Sustainability and Environmental Ethics

Subject PHIL90029 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours - 1 x 2 hour seminar each week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

170 Hours


Admission into the Master of Arts in Professional and Applied Ethics or MC-IR Masters in International Relations or another Masters by Coursework programme at the University of Melbourne with coordinator approval.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Mr Sagar Sanyal


Sagar Sanyal


Subject Overview:

How should we understand the phenomena of economic growth, and consumerism? What are the key factors causing ecological crisis – individual greed, ignorance, the state, capitalism? What are the ecological and political implications of key sectors of the global economy such as the oil industry and agribusiness? Does the biosphere have non-instrumental value, or are environmental concerns motivated largely by our obligations towards future generations? How should the costs of reducing anthropogenic climate change be distributed?

Learning Outcomes:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • Understand philosophical treatments of our moral obligations to preserve the environment;
  • Understand important conceptual distinctions between different ways in which the environment has value;
  • Appreciate the difficulties associated with weighing environmental obligations against competing obligations and permissions;
  • Understand the moral significance of the difference between individual and collective action;
  • Be able to critically assess proposals for realising sustainability and environmental protection when formulating public policy.
  • A 1000 word short answer essay due mid semester (20%)
  • A 4000 word final essay, due at the end of semester (80%)

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject.
Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
100 Point Master of International Relations
100 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
150 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 Point Master of International Relations
200 Point Master of Public Policy and Management
200 points Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Professional Ethics
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Professional Ethics
MA (AS&&ST) International Justice

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