Environmental Philosophy (INTD 425)

Manchester University, Spring 2020    Instructor: Steve Naragon

Reading and Assignment Schedule


Required Texts

•   Pojman and Pojman, Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Application, 5th ed. (Thomson/Wadsworth, 2008). [ISBN: 978-0-495-09503-3]

•   Additional required readings (available with the links below) from John Locke, Robert Solow, Martha Nussbaum, Chief Seattle, Amartya Sen, and others. When I have access to a PDF of the anthology reading, I’ll include a link to that as well.

Print these few articles and bring them to class!

Various assignment due dates are listed below. Your work should be submitted on Canvas, in the appropriate drop box or discussion forum. There are five Discussion Forums, and for each you will need to write one post and two comments; due dates for these are listed in the schedule below.

The other due dates are all related to the short research essay (indicated below as: Research Essay).

Homer does Munch
Please note: These reading materials are not like the Sunday cartoons or some easy-reading blogsite.  You will need to read and re-read this material, taking notes to help you follow the line of thought.  There will be a quiz on the readings roughly every other day.  Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to understand the material!

(The “Additional Material” listed with many of the topics, below, is offered for your continued exploration, as time allows.  Some of these items are brief and easily assimilated; others are quite lengthy.)

Tue, Jan 28

Introduction to the class.

DF #1 is due at midnight on Friday, Feb 2 (see Canvas) [rubric]

Private Property and the Public Good

Thu, Jan 30

Is the Privatization of Common Resources the Best Way to Preserve Them?

Reading: Garrett Hardin, “The Tragedy of the Commons” (#45)[pdf].

Comments on DF #1 are due at midnight on Friday (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Feb 4

Where Does Private Property Come From?

Reading: John Locke, “Of Property” [pdf]; Chief Seattle, “If we sell you our land…” [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Feb 6

Justice and Future Generations

Reading: Robert Solow, “Sustainability: An Economist’s Perspective” [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Feb 11

Distributive Justice as Fairness

Reading: Martha Nussbaum, “The Enduring Significance of John Rawls” [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Population, Consumption, and
Food Ethics

Thu, Feb 13

Are We Living on a Lifeboat?

Reading: Garrett Hardin, “Lifeboat Ethics” (#49)[pdf]; William Murdoch and Allan Oaten, “Critique of Lifeboat Ethics” (#50)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Feb 18

Patterns of Consumption

Reading: Bill McKibben, “A Special Moment in History: The Challenge of Overpopulation and Overconsumption” (#44)[pdf]; Gary Gardner, Erik Assadourian, and Radhika Sarin, “The State of Consumption” (#47) [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Feb 20

Population and Vegetarianism

Reading: Michael Allen Fox, “Vegetarianism and Treading Lightly” (#55)[pdf].

DF #2 is due at midnight on Friday (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Feb 25

When our Neighbors Starve

Reading: Mylan Engel, Jr., “Hunger, Duty, and Ecology” (#51)[pdf]; Amartya Sen, “Property and Hunger” [pdf].

Comments on DF #2 are due at midnight (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Feb 27

First Exam [study guide]

On The Moral Standing of
Non-Human Animals

Tue, Mar 3

Animal Welfare

Reading: Peter Singer, “Animal Liberation” (#9)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Mar 5

Animal Rights

Reading: Tom Regan, “The Radical Egalitarian Case” (#10); Mary Ann Warren, “A Critique of Regan” (#11). [pdf (both readings)]

DF #3 is due at midnight on Friday (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Mar 10

How Wide is our Moral Community?

Reading: Kenneth Goodpaster, “On Being Morally Considerable” (#18) [pdf].

Comments on DF #3 are due at midnight (see Canvas) [rubric]

Thu, Mar 12 – No Class

Spring Break

Tue, Mar 24 – COVID-19 disruption

Species, Biodiversity, and
Valuing Nature

Thu, Mar 26

Valuing Species

Reading: Donella Meadow, “Biodiversity” (#30)[pdf]; Lilly-Marlene Russow, “Why Do Species Matter?” (#31)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Mar 31

Extending Legal Rights

Reading: Christopher Stone, “Should Trees Have Standing?” (#34)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Economics and the Environment

Thu, Apr 2

Optimal Pollution

Reading: William Baxter, “People or Penguins” (#58)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Apr 7

Citizens and Consumers

Reading: Mark Sagoff, “At the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima (#68)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Apr 9

Can We Value Anything?

Reading: Martin Krieger, “What’s Wrong with Plastic Trees?” [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Apr 14

Second Exam [study guide]

The Land Ethic and Beyond

Thu, Apr 16

Religion and Ecology

Reading: Lynn White, “The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis” (1967) (#2)[pdf]; Lynn White, “Continuing the Conversation” (1973)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Apr 21

Leopold’s Land Ethic

Reading: Aldo Leopold, “The Land Ethic” (#19)[pdf]; J. Baird Callicott, “Conceptual Foundations” (#20)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, Apr 23

Deep Ecology

Reading: Arne Naess, “Shallow and Deep Ecology” (#24); Arne Naess, “Ecosophy T” (#25); Bill Devall and George Sessions (#26)[all three: pdf].

DF #4 is due at midnight on Friday (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Tue, Apr 28

Social Ecology

Reading: Murray Bookchin, “Social Ecology vs Deep Ecology” (#28)[pdf].

Comments on DF #4 are due at midnight (see Canvas) [rubric]

Additional Material [show]

Environmental Justice

Thu, Apr 30

Environmental Racism

Reading: Robert Bullard, “Overcoming Racism” (#70)[pdf]; Peter Wenz, “Just Garbage” (#72)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Tue, May 5

Third World Critiques

Reading: Ramachandra Guha, “Radical Environmentalism” (#39)[pdf]; Maria Mies, “Deceiving the Third World” (#73)[pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Thu, May 7

Confronting the Climate Crisis

Reading: Bill McKibben, “A Future Without Fossil Fuels?” The New York Review of Books (April 4, 2019) [pdf].

Additional Material [show]

Finals Week

Third Exam [study guide]
Online through Canvas,
due Wednesday, May 13, 11:59 p.m.

  The exam will be available on Canvas beginning Monday, May 11, 12:00 a.m. You will have two hours to complete the exam, once you open it.

Manchester University   //    Registrar   //    Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies    //    Last updated: 28 Apr 2020