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Department
Environmental Studies
Course
ENVS 1000
Professor
All Professors
Semester
Winter

Description
Discussion questions Environmental Ethics What is the distinction between instrumental and intrinsic valuesInstrumental is the value of things as means to further some other ends whereas intrinsic is the value of things as ends in themselves regardless of whether they are also useful as means to other endsWhat are anthropocentric ethical valuesHumancentered in that either they assign intrinsic value to human beings alone or they assign a significantly greater amount of intrinsic value to human beings than to any nonhuman thingsWhat is enlightened or prudential anthropocentrismthe view that all the moral duties we have towards the environment are derived from our direct duties to its human inhabitantsWhat is deep ecologythe view that all living things are alike in having value in their own right independent of their usefulness to others everything has intrinsic valueRelationalismorganisms are best understood as knots in the biospherical net The identity of a living thing is essentially constituted by its relations to other things in the world especially its ecological relations to other living thingsHow can feminist theories such as dualism contribute to environmentalethicsThe dualistic way of thinking for instance sees the world in polar opposite terms such as malefemale humananimal The logic of domination then dictates that those on the superior side eg men rational beings humans are morally entitled to dominate and utilize those on the inferior sideWhat is the difference between positivism and animismpositivism disenchants naturealong with everything that can be studied by the sciences whether natural social or human Nature and likewise human nature is no longer mysterious uncontrollable or fearsome Instead it is reduced to an object strictly governed by natural laws which therefore can be studied animism the view that personalized souls are found in animals plants and other material objectsWhat is the idea of synergyThe focus in environmental management development and commerce should be on synergy with what is already in place rather than on demolition replacement and disruption Instead of bulldozing away old suburbs and derelict factories the synergistic panpsychist sees these artifacts as themselves part of the living cosmos hence part of what is to be respectedWhat is bioregionalism and social ecologyBioregionalism is the view that natural features should provide the defining conditions for places of community and that secure and satisfying local lives are led by those who know a place have learned its lore and who adapt their lifestyle to its affordances by developing its potential within ecological limits Social ecologyecological problems are rooted in deepseated social problems particularly in dominatory hierarchical political and social systems1Using traditional ethical frameworks such as consequential anddeontological explain the different viewpoints of Peter Singer and TomReganConsequentialist ethical theories consider intrinsic value or goodnessbadness to be more fundamental moral notions than rightnesswrongness Peter singer believes that animals also have intrinsic values and should be taken into equal consideration when assessing an action Also believes that nonsentient objects such as plants and rivers are instrumental Also believes since action is rightwrong depends on it being goodbad killing animals may be right because they can cause more pleasure to humans than discomfort Regan believes animals have moral rights like humans and should be treated equallyWhat is virtue ethicsVirtue ethics proposes to understand moralityand assess the ethical quality of actionsin terms of thick concepts such as kindness honesty sincerity and justice As virtue ethics speaks quite a different language from the other two kinds of ethical theory its theoretical focus is not so much on what kinds of things are goodbad or what makes an action rightwrongWhy should environmental ethics focus on the built environmentMan made environments are seen as a natural environment and thus since environmental ethics provides the grounds and morals to protecting the Earths resources and natural environment it can also be used to focus on build environments to prevent their destruction since mans natural environment is his built environmentWhat do all of the varying viewpoints in environmental ethics call the heart of the problem of environmental destructivenessThe four theories all seem to have one view in common that anthropocentrism is at the heart of the problem of environmental destructiveness Since it is human centered this leads to ignorance of the environment since humans are seen as higher value than the natural environmentDiscussion questions for Emerging IssuesWhat is GEO UNEP What are the goals of GEOGEO Global Environmental OutlookUNEP United Nations Environment ProgrammeThe Global Environment Outlook GEO for short is the United Nations Environment Programmes UNEP flagship assessment to provide comprehensive sciencebased policyrelevant information on the current state and future prospects of the global environment and its interactions with human wellbeingGEO assessments seek to answer the following questions What is happening to the environment and why What are the consequences for the environment and humanity What is being done and how is it effective Where are we headed What actions could be taken for a more sustainable futureHow do you define an emerging issue What are characteristics Are they new issues What are some examples of sciencedriven issues Policydriven issues2
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