Unit assignments

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Unit assignments are completed as the last step in each Unit, with the exception of Assignment 1A, which should be submitted in the first couple of weeks after one has begun the course. All assignments should be uploaded to the appropriate D2L assignment page, where a mark and feedback also will be provided. Please note: All assignments must be completed in order to receive a passing grade in this course. Assignments should always be submitted in standard essay formatting: double spaced, one-inch margins, footnotes, a bibliography, page numbers, and using Times New Roman 12 pt. font. There should be no spaces between paragraphs, but do use indenting for the first line of each paragraph.

#1ATitle: “My Own Ecological Ethics”
This is an introductory assignment, one paragraph (300 words) maximum.
Describe your own ethical stance toward the natural world. To do that, as best you can, identify the basic values in your personal philosophy and try to give good reasons for holding them, and how they relate to your ethical stance toward the natural world. I am asking you to focus on the core of your ecological ethics. (How you feel about issues is important, don’t be afraid to address this dimension in your

#1B “The Locus of Ethics”
This is a short assignment, three pages (900 words) maximum.
Ethics is a complicated thing because it describes the kind of person we ought to be. Trying to define
ethics requires care to understand its various components and how they shape us into an ethical person.
Ethics describes a person of a certain kind of knowing, character and action. How do the readings and discussions of Unit 1 help us to define and describe the differences and logical relationships between
“knowing”, “character,” and “acting”? I would like you do define each term: explaining each term’s importance for describing the ethical person, and also explaining the ways in which each term affects the other two, so that ethics is a constant manifestation of all three. Do you find yourself tending to one of these more than the others when you think about ethics (though they are all equally important, and should be properly balanced with the other two)? Can you explain why?

# 2 “Ecological Ethics and Economics: Clash of Worldviews” This assignment will be five pages (1500 words) maximum.
Describe briefly (no more than a paragraph) an economic issue related to the environment from the Canadian news media and then explain how the critique of the economic topic in terms of a biocentric and an ecocentric ethical view sheds new or different light onto the issue. You should present the biocentric and ecocentric critiques in separate sections of the paper, so that their differences in analysis are easy to identify (this will be the hardest part of the essay for many, but do not be dismayed. If in doubt, I am here to offer help).
Your analysis should show how the theories challenge people to rediscover the moral sense of nature. In other words, do not treat this as only hypothetical and impossible to accomplish, but rather as possible
and persuasive—i.e., as a practical activity. In your essay, you must make extensive use of the course
readings from Unit One and Unit Two.

# 3 “Ethics, Environment, and Social Reform.”
This assignment will be seven pages (2000 words) maximum.
You will compare the “Earth Charter” (EC) with the “Blue River Quorum Declaration” (BRQD) in your essay. As has been the norm in the course, linking previous readings and discussions from Units One and Unit Two, along with the readings of Unit Three is expected as part of your interpretive work. Your paper will explain if your group thinks one of the two declarations (EC and BRQD) is more effective, or if both are necessary, for the application of an ecological ethic? Explain why. In your discussion account for these four concerns:
What are the different contexts that are assumed for each document: that there are different contexts from which to see and enact ethical positions means what for personal preferences as a point of contention in ethical discussions?
What types of ethical discourse and behaviour are used to persuade the reader? Do they tap into
the moral sense of nature?
What are the strengths and benefits of each document?
Should ethics be social or merely personal/private? What do these documents teach us about this question?

# 4 “Persuasive Ethics: Learning to Think of the Land and Live Ethically With It.”
This assignment will be approximately nine pages (2700 words).
This assignment theme will give your essay unity : How does one apply ecological ethical ideas? This theme should be interpreted in terms of the assignment title about persuasion. Your essay should have
three parts:
A: In roughly 1400 words, explain why Leopold does not propose an ethical theory but rather a
worldview. Define five virtues articulated in Leopold’s moral worldview with reference to specific texts (and supplemented by other course texts). How might these virtues be persuasively communicated
B: In about 1000 words, answer these two questions: What is it about Wahkohtowin that makes its ethical worldview morally appealing? What makes Wahkohtowin unlikely to be a motivating ethical
worldview today? As part of your answers, use the language of virtues to help you communicate your argument. Be practical in your answer. Make reference to the moral sense of nature.
C: Conclude this assignment with an appendix of 300 words, where you rewrite your ethical stance toward the natural world. How do you justify this stance? What principles guide your actions? Make
sure to articulate good, strong, clear arguments.

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