The theoretical part of the Environmental Ethics in our Time - Philosophy and Challenges course from University of Helsinki introduces ethical theories and concepts, while a more practical section presents real case studies and ethical notions from different viewpoints.
Why is ethics important in the modern world and why should ethics be part of policy-making processes? In an attempt to answer such questions, this course will discuss ethical concepts – such as intrinsic and instrumental value, anthropocentrism, ecocentrism, and concern for future generations – together with different types of Environmental Ethics theories – including Deep Ecology, Utilitarianism, Gaia Theory, Aristotelian Virtue Ethics, Deontological Ethics, Ecofeminism, Land Ethics and Animal Rights.
The applicability of different ethical theories will be tested in light of selected case studies about natural disasters and environmental accidents, such as the North Dakota oil pipeline construction near Indigenous lands; hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as “fracking” in the United States; the unfair polluting policy of TEXACO (now Chevron) in the Ecuadorian Amazon; the Water Wars in Bolivia, the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; the incredibly rich natural environment and the indigenous populations of the Barents Region; and many others.
Concepts such as scientific and aesthetics appreciation of natural environments from the field of Environmental Aesthetics will be also presented in class.
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This course attempts to give students the analytical apparatus to critically examine the role played by the natural environment in the life of humans and other living species. The course familiarises the students with basic concepts and theories of Environmental Ethics, fostering an understanding on how human factors weigh and carry responsibility for environmental problems. The students will be trained to see different perspectives, to apply moral theories and draw ethical conclusions from real-life cases in recent news.
Course format and teaching methods
Lectures, group work, screening of scenes from documentary movies and discussions will take place during the class. Small group tasks are designed to acquaint the students with ethical concepts and theories, and apply them to natural disasters and environmental case studies.
This programme requires students to demonstrate proficiency in English.Book IELTS
The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.
StudyPortals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.
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