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Ecology and Sustainability

Coordinator: M. Davidson
Prerequisites and accessibility: https://www.ru.nl/courseguides/fftr/bachelor-pps/access-pps-courses-modules/
Period: Semester 1, period 1 and 2

Content

One of the most pressing issues at the crossroad of philosophy, politics and society is our relationship with nature and our environment. Not only does the human species affect almost all other lifeforms on Earth, we are also determining the conditions under which future generations will live. Although natural scientists may determine the facts and causal relationships at play in nature, we also need environmental and political philosophy to analyze how we have organized our relationship with future generations and the nonhuman world, and how we could and should organize this relationship in a more ecologically sound and mutually beneficial fashion. We have to raise metaphysical and ontological questions about the nature of earth and the era of the Anthropocene, and we have to think through whether and how present economic and political structures could and should be reorganized. This module is composed of three courses that focus on closely related core themes. 1) Ecophilosophy in the Anthropocene focuses on the metaphysical and ontological dimensions of humanity’s relation to the earth system, addressing the role of technology, and the implications of complexity in the ecological worldview for our understanding of the Anthropocene. 2) Environmental Political Thought focusses on political issues such as ecological citizenship, environmental and intergenerational justice, sustainable economies and ecomodernism, and global policies addressing climate change. 3) Critique of green ideology focuses on the ways in which the concepts of sustainability and ecology are ideologically charged and, instead of realizing much-needed systemic change, in fact strengthen the status quo. Each theme will be introduced both historically and systematically and further explored through reading and discussing the work of some key contemporary authors in environmental and ecological thought. Classes will consist of lectures, close reading sessions of primary literature, group discussions on cases, student presentations and a few practical components like excursions or video/movie screenings and debate.

Period Course Course ID Credits
1 & 2 Ecophilosophy in the Anthropocene FTR-FIPPSB201 5
1 & 2 Political Ecology FTR-FIPPSB202 5
1 & 2 Critique of Green Ideology FTR-FIPPSB225 5
Module code: FTR-MI-FI108-19