Environmental Philosophies & Ethics

EVR 3020

CRN 82546

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Online Class

Office Hours Thursdays

9:00-12:00 am & PRN

Seidler Hall 212



Edward T. "Terry" Wimberley, Ph.D.

Professor, Ecological Studies

212 Academic Building Seven

239.405.4164 (Cell)



Plagiarism Warning


Course Summary & Objectives

Over the past three decades a new area of philosophical study has emerged — environmental philosophy. Philosophers have turned to the environment in practical response to the multitude of ecological problems modern industrial society has spawned. This course will examine several such pressing environmental issues, principally employing pragmatic philosophical methodologies. After having pragmatic approaches to environmental philosophy and policy we will survey the major approaches philosophers and theoreticians have adopted to address a range of environmental problems. This will take us through an inquiry regading anthropocentrism and the concept of “moral community,” i.e., the realm of objects (human “persons”, members of other species, places, things) entitled to moral consideration. We will also examine several so-called ‘radical’ ecological movements whose proponents maintain that the only way to resolve the current spate of environmental problems is by fundamentally transforming modern society and revising how we look at the human-nature relationship. Finally, the course will also explore the impact of two key economic philosophers (A.F. Hayek and John Maynard Keynes) upon our modern attitudes toward sustaining the environment.

Objectives include:

  1. Acquainting students with the "history" of ideas from which historical and modern environmental philosophies and ethics emanate. 
  2. Equiping students with critical thinking skills required to analyze complex environmental / ecological issues and to make informed ethical decisions.
  3. Providing students with systematic tools for pragmatically analyzing and comparing various options for action in terms of their ethical implications and consequences.
  4. Enabling students to more consistently replace uncritical bias with reflective consideration in weighing issues of ethical concern
  5. Familiarizing students with economic theory and philosophy as they relate to our modern attitudes toward sustaining the environment.
  6. Enabling student to utilize the APA documentation method to reflect where they draw the material they incorporate into their written assignments.

Texts & Course Requirements

Wimberley, Edward T. (2009) Nested Ecology: The Place of Humans in the Ecological Hierarchy. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN-10: 0801892899

Wimberley, Edward T. and Pellegrino, Scott (2014) Ecopragmatics. Champaigne-Urbana, IL: Common Ground Publishing.
Wimberley, Edward T. (2018) Homegrown Ecopragmatics. Champaigne-Urbana, IL: Common Ground Publishing.
Comprehensive Exam
The competency exam will consist of either a set of essay questions or a case study problem handed out during the final class meeting. Exam answers should be prepared with the same care you would take in writing a term paper. Exams will be graded on the basis of grammatical quality (sentence structure, punctuation, spelling), as well as substantive quality. There will also be a strict page limit. You will have one week to complete the exam. All exam answers must be written in Word or in a Rich Text Format and submitted to the instructor by Canvas email submission. All submissions of exams and homework shall specifically tell the instructor the title of the assignment being submitted and this should appear in the Subject box of the email message. No homework may be turned in by typing it directly into the memo field of the email or submitted via any other email address to the instructor.

Study Questions & Homework

The principle purpose of weekly homework is to insure students read the assigned materials, view videos and show up in class prepared. Students who regualarly do so and submit thoughtful work cited and referenced in APA style can generally expect to recieve full credit for their work. Students participating in class sessions will, on a weekly basis, prepare their homework assignments and post their responses on Canvas email by 5:00 p.m. on the Sunday evening immediately following each on-campus class meeting.  However, all reading assigned for each class session must be completed prior to the beginning of each class meeting on campus to insure that all students are prepared to participate in the class discussion. All posted attachments must be in Word or rich text format.  Content written into or cut and pasted into the memo-field of the drop box will not be graded, nor will content submitted to the instructor via university email. All work must be attached as a Word or rich text format document. The instructor will only review the responses and the homework posted Canvas email as an attachment.


Typically, students should be prepared to spend 2 - 3 hours of preparation & study for every 1 hour of classroom time. This formula, which applies to general time commitment for both classroom and distant learners, should yield approximately 6 to 9 hours of course effort weekly. Some week's assignments may entail less time investment, while other class periods may entail more effort.  

Pre and Post Testing

Complete a pretest and postest for the course that will be mailed to you at Canvas email. Failure to complete either test will cost you 5% of the final grade. No credit will be given for taking the test but credit will be deducted for failing to take the test. Both tests must be taken or the full 5% deduction will occur.


Final semester grades for this course will be based on several criteria. Throughout the semester, grades will be assigned on a numerical basis. Only in determining the final semester grade will the numerical grades be translated to letter grades. The total possible points amounts to 1000, distributed as follows:

Grade Breakdown


Course Requirements

Point Totals

Grade %

Pre-test Completion
100 points
Post-test Completion
100 points




Course Exam

500 points






500 points


SALG Evaluation Form
20 points

Students can earn an additional 2% course credit by completing the SALG evaluation form, scanning it into a pdf form and emailing it to the instructor at twimber@hotmail.com. If you are using a Mac you can download "Type On PDF" to complete the assessment form. If you are using a computer utilizing a Microsoft base you can download "Soda PDF" or "PDFill Pdf Editor." All three of these applications can be downloaded for free.

