Philosophy 322: Environmental Ethics
Jean-Paul Vessel firstname.lastname@example.org
Office: Breland 324
Office Hours: Tu 2:45-4:15 PM, and by appt.
Does wildness enhance the values of ecosystems?
This is the official PHIL 322 web site. Here you will find
the syllabus, handouts, study guides, reading assignments, written homework
assignments, news, and other relevant information. I'll try to keep this
thing up to date, but no guarantees! Suggestions and comments are most welcome,
whether you are a PHIL 322 student or a visitor. Please email email@example.com
News and Assignments (The "Living"
- Thurs., Dec. 7: The Take-Home Portion of your Final Exam is due by the beginning of class. No late work will be accepted. Here is the question for the in-class portion of the final exam: Explain the difficulties Hettinger and Throop raise for Leopoldian Ecocentrism
(LE), and explain why they take Wildness Ecocentrism (WE) to be more plausible.
Discuss a difficulty for WE. Evaluate the difficulty. Do Hettinger and Throop
have an interesting response? Explain why or why not.
- Thurs., Nov. 30: Analysia, Michelle, JP, Jesse, and Isacc are scheduled to present. Information about both the take-home and in-class portions of the final exam should be appearing soon. Do you know anything about Arnold and vegetarianism?
- Tues., Nov. 28: Ferguson, Shannon, Adriana, Ms. Roybal, and Isacc are scheduled to present. Analysia: Your term paper packet is due by the beginning of class. Here is the Study
Guide for the Final Exam. And here's a handout on Goodpaster, Hettinger, Throop, and Paden. Should you opt to write about the Russow piece on your final exam, I'm certain that this Endangered Species handout will prove helpful. Have you heard about Sophia? Do you think Sophia is funny?
- Final Reading Assignments: Elliot's "Faking Nature" and Russow's
"Why Do Species Matter?"
- Thus., Nov. 16: Rachel will present on parenting licenses. Zachary will present on philosophical controversies regarding private property. And Hannah will present on authenticity. If time permits, we might even go ecocentric! Wrap you mind around this handout on Rolston
- New Reading Assignments: Goodpaster's "On Being Morally Considerable" and Hettinger and Throop's "Refocusing Ecocentrism:
De-emphasizing Stability and Defending Wildness"
- Tues., Nov. 14: Everyone (except Analysia) must submit his or her entire term paper packet: two (or three) marked up first drafts, two (or three) peer reviews, and a final draft. If I personally marked up a draft for you, please include that in the packet too. Clip them all together. No late packets will be accepted. We will continue our philosophical adventures in environmental value theory. And our first student presentation will transpire: Ruth will present on food waste controversies. Also: I will give presenters extra credit for sending me links to publicly available online articles (or whatever) relevant to their presentations.
- Thurs., Nov. 9: Your Take-Home Quiz on "Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism, People, and Animals" is due by the beginning of class. No late quizzes will be accepted. Here is the Schedule of Student Presentations. Email me or speak with me in person to secure a slot. We'll continue our investigation of the possibilities for value in nature. Do serious work on your term papers. The final submission of your term paper is due Tuesday, November 14.
- Take-Home Quiz on "Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism, People, and Animals": Read my essay "Desert-Adjusted Utilitarianism, People, and Animals". Then write a one-page essay in which you a present an objection to something in the piece and then evaluate the force of the objection. Might I have a theoretical response to the objection? Explain. This quiz is due Thursday, November 9 at 10:20 AM. No late quizzes will be accepted. All quizzes must be typed. There's no need for a bibliographical entry this time. Just use page numbers in your citation practices.
- Reading Assignment: Ned
Hettinger's "Comments on Holmes Rolston's 'Naturalizing Values'"
- Tues., Nov. 7: We'll continue our investigation of the possibilities and nature of value in nature. We'll investigate Rolston's argumentation and might even get to the Hettinger piece. Do substantial work on your term papers. Make serious improvements. Prepare for your presentation to the class. Shannon and Ms. Roybal: I plan on providing marked-up hard copies of your essays at the beginning of class. Please remind me should I forget. And get to work on your take-home quiz on my essay on animals.
- Reading Assignment: Holmes
Rolston, III's "Naturalizing Values: Organisms and Species"
- Thurs., Nov. 2: We'll jump into value theory. Wrap your mind around this Axiology handout. Work on your term papers. People who are responsible for peer reviews on Yu's term paper should bring them to class.
