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Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - PHI6680

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Current Status: -
Campus: Tampa
Submission Type: New
Course Change Information (for course changes only):

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    5351 2016-01-01
    Department College Budget Account Number
    Philosophy AS 0000001251
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Martin Schonfeld 45698

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    PHI 6680 Climate Change and Civil Evolution

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? Y
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable? Y
    If repeatable, how many times? 1

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    3 C - Class Lecture (Primarily) R - Regular
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Climate Evolution
    Course Online? Percentage Online
    C - Face-to-face (0% online) 0





    Course Description

    Mitigating climate change and transitioning to sustainability require a civil evolution to a postcarbon ecological economy. The course charts cultural and structural aspects of viable evolutionary pathways.

    No registration restrictions

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    Needed for new program/concentration/certificate

    B. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service?

    Success in the mitigation of climate change and the management of environmental systems requires a global transition to sustainable societies. While this evolutionary transition is still of marginal interest in US policy, it is of key importance to the political leadership in Europe and China. A seminar in Climate Change & Civil Evolution serves the USF 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, especially USF's mission "to generate knowledge, foster intellectual development, and ensure student success in a global environment". On a graduate level, it supplements USF's Global Citizens Project by enhancing students' global competencies. For the College of Arts and Sciences, the seminar serves the doctoral program in the Philosophy Department. For the Patel College of Global Sustainability, it serves the MA Concentration in Sustainability and Climate Change.

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?

    Yes, 2 times

    D. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.)

    PhD and qualifications in the social/cultural dimensions of the climate crisis

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    1. Exploring evolutionary pathways from climate change to sustainability

    2. Identifying socio-economic roadblocks

    3. Identifying cultural obstacles

    4. Examining solutions for achieving mitigation and sustainability

    B. Learning Outcomes

    1. Ability to integrate environmental concepts (e.g. great acceleration, ecological overshoot) in the global context of civilization maladaptation; familiarity with climate research venues (e.g. AR5 vol. 1-3 2013/14); and understanding of the evolutionary fork (e.g. IPCC Emissions Scenarios Representative Concentration Pathways; Paris COP21 2015 consensus)

    2. Knowledge of socio-economic roadblocks (e.g. failing governance, regulatory capture); familiarity with the critique of the political economy (e.g. climate change as market failure); and understanding of structural obstacles (e.g. economic growth)

    3. Knowledge of cultural impediments (e.g. the American Disenlightenment); familiarity with cognitive, religious, and material reasons for science denial; and comprehension of the civilization maladaptation (e.g. planetary boundary crossings)

    4. Knowledge of global innovations preparing the evolutionary transition (e.g. Energiewende and decarbonization in Europe; high-speed mass & freight transit in China; resource re-nationalizations in Latin America); understanding of the cultural paradigm shift (e.g. science becoming normative, ethics becoming future-oriented); and comprehension of metrics of civil evolution (e.g. human development index, happy planet index, genuine progress indicator)

    C. Major Topics

    1. The great acceleration, ecological overshoot, the 2C guardrail, and planetary boundaries

    2. The clash of growth-based capitalism with climate stability and Earth systems parameters

    3. The cognitive blind spot of climate change in US cultural geography; the pathology of narcissism in consumer societies; corporate corruption, contempt for science, and economic ideology of US conservatives

    4. Climate philosophy and ecological economics; sustainable alternatives to the American Disenlightenment; the methodological shift in the environmental sciences (e.g. from analysis to synthesis, and from diagnosis to prescription); the cognitive shift in sustainability and climate studies to a systems dynamics perspective

    D. Textbooks

    1. B. J. M. de Vries _Sustainability Science_ Cambridge 2013 (selections)

    2. IPCC _Climate Change 2014_, vol. 2: WG II _Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability_ (selections) and vol. 3: WG III _Mitigation of Climate Change_ UN IPCC 2013 and Cambridge 2014 (selections)

    3. World Watch Institute _State of the World 2015: Confronting Hidden Threats to Sustainability_ Island Press 2015

    4. J Garvey _The Ethics of Climate Change: Right and Wrong in a Warming World_ Routledge 2008

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    Required and recommended course readings will be selected chapters from textbooks (see AD.1-4) as well as various other selections, such as:

    M Schonfeld, "American disenlightenment, or climate change made in USA," in Williston, ed. _Environmental Ethics for Canadians_ Oxford 2016

    M Schonfeld, "Future-oriented philosophy," in Moeller/Whitehead, ed. _Wisdom and Philosophy East and West," Bloomsbury 2016

    M Schonfeld, "Confucius, maladaptation, and civil evolution," J for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 10 (2016) in press

    M Schonfeld, "Laozi and the new green paradigm," J of Daoist Studies 7 (2014): 65-93

    M Schonfeld, "A Sino-German way to civil evolution," J of Chinese Phil 29 (2012): 50-67

    F. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy

    1 exam (25%), 1 presentation (25%), and 1 paper (50%)

    G. Assignments, Exams and Tests

    1 exam: essay-questions and multiple choice, review of the empirical and conceptual material of the course at midterm

    1 presentation: 2-5 page paper on topic chosen by student as seminar research focus, to be presented in class after midterm, with class discussion

    1 paper: 12-20 page research paper due by final exam date

    H. Attendance Policy

    Course Attendance at First Class Meeting Policy for Graduate Students: For structured courses, 6000 and above, the College/Campus Dean will set the first-day class attendance requirement. Check with the College for specific information. This policy is not applicable to courses in the following categories: Educational Outreach, Open University (TV), FEEDS Program, Community Experiential Learning (CEL), Cooperative Education Training, and courses that do not have regularly scheduled meeting days/times (such as, directed reading/research or study, individual research, thesis, dissertation, internship, practica, etc.). Students are responsible for dropping undesired courses in these categories by the 5th day of classes to avoid fee liability and academic penalty. (See USF Regulation Registration - 4.0101,

    Attendance Policy for the Observance of Religious Days by Students: In accordance with Sections 1006.53 and 1001.74(10)(g) Florida Statutes and Board of Governors Regulation 6C-6.0115, the University of South Florida (University/USF) has established the following policy regarding religious observances: (

    In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include but are not limited to: Blackboard, Elluminate, Skype, and email messaging and/or an alternate schedule. Its the responsibility of the student to monitor Blackboard site for each class for course specific communication, and the main USF, College, and department websites, emails, and MoBull messages for important general information.

    I. Policy on Make-up Work

    Students whose turned in work has failed to meet university policy on academic integrity are not entitled to make-up work.

    Students who communicate to the instructor in due time that they cannot complete assignments due to illness or other serious personal reasons are entitled to make-up work and/or an incomplete with deadlines arranged on a case-by case basis.

    J. Program This Course Supports

    MA in Global Sustainability: Concentration in Sustainability and Climate Change

  5. Course Concurrence Information

    PhD program in Philosophy

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