This course will introduce the concept of environmental ethics, a philosophy that extends the ethical concepts traditionally applied to human behavior to address the entire natural world. The course will outline the history of environmental ethics, discuss the idea of environmental justice, and explore how our views about the natural world have changed over time.
Though environmental ethics is considered a fairly new branch of scientific philosophy, it has actually been debated avidly since the 19th century. From the frontier era of the developing United States through to the modern-day environmental movement, you will identify and analyze the key pioneers and events in the move to help preserve our planet for future generations and species. You will also explore the notion of environmental justice and how this impacts certain social groups, particularly in poorer communities throughout the world. Finally, you will familiarize yourself with the major environmental laws and world views that support the environmental movement, and examine how our ethics and morals help to shape our environmental regulations for the better.