Environmental Ethics

Course Number: 
LTP structure: 
Multi. Disc.



Course Objective

It is said that we are facing an environmental crisis of catastrophic proportions. The ecological crisis that we face is said to be so obvious that it becomes easy for some to join the dots and see that everything is interconnected. Environmentalism, this set of cultural and political responses to a crisis in humans’ relationships with their surroundings, would appear to drive a set of peculiar ethics in personal, public and institutional conduct. This course seeks to introduce the graduate student the study of this.


Course Content

Course contents: The course introduces different understandings about categories of ‘environment’ and ‘environmentalism’ that have emerged in contemporary thought, and its implications to its study in within an ethics framework. It seeks to explore three tropes. First, is a foray into the nature-culture debate, a debate central to environmental ethics. It seeks to lay the basis for the field by tracing key texts in the debate, viz., how the category of ‘nature’ is understood to be something which is external to humans. Second, we seek to understand the ways in which the ‘crisis’ in environment is constructed, a crisis which then would require certain ethical approaches to amelioration of our relationship with our surroundings. Third, is an exploration of specific themes in the field of contemporary environmental ethics - critical environmental aesthetics, applied ethics in agriculture, and explore ethical frameworks from non Western realms like in the Indic context, and Buddhist environmental ethics. This course looks at the imperatives and politics that shaped the literatures and discourses that shaped environmental ethics as a distinct discipline.
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