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Nature matters in conversation
This unit focuses on the substance of environmental responsibility – what matters. The...
This unit 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 unit 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
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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
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