University of Cambridge > > Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars > 'Environmental concern, moral education and our place in nature'

'Environmental concern, moral education and our place in nature'

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Some strands of environmental concern invite a radical re-evaluation of many taken for granted assumptions of late modern ways of life – particularly those that structure how we relate to the natural world. This paper explores some of the implications of such a re-evaluation for our understanding of moral education by examining the significance of ideas of our place in nature that focus not on our location in some grand abstract system, but on our felt sense of place in the course of our daily existence. It will be argued that exploration of the anticipatory and ecstatic nature of such concrete emplacement reveals an underlying normative character to our encounters with nature, now experienced as an autonomous and essentially mysterious non-human other that both sustains and is sustained by places – places in which find ourselves and live out our lives. It is argued that this view leads to both a questioning of anthropocentrism (i.e., its metaphysical basis) and an acknowledgement of intrinsic value in nature, such that current mainstream understandings of the character of moral sensibility and of moral education are no longer defensible.

This talk is part of the Pedagogy, Language, Arts & Culture in Education (PLACE) Group Seminars series.

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