Environmental Ethics: A Syllabus

Subject: Environmentalism, Ethics
Themes: 20th Century Environmental Issues
Age groups: High School
Resource type: Teacher Tools

Dr. Bill Myers at Birmingham-Southern College has shared his syllabus from a course on Environmental Ethics. Readings include AWTT portrait subjects, Edward Abbey, Michael Pollan and Rachel Carson. This is a great resource with ideas for teachers at many levels, particularly high school and up.

From Dr. Myers' syllabus (CLICK TO SEE THE WHOLE DOCUMENT):

While it is certainly true that thinkers and writers have been concerned with some kinds of environmental issues since at least biblical times, environmental ethics as a discipline is really quite young. Many in the field point to Rachel Carson's 1962 Silent Spring as marking the beginning of modern environmental ethics. Prior to Carson's book, the discipline was not very well defined, with much of the discourse focusing strictly on the proper use of property. After Carson's book, however, environmental ethics began to take shape, and today there are a number of paradigms available to help us understand our place in our world, and what, if any, our obligations to the environment consist of. In this course, we're going to explore just these obligations. We'll start with some general issues, including a brief introduction to ethical theory, a variety of paradigmatic approaches, some specific issues and some case studies. While the immediate subject matter of this course is environmental philosophy, there is also the broader goal of applying the various tools of analysis that we learn to specific environmental issues.