Applying Theory: Environmental Issues
Your goal for this assignment is to apply an ethical theory to a real-world situation. You will examine an environmental issue and apply one of the ethical theories to understand how human interactions with the natural environment raise ethical concerns. You will do this by preparing and posting a PowerPoint slideshow consisting of 12 slides and a separate section under each slide for notes.
- Choose one of the following topics/issues and read about it at the indicated place:
- Environmental justice/environmental racism (Article: Environmental Justice for All)
- Environmental harm/pollution of air and water (Chapter 8 in the textbook)
- Waste reduction (Chapter 8 in the textbook)
- Select one philosophical theory (utilitarianism, deontology, or virtue ethics). Consider the following questions pertaining to the theory you have selected:
- What does the theory tell us about how things operate in the real world?
- What is the focus of the theory? That is, what aspects of everyday life (or what questions) does the theory address?
The focus (or questions) helps you think about the topical boundaries of the theory. This course is about ethics and social responsibility, so you should concentrate on the ethical and moral aspects of the theory and of the topic you are analyzing. It may help to think in terms of different realms or institutions. Does the theory help to explain people’s behavior from a political, economic, religious, or ethical perspective? Try to sort through everything that does not represent an ethical question, and address only the ethical issues.
- How does the theory simplify complex issues to make them more understandable? Another way to think about this is to consider the elements or concepts that make up the theory. Identify the concepts and how they are related to each other.
- Develop one thesis question that applies your philosophical theory to your environmental issue. You will address this question in developing an argument that links the theory to the issue (through your notes and pictures), so make sure you word your question carefully to accomplish this task. Indicate this thesis question on your second slide (the one after the title slide).
- Next, develop an ethical argument that addresses your question. Use the text and/or look for academic sources to support your position. Build your argument by writing nine sentences. Each sentence should make one important point about the ethical aspects of the environmental issue you are analyzing and should be placed on one slide each.
- Underneath each slide you will also add presentation notes. The notes are written information that you would normally say or share with an audience during a presentation, but that they do not actually see on the slide. Your notes should also make use of at least two academic sources and elaborate on the image and sentence in each slide.
- To add notes to your slide, go the section at the bottom of each slide in Power Point and click on the option that says “Click to add notes.” Type your notes into that section.
- Make sure your presentation focuses on ethical arguments and avoids personal opinion, arguments based on politics, economics, religion, or topics other than ethics.
- Find a photo to illustrate each slide, and post the photo on the slide above the sentence. Search the Internet for photos that are appropriate. Make sure the photos you use are not copyright protected; you should only use photos that are in the public domain. Also, make sure you cite the sources from which you retrieved your photos directly underneath the photo on each slide.
The slideshow should be 12 slides long; one slide for title page, one for the thesis question, nine slides for your arguments (i.e., main sentences) and notes, and one slide for your references. You should use at least two academic sources other than the textbook as references. All citations and references must be in the APA format as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center. This assignment must be submitted as a PowerPoint presentation. Other formats (i.e., PDF files, Word documents, etc.) are not acceptable. If you are unfamiliar with how to use PowerPoint, see: Basic tasks in PowerPoint 2010.