PHILO317-20S (NET)

Environmental Ethics

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences


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Paper Description

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"Climate Change Apocalypse" ... "Climate Change: We're Not Literally Doomed, but..." ..."Apocalyptic Threat"

The world is changing, and we are responsible. What should we do? Humanity is in a position to exert massive influence on the natural world. Human societies often ignore ethical considerations in dealing with the natural world, but this approach seems unsustainable. In this paper we utilise ethical analyses of contemporary environmental issues. Ethics helps us understand environmental problems and make better decisions regarding solving those issues.

Within the broader ambit of environmental ethics, this paper will specifically consider environmental ethics relevant to New Zealand, including the interaction of ethical theories and practice with our social, legal and political institutions. Effective implementation of our environmental goals involves choices and decisions about the management of natural and physical resources and provision for social, cultural, and economic factors. The ideologies of related legal frameworks will be examined and ethical dimensions of choices to be made explored.

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Paper Structure

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The paper will run between Monday 6th January 2020 and Friday 21st February 2020. Because the summer semester is short, it is important to start doing the readings and participating in the Moodle forums right at the beginning of the course so as not to fall behind.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this course should be able to:

    1. Think logically and critically about ongoing issues and arguments in Environmental Ethics;
    2. Elucidate and analyse issues and concepts in Environmental Ethics and to define them clearly and rpecisely;
    3. Articulate and defend original arguments in support of Ethical positions;
    4. Make rational and ethical environmental decisions in personal, professional and public contexts;
    5. Communicate information, arguments and analyses effectively; and
    6. Ethically engage in original research.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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The Lessons and the Forums are collectively worth a large percentage of your total grade for this course. They require you to participate in the course each week, both to complete the lessons (answering the questions embedded within them), and to engage with other students in class via the forums. If you do not do this work, it will be very difficult to pass the course, let alone to do well.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Short Essay
24 Jan 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Long Essay
14 Feb 2020
5:00 PM
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Lessons
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Forum Participation
  • Online: Moodle Forum Discussion
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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All required readings, and additional material, will be found on the Moodle site for the paper.
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Online Support

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This course is online only. All material and information for the course is provided via Moodle.
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The total workload for the whole paper including participation in online tutorials, reading and essay writing is estimated at 150 hours.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Restricted papers: ENVP217, PHILO217, PHIL217

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