Skip to main content
Unit of study_

PHIL3640: Nature and Crisis

2024 unit information

While the environmental crisis is a physical crisis--a crisis of extinction, biodiversity, pollution, and climate change--it is also a crisis of reason, challenging our usual ways of thinking about human and non-human life and demanding significant changes in the ways we think, act and behave. This unit aims to investigate the origins of the environmental crisis and develop alternative models of thinking and acting. We will also examine key philosophical and ecological concepts (e.g., nature, culture, society, responsibility, biodiversity, sustainability), explore the possibility of an ethics beyond the human, and consider new conceptions of agency, responsibility and multi-species justice.

Unit details and rules

Managing faculty or University school:


Code PHIL3640
Academic unit Philosophy
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 2000 level in Philosophy

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. Understanding of the philosophical and cultural sources of the environmental crisis
  • LO2. Insight into the way in which nature has been historically conceived and is currently understood
  • LO3. Understanding of current debates with environmental ethics and politics
  • LO4. Interrogation of crucial moral ideas within the environmental sphere, including responsibility, obligation, justice, and representation
  • LO5. Exploration of the ways in which environmental justice can be achieved and what is involved in achieving justice
  • LO6. Analysis of ideas and philosophical arguments
  • LO7. Careful reading of philosophical text
  • LO8. Presentation of ideas in a clear and coherent manner
  • LO9. Development of an argument with clear justification

Unit availability

This section lists the session, attendance modes and locations the unit is available in. There is a unit outline for each of the unit availabilities, which gives you information about the unit including assessment details and a schedule of weekly activities.

The outline is published 2 weeks before the first day of teaching. You can look at previous outlines for a guide to the details of a unit.

Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2023
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2024
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Outline unavailable
Session MoA ?  Location Outline ? 
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Semester 2 2021
Normal day Remote

Modes of attendance (MoA)

This refers to the Mode of attendance (MoA) for the unit as it appears when you’re selecting your units in Sydney Student. Find more information about modes of attendance on our website.