- Tues., Oct. 31: Exam 1 commences at 10:20 AM. I'll try to arrive to class a bit early so that people can start working on their exams before the official start time. Your peer reviews (except those for Yu) are due by the beginning of class. Do excellent work, both for yourselves and your classmates. Use this Rubric for Assessing Philosophical Essays (by Mark Walker) for your peer reviews. Remember what you're supposed to be doing: 1. Mark up the author's draft. Provide as many criticisms and suggestions as you can cook up. Be critical! It doesn't matter if some of your criticisms are off the mark. 2. Type out responses in each box on the rubric. Make sure that what you type up in those boxes is stylistically correct in all respects. Each of these peer reviews is worth a quiz grade. Finally, print out a hard copy of your completed rubric, clip it to the author's draft, and bring it to class. Yu: Be sure to bring three hard copies of a clean, first draft of your term paper for peer review.
- Thurs., Oct. 26: Three hard copies of a clean, initial submission of your term paper are due by the beginning of class (unless you are Yu). No late term papers will be accepted. The term papers will be distributed for peer review. Use this Rubric for Assessing Philosophical Essays when constructing your peer reviews. The peer reviews are due by the beginning of class on Tuesday, October 31. We'll complete our discussions of Regan and Warren. Wrap your mind around this handout on Regan and Warren. Exam 1 will take place on Tuesday, October 31.
- Final Reading Assignments Prior to Exam 1: Mary Anne Warren's "A Critique of Regan's Animal Rights Theory"
(90-96) and Dale Jamieson's "Against Zoos" (97-103)
- Tues., Oct. 24: Work as hard as you can on your term papers: The first submission of your term paper is due by the beginning of class on Thursday. No late term paper submissions will be accepted. And study up for Exam 1. It will take place on Thursday. We'll complete our discussion of Regan and may even delve a bit into Warren. Whatever Warren we don't cover, you'll be responsible for mastering on your own. And you'll be solely responsible for the Jamieson piece.
- Thurs., Oct. 19: Are you prepared to enter the Meatrix. After wrapping up some lingering Singer issues, we'll explore Regan's radical
positions regarding animals' rights. Try to wrap your mind around Regan's objections against utilitarianism. Try to understand as clearly as you can what Regan's views regarding animals are. Get to work on your term paper. Don't procrastinate. It's not in your best interests to do so. Take a look these intriguing, novel forms of food and food production: hemp protein superfood and three-dimensional food printers. Canada tells me he'd like to see "meat" tissues grown in laboratories. Others seem hip to fake meat. Insects are looking better and better all the time. Maybe I'll try some again. Master everything on this
handout on Singer and Animals. Exam 1 is tentatively scheduled to take place on Thursday, October 26--the same day the first submission of your term paper is due. So study up!
- Reading Assignment: Tom Regan's "The
Radical Egalitarian Case for Animal Rights"
- Tues., Oct. 17: Singer, utilitarianism, and animals. Get to work on those term papers! Do absolutely excellent work on them! And please contact me if you could use a bit of assistance with your project.
- Thurs., Oct. 12: Utilitarianism, Singer, the treatment of animals, and discrimination. I promise. Exam 1 is on the horizon, so I'm thinking that this might prove useful to you: Study Guide for Exam 1.
- Tues., Oct. 10: Your Term Paper Quiz is due by the beginning of class. No late quizzes will be accepted, and no term papers will be accepted from people who fail to submit their term paper quizzes on time. Utilitarianism, Singer, animals, and discrimination.
- Note that we will not be meeting as a class on Thursday, October 5. I'll be out of town traveling then. We'll return to class action on Tuesday, October 10. Please get to work on your Aristotle quiz.
- Tues., Oct. 3: Classical
Utilitarianism. Then we'll closely investigate Peter Singer's arguments regarding the treatment of animals. Get to work on your Term Paper Quiz. It's due in a week. Wrap your mind around this handout on Kantianism
- Reading Assignment: Peter Singer's
"A Utilitarian Defense of Animal Liberation"
- Here is the Rubric for Assessing Philosophical Essays (by Mark Walker) you will utilize in the peer reviews of your term papers. Study it carefully. Aim for excellence.
- Please give these official documents a very close study: Presentation
Guidelines, Term Paper Quiz, and the Official Term Paper Document.
- Thurs., Sept. 28: We'll complete our discussion of Kant's ethics and its implications regarding (nonhuman) animals before turning our attention to utilitarianism. Be able to write down the utilitarian standard of moral rightness. How do utilitarians distinguish morally permissible from morally impermissible behavior? Official term paper documents might appear as early as tomorrow morning.
