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How should we understand the phenomena of economic growth, and consumerism? What are the key factors causing ecological crisis – individual greed, ignorance, the state, capitalism? What are the ecological and political implications of key sectors of the global economy such as the oil industry and agribusiness? Does the biosphere have non-instrumental value, or are environmental concerns motivated largely by our obligations towards future generations? How should the costs of reducing anthropogenic climate change be distributed?
Intended learning outcomes
Students who complete this subject will:
- Understand philosophical treatments of our moral obligations to preserve the environment;
- Understand important conceptual distinctions between different ways in which the environment has value;
- Appreciate the difficulties associated with weighing environmental obligations against competing obligations and permissions;
- Understand the moral significance of the difference between individual and collective action;
- Be able to critically assess proposals for realising sustainability and environmental protection when formulating public policy.
Last updated: 3 November 2022