ENVR07055 2020 Environmental Ethics

General Details

Full Title
Environmental Ethics
Transcript Title
Environmental Ethics
70 %
Subject Area
ENVR - Environmental Science
ESCI - Environmental Science
07 - NFQ Level 7
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2020 - Full Academic Year 2020-21
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Declan Feeney, Margaret Savage, Noel Connaughton, Ana Vale
Programme Membership
SG_SECOL_B07 202000 Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science with Ecology SG_SECOL_H08 202000 Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Environmental Science with Ecology

This module provides participants with an introduction to the principles, practice of environmental ethics, and explores current ideas about responsibility towards our environment.  Participants will develop and express their worldview as well as study those of others in order that they can understand how various stakeholder groups and society in general view environmental issues. It will contextualise the importance and place of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Overall, this will enable students to cultivate strategies for dealing with likely challenges and issues they could face in relation to environmental ethics.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Discuss key ethical issues concerning humanity’s relationship with its natural environment.


Identify and evaluate relevant ethical assumptions or frameworks involved in current or historical environmental debates.


Evaluate the tension between human activity and progess and the demands these place on the environment and be able to formulate rudimentary evaluations and responses to such issues.


Demonstrate an evidence-based reflective attitude towards one’s personal stance on the environment.


Provide clear and concise outlines of key ethical issues concerning the environment.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be delivered full-time. This will include lectures, workshop practicals, site visits, guest speakers augmented by independent learning and directed learning. This approach is expected to address student learning needs. Moodle will be used as a repository of educational resources and as a means of assessment (e.g. quizzes, uploading assignments and journals). 

Module Assessment Strategies

This module is 100% Continuous Assessment.  The assessment will involve a blend of approaches, each suited to the matter/theme being addressed.   This could include but is not limited to: debate,  essay, reflective log, book review, annotated bibliography, qualitative research assignment. Some will be group based others independent.


Repeat Assessments

Repeat Continuous Assessment

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to Environmental Ethics – definitions in environmental ethics; history and trends.

The value of the environment: intrinsic or extrinsic

Environmental justice and sustainability

Non-human and human rights

Economic approaches to the environment - challenges and opportunities

Duties toward the environment and toward future generations: what are they what does that involve?

Human activity, development and demands on the environment

Expectations of agencies, communities and individuals towards the environment

Interacting with the public and other stakeholders

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Case studies highlighting topical environmental ethics issues

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Test Continuous Assessment Closed Book Exam 20 % Week 7 1,2
2 Assignment Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Week 4 2,5
3 Case study Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 10 3,4
4 Special Topic Continuous Assessment Assignment 30 % Week 12 3,4,5
5 Assessment Formative Assessment - % OnGoing 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Flat Classroom Lecture 1 Weekly 1.00
Workshop Flat Classroom Workshop 2 Weekly 2.00
Independent Learning Not Specified Self study 4 Weekly 4.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2018-04-03 Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong about the World--And Why Things Are Better Than You Think (International Edition) ROSLING,HANS / RONNLUND,ANNA ROSLING / ROSLING,OLA
ISBN 1250107814 ISBN-13 9781250107817
Required Reading
2012-10-31 Environmental Ethics: An Introduction and Learning Guide Greenleaf Publishing
ISBN 1906093725 ISBN-13 9781906093723

As the destructive consequences of environmental problems such as global warming, water scarcity and resource and biodiversity destruction have been felt ever more heavily, people are becoming more aware of the importance of and their responsibilities towards environmental protection. The causes of our problems are anthropogenic. The number of people working in what might be termed "environmental industries" or with environmental responsibilities in their day-to-day work has mushroomed., In many cases, however, individuals charged with protecting the environment have a set of empirical priorities: what *is* done, rather than moral priorities which consider what *should* be done. The need to harmonize environmental knowledge with ethical behaviour and thus achieve behavioural change and the internalization of environmentally ethical values has never been more urgent. This book, developed as part of an EU programme to diffuse the application of environmental ethics to decision-making on pollution control, is a response to the need for a restatement of environmental ethics and for a code of behaviour and set of values that can be internalised and adopted to guide the actions by individuals at the sharp end of protecting the environment: decision-makers and environmental experts/executives/staff working in municipalities and public/government organisations throughout the EU and Turkey., It is nothing short of an ethical training manual that will guide environmental experts/decision-makers in making sound judgements and decisions and will act as a bridge between environmental knowledge and environmental behaviour. The book will be essential reading for decision-makers and experts working in local authorities and governmental organisations with responsibility for environmental protection: for both graduate and postgraduate students in environment-related disciplines and for vocational education teachers with a focus on the environment.

Recommended Reading
2002-02-07 Environmental Ethics and Policy-Making (Ashgate Translations in Philosophy, Theology & Religion) Routledge
ISBN 0754605639 ISBN-13 9780754605638
Recommended Reading
2016-03-10 Inequality What Everyone Needs to Know Oxford University Press
ISBN 019025047X ISBN-13 9780190250478

Over the past thirty years, the issue of economic inequality has emerged from the backwaters of economics to claim center stage in the political discourse of America and beyond a change prompted by a troubling fact: numerous measures of income inequality, especially in the United States in the last quarter of the twentieth century, have risen sharply in recent years. Even so, many people remain confused about what, exactly, politicians and media persons mean when they discuss inequality. What does

Recommended Reading
2017-07-28 Economic Development: What Everyone Needs to Know Oxford University Press
ISBN 0190688424 ISBN-13 9780190688424
Recommended Reading
2010-02-05 Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions (Philosophy: The Big Questions) Wiley-Blackwell
ISBN 1405176385 ISBN-13 9781405176385

Title: Environmental Ethics <>Binding: Paperback <>Author: Keller, David R. <>Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

Recommended Reading
2010-04-15 Boundaries: A Casebook in Environmental Ethics Georgetown University Press
ISBN 158901636X ISBN-13 9781589016361

Rare book

Module Resources

Journal Resources

Environmental Ethics, Centre for Environmental Philosophy, UNT, US (Hargrove Eugene, C. Ed)

Environmental Philosophy, The Journal of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy, PSU, US (Toadvine, T Ed)

Ethics & the Environment, Indiana University Press, US, (Stephens, Piers Ed.)


URL Resources