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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Environmental Philosophy
Module Code TP328
School 59
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Fiachra O'Brolchain
Semester 2: Fiachra O'Brolchain
Autumn: Fiachra O'Brolchain
Module TeachersFiachra O'Brolchain
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module will introduce students to environmental philosophy, providing them with a critical understanding of the ontological, political and ethical issues surrounding the environment . The topics to be studied in the module cover the major issues of environmental philosophy: theories of Nature, the Anthropocene, intrinsic value and inherent value in nature, animal consciousness and rights, human rights and the environment, the ethics of over-population, consumerism and mass-extinction, holism and atomism, future generations, distribution of harms and benefits, geoengineering, food systems, solutions, mitigation. These issues are the most pressing issues confronting humanity in the 21st century. Students taking the module will gain an understanding of the philosophical concepts framing our relationship with the environment. Students will gain an understanding of the cutting edge ontological and ethical issues raised by climate change, extinction risks, and over-population. Students are expected to attend and contribute to lectures, and to engage with the recommended texts and readings as they progress through the module.

Learning Outcomes

1. On successful completion of this module the learner will be able to: 1. comprehend central issues and themes in the history of environmental philosophy 2. construct arguments using the conceptual tools of environmental philosophy and apply these arguments to contemporary issues 3. understand the wider natural, generational, social, political and cultural significance of these issues and themes 4. engage in critical analysis and interpretation of important philosophical texts 5. Distinguish the principle positions in environmental philosophy, 6. Evaluate and independently assess key conceptual ideas and movements in environmental philosophy, 7. communicate the meaning and evolution

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24Attending Lectures
Independent Study23Independent Learning/CA Preparation
Independent Study48Weekly Readings
Independent Study30Examination Preparation
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Philosophical Readings
Readings will consist of philosophical works relating to climate change, non-human animals, and humanity's relationship with the rest of nature.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentTwo Philosophical essays will be required. The first will be worth 35% and the second 65%100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Mary Midgley: 1978, Beast and Man, 1st, Routledge, London,
  • Peter Singer: 2011, The Expanding Circle, Princeton University Press, 9780691150697
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BCESClimate & Environmental Sustainability
BCESNClimate & Environmental Sustainability
BCESYAClimate & Environmental Sustainability

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