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This free course, Nature matters in conversation, focuses on the substance of environmental responsibility-what matters. The question 'What should constitute our prime focus of attention' can prompt different responses. We consider two points of contrast in differing focuses on what matters: 1 a distinction between nature and the environment 2 a distinction between nature/environment and related human interactions
By the end of this free course you should be able to:
- appreciate different connotations and traditions of the terms ‘nature’ and ‘environment’ in the context of environmental responsibility;
- use conversation as a core metaphor for describing ‘what matters’ in environmental responsibility;
- identify and compare formal and less formal expressions of environmental responsibility.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Environment: the challenges of what matters
- 2 Conversation: a metaphor for what matters
- Keep on learning
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Nature matters in conversation
This unit explores different understandings of nature and environment and the significance these may have for developing responsibility. The problems of connecting human and non-human nature are presented here as being a challenge peculiar to the concerns of environmental responsibility. They provide the impetus for exploring the idea of ‘conversation’ as a metaphor for what matters in environmental responsibility. Using a reading by Stephen Talbott as a foundation, the conversation metaphor is introduced as a way of re-conceiving ongoing human relationships with nature, not only providing insight into environmental responsibility but also delineating issues of communication as what matters in this field, in contrast to other areas of environmental studies.
This unit in an adapted extract from the Open University course
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 26th July 2011
Last updated on: Tuesday, 4th September 2012
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
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