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Special Programs

Interterm Classes

Summer Interterm Courses

Animal Ethics

PHIL 2702 - 4 credits

Dates: June 18 - 22, 2018
Days: Monday - Friday
Time: 9 am - 5 pm
Instructor: Thomas Nail


What is our ethical responsibility to non-human animals? This seminar will introduce students to major philosophical questions in animal ethics: What are the key differences between humans and other animals? Is it ethical to eat, conduct tests on, and/or keep animals as pets? What are the consequences of such decisions? How ought one to respond to unethical laws? Students will develop a cross-disciplinary perspective in the fields of animal studies, ethical theory, and environmental philosophy by understanding how contemporary philosophers, environmental scientists, ecologists, activists, and journalists have responded to key ethical questions concerning animals and the environment. Animal-machines, the life-world of the tick, ethical meat eating, radical vegetarianism, the evolution of pets, wilderness preservation, ecological sabotage, and civil disobedience will all be topics explored in this course.

This seminar will also introduce students to the processes of research, writing, and critical thinking by guiding them through an original research project on an issue in animal ethics. Students will learn to conduct collaborative research, write philosophical and argumentative papers, peer review each others work, and debate contemporary ethical issues in animal ethics. This class will prepare students not only to make original contributions to the emerging field of animal ethics but will also provide them with conceptual tools for grappling with similar ethical issues in their personal lives.    

Info: This course will take place in part at Denver Zoo, Wild Animal Sanctuary, The Growhaus and Animal Assisted Therapy Programs of Colorado (AATPC).  Students are responsible for the cost of entrance fees at all locations, as well as transportation to and from all locations.

Contact: Thomas Nail for questions.