Education for sustainable development and the humanization of nature

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Education for sustainable development and the humanization of nature

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Publication Conference Paper, other
Title Education for sustainable development and the humanization of nature
Author(s) Dahlbeck, Johan
Date 2014
English abstract
In this paper I argue that there are some telling examples from the discourse of education for sustainable development (ESD) that hint at a reliance on a reversed sense of causality, manifesting itself in a teleological and anthropomorphic understanding of nature. In order to substantiate this claim, I will consider some of Spinoza’s arguments concerning the limitations of human imagination -- and the prejudices that tend to arise from this -- and I will also link this with some of Freud’s claims with regards to the human tendency to deify the forces of nature as a kind of psychological response to the inherent remoteness of said forces. The relation between Spinoza and Freud has been discussed in terms of a mostly implicit affinity grounded in a common metaphysical starting-point that may be labeled a philosophy of immanence. This affinity is most evident, however, with regards to both Spinoza's and Freud’s reliance on a rationalist framework and on their insistence that the human psychological constitution is geared so that when humans are governed by their imagination, and are being confronted with the unexplained, they tend to automatically protect themselves by seeking comfort in the already known, regardless of the unlikeliness of the arrived at explanation. Hence, this paper aims to employ some of Spinoza’s and Freud’s arguments in order to formulate a critique of the anthropomorphic motifs displayed in contemporary educational materials produced within the discourse of ESD.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Education for sustainable development
Philosophy of education
Humanization of nature
Reversed causality
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION
Note Philosophy of Education as a Lived Experience : Navigating Through Dichotomies of Thought and Action, Tilos, Greece, 6-9 July 2014
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