1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of PHIL2140, PHIL2165 has been successfully completed
Topic description
Environmental issues are amongst the most pressing problems faced by humanity. In this topic students will be introduced to a number of philosophical issues that arise in the context of thinking about the environment. Issues include whether the environment is intrinsically valuable or valuable only in so far as it supports human interests; problems about environmental decision-making; the 'tragedy of the commons'; and questions raised by population growth.
Educational aims
This topic aims to:

  • introduce the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic value, and apply it to environmental values

  • consider various approaches to environmental decision-making including the Precautionary Principle

  • discuss the 'tragedy of the commons' and possible resolutions of it

  • understand some of the issues surrounding questions of population growth
Expected learning outcomes
On completing this topic students will be able to:

  • appreciate the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic value, and apply the distinction to the case of environmental values

  • understand and assess the Precautionary Principle

  • understand the 'tragedy of the commons' and discuss possible ways to resolve it

  • discuss issues raised by population growth