PHILO217 Environmental Ethics
Choose one of the following essay topics. 1. How much do M?ori environmental values shape the New Zealand approach to Environmental Ethics? How much should they? Is the NZ approach a good one? – Note: This question is intended to focus on policy level action, rather than individual level action. So, you should be considering things like how the government attempts to support environmental considerations, or how non-governmental organisations, private corporations, and so on do so. There may be instances where considerations of individual approaches to EE are relevant, but you should be careful to ensure that these are tied into the theoretical approaches discussed in the course material. 2. The precautionary principle states that “When human activities may lead to morally unacceptable harm that is scientifically plausible but uncertain, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm.” Either: Describe Bob Fischer’s analysis of the precautionary principle arguments in favour of veganism, and critically analyse Fischer’s argument; or Present and critique an argument that climate change is a morally unacceptable harm, such that the precautionary principle provides us with reason to act to avoid or diminish the harm it causes. – Note: If answering the question about Fischer, you should be careful to disambiguate different versions of the precautionary principle. Be clear as to which version you are engaging with when you critically analyse Fischer’s argument. – If answering the climate change question, you have much more scope to introduce your own research than in the other questions – if you are unsure whether what you want to talk about is sufficiently on topic, *ask* us. 3. What responsibilities (if any) do we have towards future generations, and how can we fulfill these obligations (whatever they may be)? – Note: If you want to argue that we don’t have any responsibilities towards future generations, that doesn’t get you off the hook – you still need to defend your position. You will have to consider why those who argue that we *do* have responsibilities, are mistaken! You must give full references for all sources, including Internet sites, either in footnotes or a bibliography. But don’t pad your bibliography by including sources that you haven’t used in your essay. You may use any recognised reference system (e.g. Harvard, APA), as long as it provides Author, Year, & Page references (page references only where they exist, obviously). Use quotations only where absolutely necessary and include page references for all quotations or close paraphrases. (Even if using APA, which still claims page numbers are optional for paraphrasing. We require them) Failure to provide references may be seen as plagiarism, which is a serious breach of the University’s disciplinary regulations.
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