DR432E Ethics, nature and society

PhD course: June 11-15, 2018
Application deadline: May 15, 2018
Level of qualification: PhD 
ECTS credits: 7,5
Study place: Bodø 
Responsible faculty: Business school/Nord university (HHN)
Course responsible: Ove Jakobsen
Student adviser: Grete Knudsen
Language of instruction: English.

Admission requirements:
Admitted to a PhD program or have the qualifications to be admitted to a PhD program.

Course evaluation:
The students take an active part in evaluation of the course. Through their elected representative they shall have an ongoing dialogue with the course coordinator and the study program coordinator. In addition a final evaluation, based on an electronic questionnaire, is carried out.

No tuition fees. Costs for semester registration and course literature apply.

Description of the course:
The course focus on some of the most important ethical challenges in the modern society, concerning sustainable business, individual and societal wellbeing and resilient ecosystems. Ethics is defined as the study of what is good or right for human beings, and what goals people ought to pursue and what actions they ought to perform. The course presents some of the most important principles of ethical theory relevant for practice on a general level. Ethics, nature and society is based on a transdisciplinary scientific understanding. 

  • General introduction to ethics
  • Eco-philosophy
  • Gaia hypothesis and principles of ecology
  • Economics, nature and culture
  • Mono-, multi, inter- and transdisciplinarity
  • Theories of human motivation – Individual vs. social rationality
  • Ecological economics
  • Environmental challenges
  • Trust in modern society
  • Positive Psychology and Happiness
  • Ethics and risk in modern society
  • Ethics for the Technological Age

After completing the course, students will have acquired

• The student has developed in-depth insights into how to contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methods, interpretations and documentation forms in the field of study
• The student is in the knowledge forefront of mastering the subject area of the course in describing and analyzing ethical issues relevant to their theoretical and practical field of study.
• The student have in-depth knowledge of sustainable development in a future perspective.
• The student has broadened understanding of his or her own research in a larger social and natural context

The student is able to relate critically and reflectively to different ethical perspectives and apply them to identify, analyze and implement practical solutions to ethical challenges related to the interaction between business, society and nature.
• The student can conduct surveys and elaborate ethically reflected solutions for sustainable social development.
• The student can handle complex academic questions and challenge established knowledge and practice in the field of study and are able to facilitate processes for good community solutions.

General competence:
• The student can identify new relevant ethical issues and exert their professional integrity in research.
• The student can participate actively in the debate about ethical challenges in society, business and nature and develop arguments on how business and public administration can contribute to change towards sustainable development.
• The student can contribute to new thinking and innovation with critically reflected knowledge of ethical issues that are relevant across cultures, societal sectors and disciplines.
• The student can find comprehensive solutions that integrate different disciplines and practices.

Teaching methods:
The course is organized in one 5 day- module, that includes lectures, discussions and student presentations. During the course, different forms of dialogue are practiced. Participation is mandatory.

The participants enrolled in a PhD program qualifying for 7.5 ECTS credits must write an individual essay (of up to 12 pages, 1,5 line spacing, wide left margin) on a topic chosen within the course framework. The deadline is 1 month after end of session. The essays are graded on the scale "Passed" - "Failed".

Rachels, James; 2003, The Elements of Moral Philosophy, McGrawHill; 4. edition (ca. 210 pages)

Taylor, Charles; 2003, The Ethics of Authenticity, Harward University Press; 11. printing (ca.130 pages)

Jonas, Hans; 1984, The Imperative of Responsibility – In search of ethics for the Technological Age, Chicago, The University of Chicago Press.

Readings (eds. Ove Jakobsen and Vivi M. L. Storsletten)

Deadline: May 15th, 2018