- Tues., Sept. 26: Your Related Research Quiz is due by the beginning of class. We'll continue our Kantian investigations, exploring the implications of Kant's principles regarding our interactions with (non-human) animals. Soon we'll go utilitarian.
- Thurs., Sept. 21: Your Related Research Quiz is due by the beginning of class on Tuesday. We'll continue our foray into Kantian ethics, exploring its moral implications for our interactions of animals. Kant discusses some of Hogarth's famous engravings in his Lectures on Ethics. You might be interested in taking a look at them yourself: First Stage of Cruelty, Second Stage of Cruelty, Cruelty in Perfection, The Reward of Cruelty. Kant also praises the Ancient Greeks when alluding to Aesop's fable The Diligent Ass:
A diligent Ass, daily loaded beyond his strength by a severe Master, whom he had long served, and who fed him very sparingly, happened one day in his old age to be oppressed with a more than ordinary burden of earthenware. His strength being much impaired, and the road deep and uneven, he unfortunately made a trip, and, unable to recover himself, fell down and broke all the vessels to pieces. His Master, transported with rage, began to beat him unmercifully, against which the poor Ass, lifting up his head as he lay on the ground, thus strongly remonstrated: “Unfeeling wretch! to thine own avaricious cruelty, in first pinching me of food, and then loading me beyond my strength, thou owest the misfortune that thou so unjustly imputest to me.”
- Tues., Sept. 19: Welcome back veterans! Attendance is mandatory for everyone from here on out. After completing our investigation of the Golden Rule, we'll turn our attention briefly to a few more ethical theories before going Kantian. Get to work on this Related Research Quiz. Be prepared for an in-class quiz on Baby Logic and the Background
on NEB. Wrap your mind around these Step-by-Step Instructions on How to PEE. Master the PEEing procedure! Learn how to PEE properly! Learn to love to PEE! Check out these Kantian Preliminaries.
- New Reading Assignments: "Animal Rights" and Kant's "Rational
Beings Alone Have Moral Worth". Both are in the Pojman anthology.
- Thurs., Sept. 14: This is the last day of optional attendance for my ethics veterans. And I decided to push back the in-class quiz on Baby Logic and the Background
on NEB to Tuesday. Collective PEEing will transpire. We'll dedicate most of the class to PEEing arguments against 10C and GR. We'll quickly canvas a bunch of prominent ethical theories. Then come the animals!
- Tues., Sept. 12: We'll continue our investigation of the fundamental concepts of the
normative ethics of behavior, then I'll teach
you how to PEE. You'll see: I'll be PEEing all over the whiteboard. An in-class quiz on the baby logic and this Background
on NEB handout will likely take place on Thursday, September 14. Try to secure an attractive topic for your term paper project. Official documents regarding that project are coming soon. Attendance remains optional for veterans.
- Thurs., Sept. 7: Your Take-Home Quiz on the Golden Rule is due by the beginning of class. Be prepared for a substantial in-class logic quiz. Master EVERYTHING on the Baby Logic handout. We complete our investigation of the nature of ethics before focussing on the fundamental concepts of the normative ethics of behavior, so please bring a hard copy of this Background
on NEB handout to class. Start thinking about potential term paper topics. Attendance remains optional for my veterans.
- Take-Home Quiz on the Golden Rule: Locate some respectable source containing the Golden Rule or some substantial commentary on it. Provide a bibliographical entry for the source. Then do the following: State the Golden Rule. Cite your source. Then provide some information relevant to the Golden Rule. Relevant information might include historical formulations of the Golden Rule, attempts to justify such formulations, critical commentary of the Golden Rule (either your own or those of other theorists), contemporary relevance of the Golden Rule, or commentary on recent events connected in some way to the Golden Rule. This quiz should be one page long, no longer. It will be graded for content and style. No quiz will be accepted after 10:20 AM on Thursday, September 7. My ethics veterans are excused from this quiz.
- Tues., Sept. 5: Be prepared for a substantial in-class logic quiz. Master EVERYTHING on the Baby Logic handout. We'll explore the nature of ethics--or moral philosophy--before turning our attention to the fundamental concepts of the normative ethics of behavior, so please bring a hard copy of this Background
on NEB handout to class. Start thinking about potential term paper topics. Attendance remains optional for my veterans.
