Environmental Consciousness, Sustainability, and the Character of Philosophy of Education

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This paper argues that education itself, properly understood, is intimately concerned with an individual’s being in the world, and therefore is ineluctably environmental. This is guaranteed by the ecstatic nature of consciousness. Furthermore, it is argued that a central dimension of this environment with which ecstatic human consciousness is engaged, is that of nature understood as the ‘self-arising’. Nature, so conceived, is essentially other and is epistemologically mysterious, possessing its own normativity, agency, and intrinsic value. As such, engagement with nature presents opportunities for consciousness quintessentially to go beyond itself, to be inspired and refreshed, and to receive non-anthropogenic standards in the form of intimations of what is fitting and what is not. It will be argued that these are fundamental to the orientation of human being, providing primordial intimations of the nature of reality and truth. Given their centrality to the idea of a person’s becoming educated, the elucidation of these and the issues to which they give rise must be central to the philosophy of education and in this sense it becomes deeply ecological.

environmental consciousness, sustainability, nature, human being, scientism, metaphysics of mastery, philosophy of education
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Studies in Philosophy and Education
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Springer Science and Business Media LLC