Nature, Technology, and Society
Philosophy 150, Ned Hettinger, Spring 2015

Syllabus

Schedule of Assignments

Midterm Study Questions

Explanation of Midterm Quiz Scores

Grading Scale Key

Paper Assignment and Topics

Suggestions for writing your philosophy paper

Evaluate this course here!

Why Major in Philosophy?
GRE scores by Major
Discussion of above
Philosophy a Practical Major?
Reasons to Major in Philosophy
Liberal Arts Grads Win Long-Term
About the CofC Philosophy Major
Fall Phil Courses

Environmental Studies
Minor
Masters

Env. Philosophy Programs in the West

Final Exam Study Questions

Explanation of quiz scores

Date
Reading Assignment
Class Notes
Miscellaneous
 
PART IV: CONSUMPTION, PROGRESS, SIMPLICITY, AND ECOLOGICAL DESIGN
shop am pict
Apr 23

Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For by Samuel Alexander (on Simple Living).

 David Orr, “The Designer’s Challenge” (commencement address at University of Pennsylvania)

Alexander, On Simple Living

Orr, Designer's Challenge

How Can We Create A Successful Economy without Continuous Economic Growth (talks by scholars at Center for Humans and Nature)

Four ways to live a simpler, happier life

Apr 21

Juliet Schor, “Clothes Encounters

Juliet Schor, “Tackling Turbo Consumption: An Interview with Juliet Schor

Schor, Clothes Encounters

Schor, Tackling Turbo Consumption

Greensumption: Green Consumerism the Answer? (video 5 min)

 
Apr 16

Jerome Segal, “Are We Simple Creatures?

Judith Litchenberg, “Consuming Because Others Consume"

Segal, Are We Simple Creatures?

Litchenberg, Consuming Because Others Consume

The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day

Better Life Index

The Story of Stuff (20 min video)

Growth Busters Trailer

Apr 14

Peter Wenz, “Personal Choices, Consumerism, and Human Nature

Wenz on Consumerism

Overpopulation, Overconsumption in Pictures

Sustainability Interns

Apr 9

George Monbiot, Materialism: a System that Eats us from the Inside Out

Video: Affluenza

Affluenza notes

Monbiot on Materialism

Notes and Questions on Affluenza

Drake "Successful"

Sustainability Week (April 6-11th)
APE Waste Audit (Tues, April 7) Sign Up
Raj Patel Sustinability Week Keynote Address
Wednesday, Apr 8, 5:30, Sottile Theater (44 George St)
(Double Free Quiz Opportunity)

April 7

PART III: NATURE TECHNOLOGIES: REHABILITATING “NATURE” IN “THE ANTHROPOCENE”

Dextinction

“Restitution, Restoration, and Reviving Extinct Species” by Christian Diehm

Diehm on De-Extinction

De-extinction ( 2 ½ min video)
Pro De-Extinction --Steward Brand (20 min video)
David Ehrenfeld, "Extinction reversal? Don't count on it" (9 Min video)

Extinct Species Should Stay Extinct by Ben Minteer (article and 15 min video)

Ron Sandler, The Ethics of Reviving Long Extinct Species

April 2

Rewilding

“Re-wilding North America” by Josh Donlan et al.

"Pleistocene Park: Does re-wilding North America represent sound conservation for the 21st century" by Rubenstein et al.

Donlan on Pleistocene Rewilding

Rubenstein against Pleistocene Rewilding

How Far Should We Go To Bring Back Species? (a defense of Pleistocene Rewilding) by Harry Greene (includes video)
March 31

George Monbiot, “Raucous Summer,” Chapter 1 of Feral
Hettinger, Review of Monbiot's Feral

Monbiot on Rewilding

Monbiot TED talk on Rewilding

Monbiot on Ecological Boredom

Mar 26

Geo-Engineeering

Buffering the Sun (about David Keith and Climate Engineering)

"Can Space Reflectors Save Us? Why we shouldn't buy into geoengineering fantasies" by Dale Jamieson

“Geoengineering and Environmental Ethics”
by Dane Scott

About Keith and Solar Climate Engineering

Jamieson on Geoengineering Fantasies

Scott on Geoengineering and Env. Ethics & Technology

Geo-Engineeering

Types of Geoengineering (Preston)

David Keith on Colbert Report (video)

David Keith TED talk on Climate Change and Geoengineering

David Keith, "Should we Engineer the Planet?"
(1:22 min video)

A Cheap and Easy Way to Plan To Stop Global Warming

"Climate Hacking is Barking Mad"

Why Geoengineering is "Untested and Untestable"

Steven Gardner, “Is Geoengineering the Lesser Evil?

