Introduction to Environmental Ethics and Sustainability

Learn the philosophical underpinnings to environmental theory and ethics, and how to begin to live sustainably.
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (7 ratings)
391 students
55min of on-demand video
English [Auto]

The basics of environmental ethics
The basics of sustainability
Background philosophical ideas relating to nature and the environment
How to help save ourselves


  • Just an interest in environmental theory and action


This course provides the philosophical underpinnings to environmental theory and ethics, and helps you how to begin to think, live and act more sustainably. This is a global issue, and especially urgent in the West, as our hypercapitalist societies, as well as their economic and political systems, condition us from very early ages to consume way more than is good for us. We are reaching a watershed moment where if we do not begin to live more sustainably en masse, then we as a species will suffer even more, and might even perish in the not-too-distant future.

The planet's climate is fast approaching irreversible tipping points and although the science is clear, serious uptake is still grossly floundering, and many groups and institutions are still actively stalling or even against, and are thereby making a dire situation even worse. This free and relatively brief course gives you some initial inroads into how to be part of the solution, and not the problem. Your journey in environmental ethics and sustainability starts here! Enjoy and prosper!

There are 5 relatively short and sharp lectures to this course, with recommended readings and a quiz after each one.

1. Introduction

2. Philosophy and Ethics

3. Environmental Ethics

4. Sustainability

5. An Environmental Ethics of Minimalism

Who this course is for:

  • Anyone interested in environmental theory and action!


Researcher and Teacher in Philosophy
Dr Daniel O'Shiel
  • 4.4 Instructor Rating
  • 207 Reviews
  • 1,427 Students
  • 5 Courses

Hello! Originally Irish, I am a postdoctoral researcher and teacher in philosophy. My philosophy education was primarily at the Husserl Archives at KU Leuven in Belgium, where I obtained my PhD in 2016. I have a diverse range of philosophical interests, with expertise in phenomenology and existentialism, but also projects and publications more generally in philosophical anthropology and psychology, philosophy of technology and social philosophy, as well as environmental philosophy and ethics. After 10 years researching and teaching in academia, I now work in the environmental sector.

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