Gadamer and the otherness of nature: Elements for an environmental education [Book Review]

Human Studies 28 (2):157 - 171 (2005)
In this work I search for elements that contribute to the development of the ethical dimension of environmental education. I start with the existence of what C.A. Bowers calls “areas of silence” in the curriculum in both schools and universities. The reason for this silence, I argue, is to be found in the Cartesian conceptual structures of curricula. I suggest that the works of Bacon, Galileo and Descartes provoke a twofold process that I have termed the forgetting of tradition and objectification of nature. As a corrective to this process, I explore the possibilities that the philosophical hermeneutics of Hans-Georg Gadamer opens for rehabilitation of tradition and de-objectification of nature. I work with the concept of the “dignity of things” present in Greek dialectics: that nature is not simply a projection of mind (as the neo-Kantians claim), but something that thought suffers. In my conclusions I argue that for nature to be reinserted into almost all areas of knowledge it is necessary that we respect “the otherness of nature.”.
Keywords education  environment  Brazil  Gadamer  Hans-Georg
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