From 2 November 2020, the autumn semester 2020 will take place online. Exceptions: Courses that can only be carried out with on-site presence. Please note the information provided by the lecturers via e-mail.

Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Name Prof. Dr. Gertrude Hirsch Hadorn
Address
Institut für Umweltentscheidungen
ETH Zürich, CHN H 73.2
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Telephone+41 44 632 58 93
Fax+41 44 261 00 57
E-mailhirsch@retired.ethz.ch
URLhttp://www.envphil.ethz.ch
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipRetired Adjunct Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
701-0019-00LReadings in Environmental Thinking Information 3 credits2SJ. Ghazoul, G. Hirsch Hadorn, A. Patt
AbstractThis course introduces students to foundational texts that led to the emergence of the environment as a subject of scientific importance, and shaped its relevance to society. Above all, the course seeks to give confidence and raise enthusiasm among students to read more widely around the broad subject of environmental sciences and management both during the course and beyond.
ObjectiveThe course will provide students with opportunities to read, discuss, evaluate and interpret key texts that have shaped the environmental movement and, more specifically, the environmental sciences. Students will gain familiarity with the foundational texts, but also understand the historical context within which their academic and future professional work is based. More directly, the course will encourage debate and discussion of each text that is studied, from both the original context as well as the modern context. In so doing students will be forced to consider and justify the current societal relevance of their work.
ContentThe course will be run as a ‘book reading club’. The first session will provide a short introduction as to how to explore a particular text (that is not a scientific paper) to identify the key points for discussion.

Thereafter, in each week a text (typically a chapter from a book or a paper) considered to be seminal or foundational will be assigned by a course lecturer. The lecturer will introduce the selected text with a brief background of the historical and cultural context in which it was written, with some additional biographical information about the author. He/she will also briefly explain the justification for selecting the particular text.

The students will read the text, with two to four students (depending on class size) being assigned to present it at the next session. Presentation of the text requires the students to prepare by, for example:
• identifying the key points made within the text
• identifying issues of particular personal interest and resonance
• considering the impact of the text at the time of publication, and its importance now
• evaluating the text from the perspective of our current societal and environmental position

Such preparation would be supported by a mid-week ‘tutorial’ discussion (about 1 hour) with the assigning lecturer.

These students will then present the text (for about 15 minutes) to the rest of the class during the scheduled class session, with the lecturer facilitating the subsequent class discussion (about 45 minutes). Towards the end of the session the presenting students will summarise the emerging points (5 minutes) and the lecturer will finish with a brief discussion of how valuable and interesting the text was (10 minutes). In the remaining 15 minutes the next text will be presented by the assigning lecturer for the following week.
LiteratureThe specific texts selected for discussion will vary, but examples include:
Leopold (1949) A Sand County Almanach
Carson (1962) Silent Spring
Egli, E. (1970) Natur in Not. Gefahren der Zivilisationslandschaft
Lovelock (1979) Gaia: A new look at life on Earth
Naess (1973) The Shallow and the Deep.
Roderick F. Nash (1989) The Rights of Nature
Jared Diamond (2005) Collapse
Robert Macfarlane (2007) The Wild Places

Discussions might also encompass films or other forms of media and communication about nature.
701-0701-00LPhilosophy of Science3 credits2VG. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe lecture explores various strands in philosophy of science in a critical way, focusing on the notion of rationality in science, especially with regards to environmental research. It addresses the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents learn to engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences, thus developing their skills in critical thinking about science and its use. They know the most important positions in philosophy of science and the objections they face. They can identify, structure and discuss issues raised by the use of science in society.
Content1. Core differences between classical Greek and modern conceptions of science.
2. Classic positions in the philosophy of science in the 20th century: logical empiricism and critical rationalism (Popper); the analysis of scientific concepts and explanations.
3. Objections to logical empiricism and critical rationalism, and further developments: What is the difference between the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts and humanities? What is progress in science (Kuhn, Fleck, Feyerabend)? Is scientific knowledge relativistic? What is the role of experiments and computer simulations?
4. Issues raised by the use of science in society: The relation between basic and applied research; inter- and transdisciplinarity; ethics and accountability of science.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of introductory literature and handbooks will be distributed to the students.
Prerequisites / NoticeOral examination during the session examination.
Further optional exercises accompany the lecture and offer the opportunity for an in-depth discussion of selected texts from the reader. Students receive an additional credit point. They have to sign up separately for the exercises for the course 701-0701-01 U.
701-0701-01LPhilosophy of Science: Exercises1 credit1UG. Hirsch Hadorn, C. J. Baumberger
AbstractThe exercises in philosophy of science serve to develop skills in critical thinking by discussing seminal texts about the rationality of science. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
ObjectiveStudents can engage with problems in the philosophy of science and to relate them to natural and environmental sciences. They learn to analyze and summarize philosophical texts. In this way, they develop their skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science.
ContentThe optional exercises accompany the lecture and serve to develop skills in critical thinking with a focus on the rationality of science, based on discussing seminal texts. The texts cover important positions in the philosophy of science and their critics. Topics discussed include the significance and limits of empirical, mathematical and logical methods, as well as problems and ethical issues raised by the use of science in society.
Lecture notesA reader will be available for students.
LiteratureA list of literature will be distributed to the students together with the reader.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents that want to subscribe for this course also have to subscribe for the lecture 701-0701-00 V "Wissenschaftsphilosophie". Credit points are given for preparing a structure and a summary of one of the texts.