Spring 2022

Environmental Ethics: Theory & Practice Responses to the Climate Crisis in the Global City


Director:  Katheryn Doran, Associate Professor of Philosophy
Phone:  315-859-4135
Email:  kdoran@hamilton.edu

October 29, 2012: battered by Hurricane Sandy, New York City learned first-hand the enormous and deadly costs of climate change. We will explore how, in the intervening (near) decade New York City – citizens, industries, government – has set about to repair the damage and prevent future such catastrophes.

The program will combine theoretical work on environmental ethics with applied attention to a variety of environmental ethical issues, and in particular on the question of how we should respond to the climate crisis.

We will explore questions about the relationships among individual action, political measures, and work in and on the private sector. Among our areas of focus will be varieties of information about and advocacy regarding transportation, environmental education, investment in research and development of energy resources, urban food sources, and building and housing.

Open to all majors. No pre-requisites.

Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and Public Policy concentrators and minors may receive up to two credits toward their concentration or minor.

Up to two credits can be allowed towards the Government major for COLEG 396 and COLEG 398, with COLEG 396 being conditional on Departmental approval of the final research project.

List and description of courses for Spring 2022:

COLLEGE 395 Environmental Ethics PRACTICUM

An experientially grounded exploration of various environmentally focused events and venues in the city.  We will meet at least once a week either in-house or at city-wide events (usually both).


A tutorial leading to the development of a substantial paper that integrates the theoretical course concepts from our traditional course work with the many on-the-ground events – talks, panels, debates, information sessions, tours, museum visits, webinars – we will participate in Manhattan.


Work experience with a firm, organization, agency, or advocacy group appropriate to the theme of course, four days a week. Weekly electronic journal entries chronicling and reflecting up the experience.

COLLEGE 398 SEMINAR: Environmental Ethics: Theory & Practice

Responses to the climate crisis in the global city.

The anchor academic component of the semester will critically cover materials ranging from basic systematic normative ethical traditions from Aristotle to the present to contemporary debates about the relationship between individual personal responsibility to other kinds of private and public activism and advocacy.  We will look at a number environmentally ethical applied cases with a heavy emphasis in the second half of the semester on several major works in philosophy on climate change, starting with Mark Maslin’s Climate Change: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford) and ending with Dale Jamison’s Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future.


Students participated in internships at the following companies this semester:

Futures Ignite, NYC Department of Environmental Protection, LUPii/Allibelle Foods, Inc., City Growers, Mott Haven Community Fridge Network, Morgan Stanley, Inspiring Connections Outdoors-Sierra Club, and Mercado Global.



Contact Name

Maddie Carrera

Director of Experiential Learning

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