In this homework, I’d like you to reflect on various topics we’ve looked at in the first few weeks of our class. Below, I have given you five essay prompts. Choose three of the prompts. For each of the essays, write 2 pages (500 words); in total, your homework should be 6 pages long. As you’ll see, many of the prompts refer to questions of values and beliefs; feel free to bring in your personal views. You can respond to the chosen prompts individually, or weave all three of them into one essay. I’ll evaluate your exams mainly by the following criteria: originality of your ideas, style of writing, and development of thoughts.
1) Evaluate the various ways we use the terms “nature,” “natural,” and similar expressions. What is remarkable, peculiar, intriguing, disturbing about how we use these terms?
2) Reflect on your experiences in and with “nature.” In your reflection, include some references to your nature journal.
3) Discuss the role of spirituality and religion in our relationship to the environment, be it positive, negative, or both. In your discussion, refer to at least one of the readings.
4) Discuss our various attitudes to animals. In what ways are we different from animals, in what ways are we equal? How should we treat them? In your discussion, refer to at least one of the readings.