Fall 2018 - PHIL 328 D100

Environmental Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 8896

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    AQ 5030, Burnaby

    We 12:30 PM – 1:20 PM
    AQ 5037, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    One of PHIL 120W (or equivalent), 121, 220, 221 or ENV 320W.



A survey of contemporary issues in environmental ethics. Topics may include: animal rights, the intrinsic value of nature, 'deep ecology', obligations to future generations, conservation, environmental justice, as well as relevant background materials in ethical theory. Students who have completed PHIL 318 may not take this course for further credit.


This course will offer an introduction to some of the major issues, traditions, and theories in the contemporary field of environmental philosophy. We will try to understand, philosophically, our relationship to the natural environment (e.g. plants and ecosystems); our relationship to non human animals (e.g. liminal, wild, and domesticated); and the ways our economic and political organization influence current and future generations of persons. In addition to the issues in these areas we will pay special attention to major issues as distributive justice and its relationship to climate change; the nature, character and moral wrongs present in environmental racism; and on Indigenous perspectives on the environment. Students will gain an introduction to an exciting, challenging, and growing body of philosophical reflections and will be able to understand major issues in biodiversity, pollution, depletion, sustainable development, and climate change through that lens.


  1. Recognizing and explaining key concepts, articulating their meaning and placing them in their appropriate context
  2. Identifying key arguments placing them in their appropriate context with respect to authorship
  3. Reconstructing and critically analyzing key arguments for soundness and validity
  4. Articulating the key themes found within the class in a well structured essay
  5. Critically comparing various theories showing their strengths and weaknesses and critically extending arguments to novel cases and problems not found within the text


  • 2 essays: 3-5 pages each (15%, 25%) 40%
  • Midterm 25%
  • Final exam 30%
  • Participation: measured in attendance and contributions to class discussion 5%



Global Ethics and Climate Change, Second Edition, OUP: 9781474403993 Paul G. Harris

There’s Something In The Water Environmental Racism in Indigenous & Black Communities By Ingrid R. G. Waldron, ISBN: 9781773630571

Readings on Canvas and on the internet

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html