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Unit information: Global Justice and Climate Change in 2015/16

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Unit name Global Justice and Climate Change
Unit code PHIL30120
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Blomfield
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

none

Co-requisites

none

School/department Department of Philosophy
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description

What does climate change have to do with justice? In this unit we will look at various questions of justice that are raised by climate change, and examine how political philosophers have attempted to answer them. Topics to be considered will include responsibility for climate change, duties regarding future generations, the problem of distributing the burdens of climate change, individual and collective obligations, rights to natural resources, and the ethics of geoengineering. Looking at how theories of justice have been used to address a novel real-world problem, students will also consider whether this process of application can tell us anything about those theories.

Unit Aims:

  1. To enable students to develop a strong knowledge of the climate justice literature.
  2. To enable students to develop a solid understanding of relevant central theories and concepts from political philosophy and to assess the way in which these theories have been applied to the problem of climate change.
  3. To enable students to demonstrate their ability to engage philosophically with the main arguments in the climate justice literature, and to analyse and critically appraise this literature.
  4. To enable students to strengthen their skills in philosophical writing and argumentation.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. have developed a strong knowledge of the climate justice literature
  2. have developed a solid understanding of relevant central theories and concepts from political philosophy, and be able to assess the way in which these theories have been applied to the problem of climate change
  3. be able to engage philosophically with the main arguments in the climate justice literature, and to analyse and critically appraise this literature
  4. be able to demonstrate skills in philosophical writing and argumentation appropriate to level H.

Teaching details

One-hour weekly lectures, one-hour weekly seminars

Assessment Details

1 x 2750 word essay (summative, 50% of unit mark), assessing ILO 1 - 4.

1 x 2 hour examination (summative, 50% of unit mark), assessing ILO 1 - 4.

Reading and References

Climate Ethics: Essential Readings. Edited by Stephen M. Gardiner, Simon Caney, Dale Jamieson, & Henry Shue. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Caney, Simon. 2006. ‘Cosmopolitan Justice, Rights and Global Climate Change’. Canadian Journal of Law & Jurisprudence 19 (2): 255-78.

Cripps, Elizabeth. 2013. Climate Change and the Moral Agent. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gardiner, Stephen. 2011. A Perfect Moral Storm: The Ethical Tragedy of Climate Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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