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Selected Issues in Environmental Ethics (2018/19)

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Wymagania wstępne

In the lecture can participate students who have some basic knowledge in ethics and philosophy. The topic requires also that a potential student is interested in ethical considerations concerning the environment. Because of the language, a student must be able to speak English, at least, at intermediate level. This same applies to his/her ability to write.


The aim of the lecture is to direct attention of students to a different way of looking at the environment. Ethics traditionally applies to a human being and relations between human creatures. An important move must be made to enlarge that perception and realize that there is a vast realm of natural world which can and should be encompassed by ethical activity.

Treści kształcenia

During the lecture some important threads of the environment ethics theory are to be presented. First of all, there is necessary to analyze factors which cause so-called environmental crises. Second, it is important to notice reaction by some philosophers to that phenomenon. The latter is connected with different concepts of environmental philosophy on which they draw. Thus, third, such projects as anthropocentrism, sentientism, biocentrism, ecocentrism, ecofeminism, and deep ecology are to be critically analyzed. Finally, some specific environmental problems should be taken into consideration, as animal rights, duties concerning natural objects, pro-ecological attitudes, and so on. They help to understand how far the ethical reflection on the environment does/can go. Classes’ content: Introduction into environmental ethics
1. Introduction to environrnental ethics
2. Ecological crises and its reality
3. Causes of ecological crises, part I
4. Christianity and ecological crises
5. Causes of ecological crises, part II (Modernity, industrial revolution)
6. Aldo Leopold and the land ethic project
7. Sentientism
8. Biocentrism
9. Ecocentrism
10. Ecofeminism
11. Deep ecology
12. Antropocentrism
13. Animal rights
14. Human duties to natural objects
15. Environmental ethics and pro-ecological attitudes

Efekty kształcenia

Knowledge: student is aware of phenomena of the ecological crises, knows reactions from the side of environmental philosophers, is acquainted with proposal of how to deal with these phenomena
Skills: student is able to assess ecological dangers from the standpoint of wellbeing of the natural world, is able to promote and protect natural habitats
Attitudes and transferrable (generic) competencies: student acquires pro-ecological attitudes, makes a revision of his/her lifestyle in the light of the good of environment, puts forward some pro-ecological initiatives

Metody dydaktyczne

Lecture, power-point presentation, discussion

Sposoby sprawdzania i warunki zaliczenia

Student participation in each class is required; also, his/her activity will be measured by involvement in discussions. The lecture can be completed at the end of semester by submitting an essay (topics will be proposed at a first lecture) and filling out a test.

Lektury podstawowe

Required: A Companion to Environmental Philosophy, D. Jamieson (ed.), Malden 2001.

Lektury uzupełniające

Recommended: R. Attfield, Environmental Ethics, Malden 2008. Environmental Ethics, R. Elliot (ed.), New York 1995.