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Environmental Philosophy


Admission requirements

Admission to this course is restricted to:

  • BA students in Philosophy, who have successfully completed their first year, and who have also completed at least 10 EC’s of the mandatory components of their second year, including Political Philosophy.

  • Pre-master’s students in Philosophy who are in possession of an admission statement, and for whom this course is part of their programme.


This is a course on some of the major themes in contemporary environmental philosophy. The first part of the course focuses on foundational questions, such as the debate between anthropocentric and biocentric conceptions of environmental value. The second part of the course focuses on applied environmental ethics/political philosophy concepts, methods and arguments, and is particularly organised around the challenge of climate change.

Course objectives

This course aims to:

  • give students a familiarity with central debates in environmental philosophy;

  • acquaint students with key writings on central topics in environmental philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:

  • the central debates in environmental philosophy.

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • paraphrase, interpret, reproduce and criticise the use made of central concepts in environmental philosophy in philosophical writings and in wider political contexts.


The timetables are available through MyTimetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminars

Class attendance is required and includes preparatory reading and comments.

Assessment method


  • Participation (25%)

  • Intermediate assignments (15%)

  • Final paper (60%)

Further requirements:

  • class attendance requirement: students absent for more than 3 classes will not be allowed to take the final essay and will not be allowed to pass the course. This also applies to students who do not make up the reading assignments for all missed classes by the end of the teaching period;

  • students must receive at least a 5.5 for the final paper in order to pass the course.


The final mark for the course is established by determination of the weighted average of the components mentioned above (participation, intermediate assignements and final paper).


Students can resit the final essay assignment if they receive 5.5 or less. It is not possible to make up for the attendance requirement.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The required readings for this course are detailed in the course syllabus that will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through MyStudymap is not possible for this course. Students are requested to submit their preferences for the third-year electives by means of an online registration form. They will receive the instruction and online registration form by email (uMail account); in June for courses scheduled in semester 1, and in December for courses scheduled in semester 2. Registration in uSis will be taken care of by the Education Administration Office.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the information bar at the right hand side of the page.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc., contact the Education Administration Office Huizinga


Not applicable.