"The Ethics of Geoengineering: Moral Considerability and the Convergence Hypothesis"
by Toby Svoboda

 

Mar 24

The Anthropocene 

No new reading. Make sure you read the paper below

 
"Indigenous Peoples’ Social Movements and the Fight for Climate Justice"
Wed, Mar 25, 7pm, Beaty 111
(Free quiz opportunity)

Friday, March 20, Paper proposal due, by email to hettingern@cofc.edu

March 19

Ned Hettinger, “Age of Man Environmentalism and Respect for an Independent Nature”

Hettinger AME Powerpoint in PDF

Study questions for Hettinger AME

AME PP
March 17

 

Chapter 1, Rambunctious Garden by Emma Marris

Enter the Anthropocene—Age of Man, National Geographic, 2011 by Elizabeth Kolbert

“Hope in the Age of Man” by Emma Marris, Peter Kareiva, Joseph Mascaro and Erle C. Ellis

 “We Are Planet Managers” by Emma Marris

“Neither Good Nor Bad” by Erle Ellis

Marris, Ch 1, Rambunctious Garden

Kolbert, Enter Anthropocene

Marris et al., Hope in Age of Man

Marris, Planet Managers

Ellis, Neither Good nor Bad

http://www.asla.org/uploadedImages/CMS/Business_Quarterly/marris_interviewpage.jpg
Emma Marris

 Erle Elis, The Anthropocene: A Man-Made World (video)

Saving Wild Places in the Anthropocene (Science Friday audio with Bill Cronon)

Summary of the Geological Debate on the Anthropocene

  
Mar 12

Restoration

William Jordan, "'Sunflower Forest': Ecological Restoration as the Basis for a New Environmental Paradigm”

Hettinger on Nature Restoration as a Paradigm of the Human Nature Relation

Study Questions On Hettinger on Restoraton

Jordan's Sunflower Forest

Music, Place, Identity in the Mountain Top Removal Debate (discussion by Abby Tennenbaum), Fri, 3/13, 14 Glebe, 3:15
(Free quiz opportunity)

Ned Hettinger, “Nature Restoration as a Paradigm for the Human Relationship with Nature (In class powerpoint presentation of above Hettinger paper)

Mar 10
Eric Katz, “The Big Lie
Katz's, The Big Lie

Aldo Leopold on Technology

Spending time in nature leads to sustainable behavior

Critique of Offshore Drilling SC coast

Coastal Conservation League website

Feb 26

Midterm Exam
Study Questions for Exam

 

Bostrom, Why I Want To Be A PostHuman

Feb 24

PART II: SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGIES: INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY

Agricultural Biotechnology

The Debate over Genetically Modified Organisms
Monsanto vs Vandana Shiva (audio and transcript)

Visit by Carmen Ketron on the Student Garden at Dixie

GMO Issues and Monsanto/Shiva debate

Ag Biotech and The Debate over Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Plant Breeders Release First 'Open Source Seeds' (NPR audio)
Seed Freedom
Farmer's Fight with Monsanto Reaches The Supreme Court
Supreme Court Supports Monsanto's Soybean Patent

Genetically Altered Salmon ("Frankenfish?") are Safe Says FDA
Will Anyone Buy GMO Salmon?

Against GMO Patents

Will Frankenfood Save the Planet?

Comstock, "Ethics and Genetically Modified Foods"

Feb 19

Barbara Kingsolver, “A Fist in the Eye of God

Kingsolver on Ag Biotech

About Barbara Kingsolver

Label GMO Disco Video by Dana Lyons
GMO Labelling

Union of Concerned Scientists on Agricultural Biotechnology

Feb 17

Information Technology

David Ehrenfeld, “Pseudocommunities

Ehrenfeld, Pseudocommunities

Ideas from News Stories about Information Technology

Information Technology

The Perils of Perfection

Your Brain on Computers
Is Google Making Us Stupid?
University Declares Week w/o Social Media
Social Media Ban Experiment Reveals Facebook, Twitter Users Display Signs of Addiction

Decline of Community Involvement: Review of Bowling Alone
So Much For Bowling Alone: Research Says Internet Users Are Socially Engaged

Table of Contents of "Community in a Digital Age" (book on reserve at library)
Review of Community in the Digital Age - Philosophy and Practice

