Issues in environmental ethics

Dozenten-innen: Graefe Olivier, Roser Dominic
Kursus: Master
Art der Unterrichtseinheit: Projekt
Sprache-n: Englisch
Semester: SA-2020

This seminar offered by Dominic Roser (economist and philosopher) and Olivier Graefe (Human geographer) focuses on environmental issues from ethical perspectives. Instead of looking at these issues only in general and abstract terms, it chooses to focus specifically on ethical questions pertaining to human-animal relationships. This seminar thus analyses the – geographical, but also social, political and economic – places of animals in our societies mobilizing studies from various disciplines. The seminar is composed of four parts. The introduction serves to establish the theoretical and conceptual background of animal ethics. In particular, it aims to explore the different approaches used in ethics (such as utilitarianism, animal rights, etc.) as well as attempts to define animals, their different positions and the distinction between the human and the non-human. The second part focuses on the exploitation of animals and concepts such as animal labor and the post-animal economy in agriculture, transport and science. In the third part, aspects of cohabitation, companionship and dependence of animals will be explored. The last part studies ways of commodification of interspecies encounters, resistance and types of antagonisms in human-animal relationships and the ethical questions dealing with these. The conclusion will give an outlook on representations of animals and concepts of co-citizenship.



Goals of the seminar:

– 1 – Knowledge of the relevant positions and themes in animal ethics

– 2 – Sharpening our reading, reflection, reasoning, and debating skills

– 3 – Having a better eye for the relevance and complexity of the ‘animal aspect’ of various topics