Paper Assignment, Environmental Ethics, Spring 2005

The paper should be 5-7 pages (double space, typewritten) and explore the ethical and philosophical dimensions of an environmental issue. (Please use recycled paper or print your paper on the back side of already used paper, if at all possible.) The paper counts for 34% of your course grade and so it should be a significant effort. You choose the topic.

A one page description of the proposed paper is Friday, March 25th, at 3pm, in my mailbox, 1st floor 14 Glebe. It should include a title, characterization of your topic, the major lines of argument you intend to pursue, tentative thesis, and a brief review of one key philosophical article you will use in your paper (including how you will use it) The paper is due on Friday , April 15th, 3pm, 1st floor mailbox of 14 Glebe. Staple the paper description (with my comments) to the back of the final paper, and keep an extra copy of the final paper for yourself.

The paper can either focus on a specific issue (such as why preserve biodiversity, the morality of hunting, or property rights and environmental regulations) or evaluate more general issues (such as anthropocentric environmental ethics, animal rights, or the tensions between an animal welfare ethics and environmental ethics). You could write a paper developing your own coherent environmental ethic, in response to those we have studied.

Talk with each other (and me) about your ideas. Read ahead for topics on the syllabus we have not yet discussed. Make sure you write on an issue you want to spend some time thinking about. Use the College Skills Lab and the Philosophy Writing Lab (both in 216 Education Center). See the flier on the Philosophy Writing Lab.

Possible Paper Topics (These are suggestions only; their aim is to stimulate your own creative energies in choosing your topic. Consider topics in the second half of the course as well.)