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.
Table of Contents
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.