Is Nature Immaterial? The Possibilities for Environmental Education Without an Environment

Andrew Stables


Contemporary thinking is generally based on substance, as opposed to
process, metaphysics: in other words, the belief that the world and the
universe are best understood in terms of material rather than events. The
environment, for example, is conceived of as substantial; nature as a web of
interconnected, if often fragile entities. In this tradition, there is also a
strong legacy of mind-body dualism: the belief that the (immaterial) human
mind acts on the inert and mechanical “body” of nature. Process
metaphysics, on the other hand, posits the world as events in which human
beings are implicated. This paper adopts a process perspective in attempting
to develop a posthumanist approach to education, rooted in the idea of living
as semiosis.

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