PHIL 3140 Environmental Ethics

Instructor Contact:

Dr. David Youkey, PhD


About the Course:

Examines major traditions in moral philosophy to see what light they shed on value issues in environmental policy and the value presuppositions of the economic, ecological, and juridical approaches to the environment.

Course Prerequisites:

Restricted to students with 27-180 credits (Sophomores, Juniors or Seniors) only.

Recommended: PHIL 1100 or PHIL 1200 or PHIL 2200 or PHIL 3100 or PHIL 3200.

Same course as ENVS 3140.

Satisfies Arts Sci Core Curr: Ideals and Values

Arts Sci Gen Ed: Distribution-Arts Humanities

Course Learning Objectives:

For each unit of the course you will be expected to do the following (see below). Although your knowledge will build on itself after each unit, the objectives for each unit are the same.  By the end of the course you should be able to:

  1. Identify, relate and match the correct theories to their authors.
  2. Describe, paraphrase and explain the ideas in the readings.
  3. Apply, practice and relate the readings to your life.
  4. Analyze and question the ideas in the readings.
  5. Synthesize the ideas from the course thematically.
  6. Evaluate the ideas from the course with philosophical arguments.

Required Texts:

Ian Angus: Facing the Anthropocene (ISBN-10: 9781583676097, ISBN-13: 978-1583676097, Monthly Review Press (2016);

Michael Pollan: Omnivore’s Dilemma (ISBN-10: 0143038583, ISBN-13: 978-0143038580, Penguin (2007);

Christopher McDougall, Born to Run (ISBN-10: 0307279189, ISBN-13: 978-0307279187, Vintage (2011);

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods (ISBN-13: 9781565126053, Algonquin Books (2008).  You should get the “Updated and Expanded” edition.)

Grading (out of 100 points):

4 multiple choice quizzes, 25%,

Environmental Change Documentary, 25%

Final Paper, worth 40%,

Participation, 10%


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Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado