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Socrates Goes to the Woods

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dc.creator Millenbah, Kelly
dc.creator Nelson, Michael
dc.date.accessioned 2008-03-17T20:04:45Z
dc.date.available 2008-03-17T20:04:45Z
dc.date.issued 2008-03-17T20:04:45Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1957/8116
dc.description.abstract In 2005, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (FW) at Michigan State University engaged in intensive curriculum discussion. The result of this discussion was a radical revision of the FW curriculum to explicitly include philosophy and ethics. Additionally, we felt that a token representation of philosophy and ethics (some courses taught by other departments, some courses taught by us on those topics) was insufficient and would not represent the department’s full and proper commitment to this pedagogical and professional decision. We had a number of reasons for this inclusion of philosophy and ethics. First, given the increasing call for policy rooted in “sound science,” natural resource professionals are now viewed as intricate to the policy process. Hence, environmental professionalism now includes proficiency in the human dimensions of natural resources. However, given that policy decisions are inescapably normative or ethical decisions, social science alone is insufficient to fully address natural resource policy. Coupled with this increased place of privilege on the part of natural resource professional comes a corresponding increased responsibility expected by the public: the responsibility to fully and clearly articulate and justify natural resource research and policy input. Moreover, with this increased public scrutiny comes an increased expectation to engage in ethical research. Finally, the inclusion of philosophy and ethics came out as necessary and valued by our stakeholders. We were so committed to this idea that we also we hired a professional environmental philosopher/ethicist as a regular member of our department. These moves, however, did not come without serious challenges. Finding an environmental philosopher willing and able to join the department was one. Internal resistance from faculty and students – concerns about the centrality and the necessity of philosophy and ethics, as opposed to more science or some other area of the humanities – was the other. We are now beginning discussions about the future of an even more robust incorporation of philosophy and ethics into our FW curriculum. Some ideas include adding an environmental ethics seminar series and future collaborations on research and grants between traditional fisheries and wildlife faculty and new philosophy and ethics faculty. en
dc.format.extent 3101184 bytes
dc.format.mimetype application/vnd.ms-powerpoint
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.subject environmental ethics en
dc.subject philosophy en
dc.subject curriculum en
dc.title Socrates Goes to the Woods en
dc.type Presentation en


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