Introduction to Ethics and Environmental Citizenship
Cod: 21069
Department: DCET
Scientific area: Environmental Science and Technology
Total working hours: 156
Total contact time: 26

This course unit introduces different thought trends in environmental ethics. It reflects on how these different opinions can serve as a basis for an active and informed citizenship that is responsible toward the environment.

  1. Trends of Environmental Ethics
  2. Responsible Environmental Citizenship

1. Acquire different thought trends in environmental ethics;
2. Integrate information from different thought trends in order to help making complex environmental decisions;
3. Understand the contribution different people have given to controversial environmental issues;
4. Promote a more active and responsible environmental citizenship.

On the whole all environmental controversies involve ethical dilemmas. For example, how can we choose between the need for development and the preservation of natural areas? Should we be prepared to sacrifice some of our daily comforts to allow environmental protection in the future? How should we develop a fair system of greenhouse gas control?
This course unit promotes the debate of moral and ethical principles involving resolutions on environmental controversies and conflicts. It also aims at developing an active and informed citizenship, interested in the implementation of sustainability and responsible towards the environment.
The course begins with concepts inherent in this course: the intrinsic value and future generations.
 In an second part by introducing different thought streams on environmental ethics – anthropocentrism, utilitarianism, environmental pragmatism, ethic of virtues in environment, animals not human, biocentrism, land ethic, deep ecology and ecofeminism. Thirth, it will focus on the issues inherent to environmental citizenship, in particular the knowledge of environmental issues and their applicability for environmentally responsible actions.

Handbook by Universidade Aberta of environmental ethic (nr. 311), Sofia Guedes Vaz and Ângela Delfino.
Study materials to de displayed online at the e-learning platform.


Continuous assessment is privileged: 2 digital written documents (e-folios) during the semester (40%) and a final digital test, Global e-folio (e-folio G) at the end of the semester (60%). In due time, students can alternatively choose to perform one final exam (100%).

Some readings may be in English.