Howard University College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Philosophy
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Environmental Ethics

Phil 148

Dr. Charles Verharen

One of philosophy's aims is a search for the good life. This course focuses on the environment’s role in that search. Our first task will be a brief overview of the history of ethics, followed by an examination of relations between theoretical and applied ethics. In particular we will concentrate of the roles humans should play in their environments.

Particular attention will be given to Mary Clark's claim that the peril of global technology must force us to reexamine and change our systems of value if we are to survive. Her efforts to establish correlations between cultures and world-views and her insistence on the need for cultural pluralism as the indispensable ground for criticism of environmental ethics will be given special attention. A more generalized justification of cultural pluralism will be examined in the work of Alain Locke.

Langdon Winner's claim that technologies of extreme power and complexity must finally seize control of the societies that choose to deploy them will also be examined. He proposes four guidelines for accepting or rejecting technologies: (1) "technologies [must] be given a scale and structure that would be immediately intelligible to non-experts"; (2) they must have "a high degree of flexibility and mutability"; (3) they must "be judged according to the degree of dependency they tend to foster, those creating a greater dependency being held inferior"; (4) "they must only be employed with a fully informed sense of what is appropriate."


African American Philosophy
Afro-Caribbean Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Egyptian Philosophy
Ancient Greek Philosophy
Classical Ethics
Comparative Philosophy: Philosophical Explanations of Evil Across Cultures
Current Topics: Philosophy and Ethics of Appropriate Technology and Development
Current Topics: Africana Philosophy and Film
Environmental Ethics
Ethics and Public Policy
Ethics of Medical Care
Ethics of Medical Care
History of Africana Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Philosophy of Education
Philosophy of Language
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Social Science
Principles of Reasoning
Representative Thinkers
Seminar on Aristotle 
Symbolic Logic


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