Subject description for 2021/2022

Ecological and Interspecies Ethics


Course description

Course content: Science and Technology and Ecocrisis, Anthropocentrism vs Ecocentrism, Green knowledge - a long revolution, Human needs - alternatives and sustainability, Ethics and climate change, Intergenerational moral obligations, Policies responses and responsible individuals, Species boundaries in a world of diversity, Food - philosophy of agriculture and aquaculture, Interspecies rivalry - animals in wilderness and captivity, Animal's capacities and moral status, Experimenting with animals, Capitalizing on animals - Biotechnology and Biopower, Animal welfare

Four-day block session: week 48, 2017


The applicants to this course should be enrolled as a PhD student at Nord University or other Universities/Colleges in Norway or abroad. The normal registration to this course ends by September 15 during the semester/year the course is being conducted.


No tuition fee. Students may have to pay up to NOK 750 for study materials and for one dinner arranged during the course.
External students will have to arrange their own travel and accommodation.

Additional information will be provided to registered students, prior to the commencement of the course.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes

The student will:

- be aware of the ecological challenges brought on by industrial and technological advances
- realize the importance of addressing environmental and climate-related issues
- understand moral, social and political responsibilities when tackling challenges facing mankind
- be familiar with sustainability issues related to generating human food
- be mindful of respecting the value of animal life
- be cognizant of the rapid advances in biotechnology which may sometimes lead to unfamiliar ethical issues
- be able to duly recognize animal welfare issues

The student should:

- be able to recognize the issues that threaten the fragile ecosystems
- know how to promote sustainable development in all spheres of human activity
- be capable of making morally and ethically acceptable decisions related to environment, and coexistence of other species
- be able to foresee the advantages of utilizing the advances in science and technology within ethically acceptable boundaries

General competence
The student should:

- be aware of moral and ethical consequences of his or her actions
- be able to reason and reflect in order to make sound decisions that are scientifically and sociologically sound
- have the inspiration and conviction to lead, adhering to morally and ethically acceptable choices

Course type

Compulsory: PhD Aquatic Biosciences

Mode of delivery

Lectures and discussion

Teaching activities and methods

Lectures, lab exercises, individual presentations, and feedback.

Assessment methods and criteria:
Course involvement, Individual oral presentation during the course and written report. Pass/not pass. Active involvement in course-related activities prior to during the period will be assessed.

The individual oral presentation on a selected topic and the report based on it, which has to be submitted within a fortnight following the course, will primarily be used for assessing a candidate.

Recommended prior knowledge

General awareness on ethical principles, environmental issues and animal welfare concerns. The students would be provided introductory reading materials ahead of the course, in order to make them familiar with the topics to be dealt with during the course.

Course evaluation

Constant dialogue with students during the lecture modules arranged in Bodø. Evaluation questionnaire to be provided to the students at the end of the course

Assessment and examinations

Portfolio assessment, grading scale Passed - Failed

Course literature

The reading list can be found in Leganto
Course coordinator
Start semester Autumn 2021
Teaching language English ECTS Credits 5 Course location Bodø Faculty
Faculty of Biosciences and Aquaculture