These are hugely challenging times for the natural environment and as modern technological humans we’re struggling to understand how we relate to nature. If you're concerned about contemporary environmental issues and are interested in insightful ways to think about them, then this is the course for you.
Understand What Nature Means to You
* Learn key ideas about human / nature relationships
* Discover who developed these ideas and why
* Apply these concepts to contemporary environmental issues
* Develop your own personal philosophy of nature
* Make better informed lifestyle decisions
Explore what the greatest environmental thinkers have said and apply these ideas to the most urgent environmental issues we face today
Each topic in this course provides a unique lens through which you'll explore our relationship with the natural environment. You'll learn about John Muir's Philosophy of Nature, Deep Ecology, Ecofeminism, Silent Spring, The Land Ethic, Environmental Aesthetics, and Ecophenomenology.
Armed with detailed information about each of these topics you'll be ideally equipped to understand the many threats to the natural environment that we see today. For example, what can Deep Ecology tell us about biodiversity loss? Or what would John Muir have to say about global warming? The unique feature of this course is discussing all of these topics in one place. This allows you to easily compare ideas, decide which resonates with you most strongly and perhaps inspire a deeper interest in one or more of these subjects.
This course explores over one hundred years of key ideas in environmental philosophy. This whistle-stop tour of environmental thought is presented over four and a half hours in 72 easily digestible lectures. Lectures are between three and ten minutes long and offered as presentation screencasts. Extensive supplementary texts and links to further resources are provided so you can dive in as far as you wish. You'll also find quizzes and questions for further consideration at the end of each section to help reinforce learning and guide further thinking about the topics.
Another exciting feature of this course is to explore the incredible people who developed these ideas. As well as being innovative and keen thinkers these are tales of fascinating lives which continue to inspire generations later. Take this course and be inspired by these personalities and their amazing stories.
But this course is not just a history of grand environmental ideas. Rather it is intended to provide a framework with which you can consider the environmental issues that are impacting your life today. Global warming, species loss, changing weather patterns, soil infertility, shrinking habitat, and ocean acidification are amongst the myriad challenges that we currently face. It can be difficult to know how to think about these huge issues, to put them into some kind of context. This course helps you develop frameworks through which you can better understand these important issues.
Want to know what nature really means to you? Take this course and find out!
Gary Thomson is a mathematician and engineer turned nature fanatic! After spending many years working for a global organization in the energy industry Gary returned to school to do post-graduate research in environmental philosophy. He is particularly interested in the relationship between humans and the rest of nature and is passionate about sharing his knowledge and ideas with others.
When he’s not philosophizing you’re likely to catch him on a mountain, in a forest or on his yoga mat.
StartIntroduction to Deep Ecology (1:43)
StartThe Shallow and the Deep (3:45)
StartWho was Arne Naess? (5:16)
StartThe Deep Ecological Worldview (6:26)
StartIntrinsic Value (2:55)
StartThe Ecological Self (4:25)
StartThinking Like a Mountain (4:17)
StartGaia: Thinking like a Planet (2:39)