On the "Technological Singularity"

Positive Psychology and Sustainability
Wednesday Feb 18, 12-1, Stern Center Ballroom
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Can Facebook be Authentic?
Rebecca Stanley's Philosophy Bachelor's Essay
Friday, Apr 17, 2pm, Ed. Ctr 111
Free Quiz Opportunity

Feb 12

PART I: PHILOSOPHY OF TECHNOLOGY

Support for Technology

Bruno Latour, “Love your Monsters: Why We Must Care for Our Technologies As We Do Our Children”

Latour, Love Your Monsters

Latour Chart

Shellenberger and Nordhaus on Loving Your Monsters and Postenvironmentalism (synopsis)

Technology Friendly Environmentalism (Colbert)

Pandora's Promise (pro-nuclear power film)

DamNation Trailer

Hydropower for Me But Not for Thee: Why Poor Nations Deserve the Large Dams From Which the West Has Benefited

Feb 10

 

Samuel Florman, “In Praise of Technology

Florman, In Praise of Technology

Florman, "Small Is Dubious"
Florman's books on Amazon

“Technology and the Wilderness Experience"

Lockheed-Martin's Technological Enthusiasm

Replacement of Natural Words in Junior Dictionary

Class Attendance and Grades

Feb 5
 

Luddism Examined

Dan Lyons, "Are Luddites Confused?"

Lyons, Are Luddites Confused?

 

Nature Spirituality, Ecotopia, and Applied Ecovillage Living,
2015 Summer course

Office of Sustainability opportunities

Feb 3
David Skrbina, “Introduction to Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J Kaczynski a.k.a. The Unabomber

Skrbina Intro to Kaczynski's Tech Slavery

Mismatch argument discussion

kaczynski
CofC Library e-copy of Kaczynski's entire book

Food Sovereignty by Peter Bane
Wed, Feb 4, 6pm, Ed Ctr 116
(Free Quiz Opportunity)

Jan 29

 

Richard Heinberg, The Primitivist Critique of Civilization

Paul Kingsnorth on "Dark Ecology"

Heinberg's Primitivist Critique of Civilization

Kingsnorth's Dark Ecology

Paul Kingsnorth on "Uncivilization" (2 minute video)
Paul Kingsnorth, "Time to stop pretending" (9 minute video)
Another essay by Kingsnorth
"Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist"

About Richard Heinberg

Is it arrogant to think Man can change climate?
Great audio on Nanotechnology

Jan 27

Wendell Berry, “Why I’m Not Going to Buy a ComputerHarpers 1987

Wendell Berry, “Feminism, the Body, and the Machine” 2002

 

Berry on Why Not Buy Computer

Berry on Feminism, Body, and Machine

Douglas Hofstadter
“Do Machines Understand? Could Machines Ever Understand?”
The Citadel, Duckett Hall Auditorium, Tuesday, Jan 27,7:00pm
Description of the talk
(
Free Quiz Opportunity)

Wendell Berry, American Hero
Wendell Berry Takes Back His Papers
Bill Moyers interview with Wendell Berry (video)

Matthew Crawford “The Case for Working With Your Hands”
Review of Crawford’s Shop Class as Soul Craft

Sustainable Agriculture Certificate in Charleston
Student Farm and Garden at CofC
Tues, Jan 27, 5:30 pm, rm 253, Science and Math Bldg

Jan 22:

Primitivism

Paul Shepard, Preface to The Only World We’ve Got (Sierra Club Books, 1996; Paul Shepard, Copyright 1996), pp. ix-xx

Jared Diamond, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race," Discover (May 1987)

Shepard on Coming Home to the Pleistocene

Diamond on Worst Mistake

Photo and Bio-Essay on Paul Shepard

About Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond on "Why Societies Collapse" (video)

Appropriate Technology?
U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit
Animal Welfare at Risk in Experiments for Meat Industry

Progress? Richest 1% have more wealth than everyone else combined

NOAA on Global Temperatures in 2014

Jan 20
 
Theodore Roszak, “Foreword: In Defense of the Living Earth,” pp. vii-xi from Stephanie Mills, ed., Turning Away from Technology
Roszak on Defense of Living Earth (and Luddism)

Richard Conniff, What the Luddites Really Fought Against
Some quotes

About Luddism

About Roszak

Who Killed Electric Car (in library)

Technology Created Unemployment
(Discussion of whether today technology causes unemployment or creates jobs)

