosophy (Blackwell 2001)

7.    Feb 4: “What ‘Wilderness’ in Frontier Ecosystems?” Environmental Ethics 30 (Fall 2008)

 

8.    Feb 9: "Should Endangered Species Have Standing?: Toward Legal Rights for Listed Species" forthcoming in Philosophy and Public Policy (with William Grove-Fanning)

9.    Feb 11: (Wednesday) No Class

       Feb 12: (Thursday) Callicott lecture to the College: 3:15-4:45

Feb 13 (Friday, 2-3:15, in classroom): Callicott visit to our class. Attendance is optional but highly desirable. Read: “My Reply” in Wayne Ouderkirk and Jim Hill, eds., Land, Value, Community: Callicott and Environmental Philosophy (SUNY 2002).

 

10.  Jamieson, Chapter 4 “Normative ethics” (includes section on virtue ethics 4.3, pp. 85-92)


Virtue Environmental Ethics

11.  Louke van Wensveen, “The Emergence of Ecological Virtue Language,” Ch. 1 of Wensveen’s Dirty Virtues: The Emergence of Ecological Virtue Ethics (Humanity books, 2000)

12.  Rosalind Hursthouse, “Environmental Virtue Ethics,” in Working Virtue: Virtue Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems, ed. by Rebecca L. Walker and Philip J. Ivanhoe (Oxford, 2007)

13.  Philip Cafaro, “Gluttony, Arrogance, Greed, and Apathy: An Exploration of Environmental Vice” in Ronald Sandler and Phil Cafaro, Environmental Virtue Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2005)


SPRING BREAK

 

14.  Catch up

15.  MIDTERM EXAM (Wednesday after spring break, March 11) (See study questions here)

 

16.  Cafaro, Gluttony again

17.  Jamieson, Chapter 5 “Humans and other animals”


PAPER PROPOSALS DUE: MARCH 20TH

18.  Ch 5, again

19.  Jamieson, Chapter 6 “The value of nature” (includes section on Aesthetic Value 6.4.2 , pp. 158-162)


Environmental Aesthetics: Carlson’s Nature & Landscape

20.  Carlson, Ch 1, The Development and Nature of Environmental Aesthetics and Carlson, Ch 2, Aesthetic appreciation and the Natural Environment

21.  Student paper presentations one on Wednesday, April 1

22.  Carlson, Ch 3, Requirements for an Adequate Aesthetics of Nature and Carlson, Ch 4, Aesthetic Appreciation and the Human Environment, and Carlson, Ch 5, Appreciation of the Human Environment Under Different Conceptions

23.  Student paper presentations two on Wednesday April 8th

24.  Carlson, Ch 6, Aesthetic Appreciation and the Agricultural Landscape and Carlson, Ch 7, What is the Correct Way to Aesthetically Appreciate Landscapes?

25.  Student paper presentations three on Wednesday, April 15th

26.  Jamieson, Ch 7 “Nature’s future” (includes discussion of climate change)


Climate Change and Ethics

27.  Steve Gardiner, “Ethics and Global Climate Change,” Ethics 114, April 2004 or Steve Gardiner, “A Perfect Moral Storm: Climate Change, Intergenerational Ethics and the Problem of Moral Corruption,” Environmental Values 15. August 2006. Commentary by Peter Singer.

PAPER DUE FRIDAY, APRIL 24TH

28.  Catchup