PHIL 3012 Philosophy and Environment

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102417

Coordinator John Hadley Opens in new window

Description Philosophy and Environment focuses on how we understand and value our interactions with the natural environment, how humans have changed the world and themselves through those interactions and the questions and problems created through that dynamic. Contemporary issues such as climate change, resource depletion, land degradation, conflict over resources, and treatment of animals have become prominent ethical, political and philosophical concerns. This unit looks at these sort of environmental problems through philosophical methods that reveal the traditions of thought, attitude and action underlying them. Students will be introduced to the major approaches and questions most relevant to explaining contemporary environmental problems.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Equivalent Subjects PHIL 2007 - Philosophy and Environment

Restrictions Successful completion of 60 credit points in currently enrolled program.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Identify major philosophical views on Nature
  2. Evaluate philosophical reasoning on environmental issues
  3. Apply basic philosophical analysis to environmental issues
  4. Analyse philosophical perspectives on animals
  5. Evaluate environmental ethical and political value commitments.

Subject Content

1. Philosophical traditions of understanding nonhuman nature, the environment, the human place within and/or distinction from these - focus on Western traditions
2. Analysis of central terms, explanations from philosophy.
3. How philosophy of environment relates to other philosophies.
4. Central problems and questions: valuing nature, ethical positions, political programs; anthropocentrism vs alternates
5. Understanding human cognitive, emotional, affective relations with animals, plants, the earth, oceans, and the atmosphere as philosophical topics.
6. Interpreting major texts from philosophy, literature, and the Humanities that have provided important or influential statements on philosophy and environment.
7. Interpreting major philosophers of environment


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online Test 900 words; 1 hour or equivalent 15 N Individual
Research Essay 2,000 words 50 N Individual
Take-home Exam 1500 words 35 N Individual

Teaching Periods