Re-animating the universe: Environmental education and philosophical animism

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Bai, H. (2009). Re-animating the universe: Environmental education and philosophical animism. In M. McKenzie, H. Bai, P. Hart & B. Jickling (Eds.), Fields of green: Restorying culture, environment, education (pp. 135–151). New Jersey: Hampton Press.

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Environmental education
Cartesian Dualism
Contemplative practice

I argue, along with other theorists, that Plato and Descartes made a decisive, immense, and enduring contribution to the creation of the disembedded and disembodied self and its attendant de-animated consciousness in the west.  Based on the insight gained from the first task, my second task is to explore a way to reanimate our disembodied perception.  Can we do our perception differently so that the world may appear to us in its full intrinsic worth or, to speak in a more metaphysical language, in its numinous presence of Being?  In answering this question, I suggest that the key to altering our normally disembodied perception is reversing the habiitual superimposition of the conceptual over the perceptual.  What could this seeminly esoteric sounding practice mean?  A detailed explication of this practice awaits us in this chapter.

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Book chapter
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