Missing (i.e. nonparticipation or inadequate participation in class activities on Canvas) for 3 classes or more without instructor permission will result in students being withdrawn from the class. Homework submitted later than 5:00 p.m. on the final date of each class  or submitted somewhere other than Canvas Email will will be considered late homework and will not be credited toward class attendance and participation. The instructor is not obligated to grade your assignments. Distance learning course are considered to operate over a seven day week period. The rationale for this rather strict policy is quite simply that the total volume of the instructor's students in three classes makes it impossible for the professor to keep abreast of the weekly homework unless the student places the homework inCanvas email. Likewise, with many students and courses proceeding simultaneously in distance format the instructor simply lacks the time to search all over the web for your homework.


Grading Scale


























59% and Below



For students taking this course as a distance learning course, text and case study homework submitted later than 5:00 p.m. on the final date of the class session will will be considered late homework and will not be credited toward class attendance and participation, otherwise homework is due before each class. Distance learning courses are considered to operate over a seven day week period. NOTE: For all students, course assignments and schedule, course objectives, and grading criteria, distributions and weights may change as circumstances dictate and at the discretion of the instructor.

Attendance Policy

Attend class weekly online, participate in class, and submit homework on a regular basis. Students must participate fully during each class session. Attendance is also measured in terms of turning in homework in a timely fashion. In every case, students must answer weekly assigned questions and post their responses to all questions before class commences weekly. Students failing to log on to the course lesson board and successfully submit their homework on a weekly basis will fail the course.   Missing (i.e. nonparticipation or inadequate participation in class activities on Canvas via email) for 3 classes or more without instructor permission will result in students being withdrawn from the class.

From time to time students may be required to attend one or more personal conferences with the instructor. Whenever feasible, the consultation should happen in person at FGCU. However, if distance proves to be an obstacle then students may be required to meet at an off-campus location or to schedule and attend a telephone conference with the instructor. These conferences contribute toward the student's attendance and participation grade. Students do not have the option of not attending conferences when the instructor so instructs them to. Students failing to attend conferences can expect to experience a significant reduction in credit for their participation and attendance portion of the grade, or may be awarded an incomplete grade that can revert to an F if the student continues to refuse participating in a student/faculty conference.

Finally, it is important for all students to remain cognizant that all of their interactions with the instructor must maintain a civil, respectful and cordial tone. Incivility, rudeness and disrespect directed toward the instructor will not be tolerated. Students may be asked to withdraw from the class if they cannot honor this expectation, and can expect to see significant deductions to the attendance and participation portion of their grade.

Consequently, attendance and participation consists of (1) regular online and weekly classroom attendance in the class (2) regular online and classroom participation in the class as demonstrated by the regular and timely submission of complete homework / exams and the demonstrated capacity to convince the instructor that one has read all text and web assignments and is prepared to discuss them in class, (3) regular and appropriate posting of homework on Canvas email appropriate format, (4) meeting all criteria for homework submission, such as use of APA citations and references, (4) prompt attention to email and telephone messages from the instructor, (5) attendance and civil participation in all scheduled consultation meetings. Failure to comply with any of these factors will result in a reduction in credit for this portion of the course at the discretion of the instructor.

Academic Integrity

All assignments must include citations for each question sufficient enough for the instructor to determine where the answers were drawn from, as well as complete references at the end of each question set. Citations and references must be in APA style. I will expect every student to be familiar with this approach since it is taught in virtually every middle school and high school in the U.S. So, in the interest of not losing any course credit and to insure you don't find yourself plagiarizing any of your work, you would be strongly advised to purchase this book and learn how to cite and reference appropriately from the onset.Answers and questions must be included in homework, to include the correct numbering of assigned questions. Any work that has been copied verbatim from a source or that has been "cut and pasted" as responses to questions will be ignored. Such verbatim responses included in work that is not fully cited and referenced will be considered to be plagiarized and the student will receive an F for the course. All work submitted must be written in the student's own words.

APA Documentation Method:

I strongly encourage every student to take the time to complete the following online APA Citation and Reference Tutorial. One of the objectives of this class is that you learn how to use the APA documentation style. You can learn everything you need to know about how to use this method by studying the fmaterial at the following sites. Please understand that any of your discussion questions or your student presentation papers that are lacking in complete APA styled documentation will be returned to you and will not be graded until they are in order.

APA Documentation Aids:

A Guide for Writing Research Papers in APA Style

Purdue University: Using American Psychological Association (APA) Format

APA Citation Styles - University of Toledo

APA Style Sheet (Cornell)

Quick Guide APA Style (UNC)

APA Guide to Electronic Resources

APA Style for Videos

APA Style for Court Decisions

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding APA Style