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On 2016-Mar-01

Syllabus of Environmental Philosophy, Spring 2016



School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University



  • Introduction:

    Environmental Philosophy is an important branch of philosophy at the background of industrial civilization. Environmental philosophy, environmental ethics, ecological philosophy, and ecological ethics, the four terms has some subtle difference with different addressing.

    Environmental philosophy is a big field, and this course intends to pay attention on some of classics, such as Aldo Leopold, Rachael Carson, Peter Singer, Holmes Rolston III, and so on.


  • Reading materials:

    1, Course Pack of Environmental Philosophy edited by TIAN Song

    2, Environmental Ethics: An Anthology, ed. by Andrew Light & Holmes Rolston III.


  • Homework

    Everyone is required to choose a plant in campus, to experience, record and descript its growing and life. This is a way to establish the basic feeling of environmental philosophy.


  • Exams.

    1, at the 3rd weekend of April, fist exam, a short paper in English

    2, final exam: a paper in Chinese or English.

    3, to participate the class discussion will be very important for the final score.

The Content of the Course Pack of Environmental Philosophy


I, the introduction of environmental philosophy

  1. Environmental Ethics, an entry of Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

  2. Clare Palmer, An overview of environmental philosophy


    II the classical documents

  3. Henry David Thoreau, From Walden,

  4. Aldo Leopold, From A Sand County Almanac,

    The Land Ethic

  5. Richard Carson, From The Silent Spring


    III, basic theory, value, nature

  6. Genesis, 1-3, BiBle

  7. Lynn White Jr.

    On the Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis

  8. Lewis W.Moncrief, The Culture Basis of Our Environmental Crisis.

  9. John O’neil

    The Varieties of Intrinsic Value,  

  10. Holmes Rolston,

    Value in Nature and Nature of Value,

  11. Christopher D. Stone

    Moral Pluralism and the Course of Environmental Ethic,

  12. Peter S. Wenz,

        Minimal, Moderate, and Extreme Moral Pluralism,


    IV, animal right, deep ecology, and ecofeminism

  13. Peter Singer,

    Not for Humans Only: The Place of Nonhumans in Environmental Issues,

  14. Tom Regan, From The Case for Animal Rights,

    Animal Rights: What’s in a Name?

  15. Warwick Fox,

    Deep Ecology: A New Philosophy of our Time?

  16. Greta Gaard and Lori Gruen

    Ecofeminism and Ecosystem Ecology,

  17. Anthony Weston

    Beyond Intrinsic Value: Pragmatism in Environmental Ethics,


    V, others

  18. John B. Cobb, Jr.

    Toward a Just and Sustainable Economic Order,

  19. Robert Elliot,

    Faking Nature

  20. Michael P. Nelson

    An Amalgamation of Wilderness Preservation Arguments,

  21. Holmes Rolston III

    Feeding People’s versus Saving Nature?

  22. James Lovelock, From The Ages of Gaia:

    What is Gaia, pp15-41

  23. TIAN Song,

    Global Warming as a Manifestation of Garbage

  24. Ursula K. Heise

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ecocriticism