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An overview of Environmental Ethics

  1. Resources
  2. Guide Questions
  3. Smartboard Notes

Here are some web sites that will enhance your understanding of this week's reading:

Deep Ecology:

This Week's Authors:

Warwick Fox

Arne Naess:

Real TED Videos (



Guide Questions:

The following questions are designed to fine tune your understanding of the reading. The subject matter and answers to these questions form the basis of what you will be required to know for exams.

Objectives for this week: These are the learning objectives you should have mastered after attending the lectures and completing the questions below

  1. distinguish between shallow and deep ecology
  2. differentiate between the ethical presuppositions that inform shallow and deep ecology
  3. explain how bioregions fit into the framework of deep ecology
  4. explain the concept of biospherical egalitarianism
  5. describe the eight basic principles of deep ecology
  6. identify cultural, economic and pragmatic areas of resistance confronting the ethics of deep ecology

Deep Ecology: A New Philosophy of Our Time? (Fox)

Guide Questions:

  1. Briefly distinguish between shallow and deep ecology. What is the core difference between these two philosophies?
  2. What are bioregions and how do they reframe the metaphysics of deep ecologies?
  3. Fox states: "the material standard of living should be drastically reduced and the quality of life, and the sense of basic satisfaction in the depths of one's heart or soul, should be maintained or increased." Why is this view problematic for promoting deep ecology within the United States and other developed/developing countries?
  4. What is biospherical egalitarianism? Is it feasible to get humans to accept this view?

The Deep Ecological Movement: Some Philosophical Aspects (Naess)

Guide Questions:

  1. Briefly read the passage in the second column of page 263 (last 3 paragraphs) - Has an environmental ethic saturated our culture such that it is open to the concerns of deep ecology? What do you think?
  2. Review the eight principles advanced by Naess as the foundation for deep ecology. Which of these principles are most controversial within the context of our culture?
  3. Under the heading "cultural diversity and appropriate technology" Naess states: "There should be limits on the impact of Western technology upon present existing non-industrial countries and the fourth world should be defended against foreign domination. ..." is this attitude elitist? Why/why not?
  4. Be sure to read Naess's of deep ecology as a derivational system (pages 269-270). On which level is resistance to the deep ecology platform most likely to arise? What forms of resistance may arise at each level?
  5. Study the chart on page 272. Comment on the possibility of creating: a) a no class society, b) maximum self-determination, c) self-realization , and d) a society with no exploitation or subjection of others/other beings/environments, etc.. What are the hurdles to realizing the goals implicit in Naess'chart?

Smartboard Notes

Smartboard Notes from Week 6 Lecture:







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