PHIL-124 Ethics and the Environment
Spring for 2017-2018
Herbert, Cassie
This course will focus on environmental injustice. We will explore how our social practices impact the natural world, and the effects this has on differently situated people and communities. We will pay special attention to issues connected to race, gender, class, and geographic location. We will draw on classical texts in environmental ethics and contemporary work on injustice and oppression, as well as texts from indigenous philosophy and ecofeminism. The class will pay considerable attention to active case studies, such as the Flint, MI water crisis and the North Dakota Access Pipeline, to structure our discussions. We’ll explore who holds responsibility for our environmental practices, and what taking up this responsibility (or failing to do so) could look like. We’ll conclude by exploring environmental activism and ecoterrorism.

This course will be heavily discussion driven and grades will be based on class participation, four short writing assignments of 300-1,300 words, and a group presentation.
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: One of PHIL 010, 020, 098, or 099.

Course syllabi
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Fall '17: Olsen J (description)
Fall '17: Herbert, Cassie (description)
Fall '17: Herbert, Cassie (description)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.

Sections:

PHIL-124-01 Ethics: Forgiveness
Fall for 2017-2018
Formichelli, Mark
Forgiveness is a central concept in our lives; we seek and are petitioned for forgiveness of transgressions quite often. However, there are a number of difficult questions that arise when we examine this concept closely. Depending on how we understand forgiveness and its relationship with such concepts as virtue, justice, punishment, blame, reconciliation, etc., we may arrive at very different moral implications for both the party who has committed the wrong and the party who has been wronged. What conditions must a wrongdoer meet to earn forgiveness? Is unconditional forgiveness permissible, or might there be cases in which the victim of a wrong must (or at least morally ought to) withhold forgiveness? Are there certain actions/agents that may appropriately be deemed unforgivable, and what does such a claim amount to? Is forgiveness only interpersonal, or is there a kind of social or political forgiveness, as well?

The first section of this course will cover some classical texts which bear on this topic (mainly philosophical, but likely some religious perspectives as well), and will provide us with a background in different broad approaches to thinking about morality. The second – and most substantial – part will focus primarily on more contemporary discussions of forgiveness and its related concepts. In the final section of the course, we will apply our discussion to some current ethical and political issues (to be determined during the semester).
Credits: 3
Prerequisites: None
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