1st Edition

Environmental Consciousness, Nature and the Philosophy of Education Ecologizing Education

By Michael Bonnett Copyright 2021
    174 Pages
    by Routledge

    174 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This book explores alternative ways of understanding our environmental situation by challenging the Western view of nature as purely a resource for humans.

    Environmental Consciousness, Nature and the Philosophy of Education asserts that we need to retrieve a thinking that expresses a different relationship with nature: one that celebrates nature's otherness and is attuned to its intrinsic integrity, agency, normativity and worth. Through such receptivity to nature's address we can develop a sense of our own being-in-nature that provides a positive orientation towards the problems we now face. Michael Bonnett argues that this reframing and rethinking of our place in nature has fundamental implications for education as a whole, questioning the idea of human "stewardship" of nature and developing the idea of moral education in a world of alterity and non-rational agents.

    Drawing on and revising work published by the author over the last 15 years, this book will be essential reading for students and scholars of environmental studies, environmental education, and the philosophy of education.


    Chapter 1. Normalizing Catastrophe: a Backdrop to Environmental Issues

    Chapter 2. A Phenomenology of Nature: the "Occurring" of Things in Nature

    Chapter 3. Transcendent Nature and Its Enemies

    Chapter 4. Environmental Consciousness: Intentionality and Ecstasy at the Centre of Human Being

    Chapter 5. Anthropocentrism, Ecological Justice, and Population Growth

    Chapter 6. Listening to Nature: Ecological Truth and Systemic Wisdom

    Chapter 7. Ecologizing Education




    Michael Bonnett has published widely in the field of philosophy of education, giving particular attention to ideas of learning, thinking, personal authenticity, and the character of the teacher–pupil relationship in education. His book Children's Thinking: Promoting Understanding in the Primary School (1994) explored the importance of poetic thinking for education. More recently, his focus has been on aspects of sustainability and environmental education, including developing a phenomenology of nature and exploring ways in which human consciousness is inherently environmental. His book Retrieving Nature: Education for a Post-Humanist Age was published in 2004, and his edited collection Moral Education and Environmental Concern was published in 2014 by Routledge.

    "At this critical juncture when our anthropocentric relationship to nature foreshadows imminent planetary destruction, Michael Bonnett’s eloquently written and exhaustively researched book is required reading. The philosophical and ecological issues addressed are global in scope, and Bonnett’s analysis will appeal to international scholars and students. Incorporating ecological philosophy and environmental ethics, Bonnett ambitiously pushes the boundaries of eco-phenomenology in unique ways and offers a tightly argued eco-philosophy that is grand in scope and holistic, presenting solutions for transcending the anthropocentric grip of scientism attuning our current relationship with the natural world. The inclusion of thoughtful vignettes, providing content for phenomenological description and analysis, puts the reader in touch with imaginative and transformative experiences of nature. The book confronts a multiplicity of issues, including: (1) Nature as a "self-rising," intrinsically normative phenomenon, (2) Human self-hood grounded in an attuned relationship to the natural world, and (3) "Ecologizing education," which is the re-envisioning of standardized education based on a renewed relationship with nature."

    Dr. James M. Magrini, author of Ethical Responses to Nature's Call (Routledge), College of Dupage