Philosophy 207: “Ethics and the Environment.” We live in a country that loves big cars and super-sized houses, and much of what people eat and wear travels thousands of miles to reach them. Shopping is a national pastime, and – if bumper stickers are believed – the person who dies with the most “toys” wins. This takes a toll on the environment, but should we care? If we have the money, why not spend it however we want and live however we please? This course considers a variety of answers to these questions by looking carefully and systematically at how different moral theories address them. We consider whether our only obligations are to people or whether nonhuman animals and even plants deserve direct consideration. We also ask whether individuals are all that count, or whether groups can have moral standing.
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