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Nature matters: caring and accountability

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This free course, Nature matters: caring and accountability, considers environmental responsibility and what may matter from a caring perspective and an accountability perspective. Caring for an environment compromising the natural world and ensuring accountability for harm or wrong done to the environment.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • describe environmental matters regarding obligation and entitlements from a ‘caring’ perspective
  • appreciate the significance of environmental consequentialist ethics in conversations around developing care
  • identify and compare formal and less formal expressions of environmental responsibility
  • understand ‘accountability’ in the context of environmental issues
  • identify the opportunities for conversations between scientific and non-scientific perspectives in promoting environmental responsibility.

By: The Open University

  • Duration 15 hours
  • Updated Thursday 17th March 2016
  • Advanced level
  • Posted under The Environment
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Nature matters: caring and accountability


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Nature Matters considers environmental responsibility and what may matter from a caring perspective and an accountability perspective. A reading by Andrew Light reflects on four key debates in environmental ethics regarding the way in which nature is valued, and prompts the question on how such debates might inform environmental responsibility.

Section 2 examines the formal processes involved in developing accountability in the context of sustainable development. The persuasiveness of the sciences (both social and natural) in deliberations around sustainability, and more specifically on issues of ecological restoration, is the subject of a reading by Eric Higgs. Higgs draws out the problems associated with the duality of cultures – science and non-science – in raising issues that matter for environmental responsibility.

This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course TD866 Environmental responsibility: ethics, policy and action [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

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