This course focuses on two sets of issues in environmental ethics. The first set of issues, emerging significantly from practices such as animal agriculture and animal captivity in zoos, research facilities, and other settings, concerns the moral status of non-human animals. What kind of moral consideration are non-human animals owed? Do they have rights, and if so, how extensive are those rights? As a philosophy class, our emphasis is on the analysis of concepts and the critical evaluation of arguments. Beyond gaining a familiarity with the issue of the moral status of animals (along with the second issue of the class, not discussed here, concerning global climate change), students should expect to develop their analytic and evaluative skills through in-class discussion and a range of writing assignments.
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