- Thurs., Aug. 31: Your Take Home Research
Quiz and your Take Home Plagiarism Quiz are due by the beginning of class. We'll complete our logic workshop, so please bring a hard copy of your Baby Logic handout to class. We may even get to some big questions: What is philosophy? What is ethics? What is morality? Be able to write down the logical forms modus ponens and modus tollens. Read Improving Academic Writing (especially in Philosophy). Be able to list a few strategies the authors suggest will improve your academic writing. Attendance remains optional for my suitably qualified veterans, but those veterans must turn in hard copies of their quizzes by 10:20 AM. Those quizzes can be turned in to the Philosophy Department, slid under my office door, or turned in to me personally at the beginning of class.
- Tues., Aug. 29: We'll complete our final (formal) writing workshop before returning to Baby Logic, so be sure to bring a
hard copy of the Baby Logic handout to class. Be able to write down a sentence containing a split infinitive. Be able to write down grammatically correct sentences containing relative pronouns. Read Improving Academic Writing (especially in Philosophy). Be able to state two ways by which our authors believe you can improve your academic writing. Be able to provide definitions of the terms valid and sound. Your Take Home Plagiarism Quiz and your Take Home Research
Quiz are due by the beginning of class on Thursday. Attendance remains optional for suitably qualified veterans, but those veterans should probably start thinking about potential term paper projects. Browse through the class text. Does any of that content spark your interest?
- New Reading Assignment: "Split Infinitive," "which, that, who," and "that" from Fowler's Modern English Usage.
- Thurs., Aug. 24: Our second writing workshop will take place. Then: Logic, and more logic. If
I were you, I'd memorize the definitions of the terms 'valid' and 'sound' on the Baby Logic handout. Be able to write grammatically correct sentences containing dependent clauses and semicolons. Understand the rules governing the legitimate uses of semicolons. Know what a split infinitive is. Deliver a plagiarism certificate to me. Please get to work on your Take Home Research
Quiz. Both are due by the beginning of class on Thursday, August 31. Suitably qualified veterans will enjoy optional attendance until further notice, but those veterans must deliver hard copies of their assignments to me or the philosophy department by the relevant deadlines.
- New Reading Assignment: this selection on philosophy and philosophical tools.
- Here's access to your Take Home Plagiarism Quiz. Go to this site: https://www.indiana.edu/~academy/firstPrinciples/index.html. (Or you can go to the old site: https://www.indiana.edu/~istd/plagiarism_test.html.) Take one of the tests. Keep taking the test until you earn a certificate of completion. Print out the certificate and deliver it to me by 10:20 AM on Thursday, August 31. You will receive a 20/20 if I receive your certificate by the due date. You will receive a 0/20 if I do not. If you don't have a complete grasp of the nature of plagiarism, take advantages of the resources in the menu on the side of the plagiarism test page and learn all about it. I will not accept any take-home assignments from people who fail to deliver a plagiarism certificate to me.
- Here's your Take Home Research
Quiz. Quizzes should be typed. Quizzes should be THREE
pages long. No quizzes will be accepted after 10:20 AM on Thursday, August
- Tues., Aug. 22: Logic is on the way. Be sure to bring a
hard copy of the Baby Logic handout to class. Note that an in-class quiz on the assigned readings is bound to transpire. I strongly recommend that each of you understand clearly some of the rules for the appropriate use of commas and semi-colons. Understand the concept of validity. Be able to write down what an independent clause is. Also be able to provide an example of an independent clause. Earn a plagiarism certificate and get to work on your Take Home Research
- First Philosophical Reading Assignments: "Introduction: On Ethics and Environmental Concerns" (1-3)
and "What is Ethics" (4-8) in Environmental Ethics.
- Welcome Students! Please
pick up a copy of Environmental Ethics edited by L. Pojman. It's available at the NMSU Bookstore among other places.
- Please take a look at the Baby Logic handout
below; in fact, please print out the handout and bring it to class. Try to
get a grasp of the concepts of validity and soundness. Become familiar with
the basic forms of valid inference. You'll be quizzed upon them soon.
- Early Reading Assignments: Improving Academic Writing (especially in Philosophy) and Bruce Aune's "Punctuation
and Syntax". (You should probably print out a copy of it.) It's long, dry, and not all that philosophical--but
I know you can get through it. Contained
within these document are style constraints to which you must adhere if you
hope to succeed in this class. Be prepared for in-class quiz questions on punctuation and syntax. Understand clearly the rules governing each piece of punctuation. Many of you struggle in serious ways with your academic writing. Develop a clear, clean, professional writing style.
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