Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
PHL 206
Course Title:
Introduction to Environmental Ethics
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Investigates the ethical questions that pertain to human choices regarding the environment. Explores questions such as, Do non-human animals have rights? What is the environment and do we have an obligation to protect it? What is the proper ethical balance between economic and environmental concerns regarding natural resources? Does the present generation have an ethical obligation to preserve a healthy environment for future generations? Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

Recommended: College level reading and writing ability

Intended Outcomes for the course

Students completing this course should be able to:

  • Identify and explain moral issues that arise in contemporary discussions and debates about environmental concerns in order to define one€™s environmental responsibility in contemporary society.
  • Apply the concerns raised by major ethical theories and environmental philosophers to the analysis and resolution of environmental issues in order to critically assess readings from diverse historical and academic sources.
  • Apply critical reading and thinking skills to discussions and writings about environmental concerns in order to critically assess one€™s own conception of environmental citizenship and empower one€™s ability for self refinement.
  • Write and present coherent, clear arguments and counter-arguments, including clear and critically responsible arguments for and against opposing environmental views in order to respectfully communicate with others whose opinions might differ from one€™s own.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment strategies will include some of the following:

  • Essays in the form of in-class exams, short papers, and term papers
  • Short-answer exams
  • Student presentations
  • Class and small group discussions
  • Participation

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

The course content will include some of the following themes:

  • Animal Rights
  • Environmental Holism
  • Deep Ecology
  • Ecofeminism    
  • Social Ecology
  • Direct Environmental Action 
  • Environmental Sustainability