 

Teen fatally stabbed victim, 17, over Snapchat message

Jan 15
Langdon Winner, “Technology as Forms of Life
Winner, Techs as Forms of Life

About Langdon Winner
Book review of Winner's The Whale and the Reactor
Contents of Whale and Reactor

CofC PhilosoFest this weekend

Jan 13

Introduction

78 Reasonable Questions to Ask about Any Technology

 

 

Introduction

Sandler, Introduction to Ethics and Emerging Technologies

 

The 50 Greatest Inventions since the Wheel
(Fallows, The Atlantic, November 2013)

It’s complicated: Human ingenuity has created a world that the mind cannot master. Have we finally reached our limits?
by Samuel Arbesman (Aeon)

A Stroll Around the World (and Car Brain)
"Cars keep roaring into my awareness. They are inescapable. They are without a doubt the defining artifacts of our civilization. They have reshaped our minds in ways that we long ago ceased thinking about."

Alternative Rush Hour (video)

     

Some Env Problems
Trash on Bahamas Beach
Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction

Mass Animal Deaths on the Rise Worldwide
On the effects of Climate Change on Coral Reefs
An Environmental Effect of Large Animal Feedlots

Concerns Rise Over Pesticide Use, Birds, and Bees (audio)
Overpopulation, Overconsumption in Pictures

Science and Public Disagree

       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
     

Primitivism

The Primitivist Critique of Civilization
by Richard Heinberg

Paul Kingsworth on "Uncivilization" (2 min video)

Paul Kingsworth on "Dark Ecology"

       
     

Luddism

Introduction to Technological Slavery: The Collected Writings of Theodore J Kaczynski aka The Unabomber by David Skrbina
(Whole book available from Library on line)

Richard Conniff, “What the Luddites Really Fought Against” Smithsonian.com

     

 

Pro Technology Philosophies

Shellenberger and Nordhaus on Loving Your Monsters and Postenvironmentalism (synopsis)

Bruno Latour, “Love your Monsters: Why We Must Care for Our Technologies As We Do Our Children,” Breakthrough, 2012" (article)

Technology Friendly Environmentalism (Colbert)

Pandora's Promise (pro-nuclear power film)

DamNation Trailer

Hydropower for Me But Not for Thee: Why Poor Nations Deserve the Large Dams From Which the West Has Benefited

 

   

 

     

 

     

 

 

     

The Anthropocene

Erle Ellis, The Anthropocene: A Man-Made World (video)

Enter the Anthropocene—Age of Man, National Geographic, 2011

Saving Wild Places in the Anthropocene
(Science Friday audio with Bill Cronon)

"Hope in the Age of Man" by Marris et al.

“We Are Planet Managers” by Emma Marris

“Neither Good Nor Bad” by Erle Ellis

     
“Climate Change and Ecosystem Management” by Ronald L. Sandler
     

Rewilding

George Monbiot on Rewilding (TED Talk)

Monbiot on Ecological Boredom

Re-wilding North America” by Josh Donlan et al.

Harry Greene, How Far Should We Go To Bring Back Species? (a defense of Pleistocene Rewilding) (includes video)

"Pleistocene Park: Does re-wilding North America represent sound conservation for the 21st century" by Rubenstein et al.

     

De-extinction

Podcast: Bringing Extinct Species Back to Life

TED talks on De-extinction: Stewart Brand and David Ehrenfeld

Ron Sandler, The Ethics of Reviving Long Extinct Species

Ben A. Minteer, “The Perils of De-extinction” See video "Extinct Species Should Stay Extinct"

 

 

     

CONSUMPTION, PROGRESS, AND SIMPLICITY

 

Drake "Successful"

     
Raj Patel on the Value of Nothing
     
Workshop on Capitalism & Sustainability
     
The Science Of Simplicity: Why Successful People Wear The Same Thing Every Day
     
Better Life Index
     
Samuel Alexander, ed., Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future
     

Materialism: a System that Eats us from the Inside Out by George Monbiot

     

Deconstructing the Shed: Where I Live and What I Live For
by Samuel Alexander (on Simple Living)

     
Greensumption: Green Consumerism the Answer? (video 5 min)
     
How Can We Create A Successful Economy without Continuous Economic Growth (talks by scholars at Center for Humans and Nature)
     
David Shi, The Simple Life
Thomas Power, The Pursuit of Quality: A Non-Material Perspective on the Economy
     
Four ways to live a simpler, happier life