Environmental Ethics (PHIL 368.001/ENST 368.001)

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Instructor: Reid Blackman. This course meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:00PM – 3:15PM in Peabody 216.

This class concerns various issues concerning animal rights and the environment. We begin with a discussion about the moral permissibility of eating meat. There are lots of common sense arguments that support eating meat, of course, but it turns out that a lot of those arguments – perhaps all – are very bad arguments. We will then proceed to discuss the value of non-sentient living things, like trees, plants, etc., and question whether we have obligations to refrain from destroying those things. If we do, to whom do we have these obligations? Other issues concern obligations regarding our treatment of non-living entities in the environment (rivers, mountains, etc.), obligations to future generations, and the extent to which each of us is morally blameworthy, if at all, for climate change, the depletion of natural resources, and more.

Please note: Some seats in this class have been reserved for Philosophy majors.

This course satisfies the PH and GL general education requirements.

Reid Blackman’s webpage