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Environmental Ethics

Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring 1993

Mike Michael, Robin Grove-White
Pages 33-47
DOI: 10.5840/enviroethics199315137

Talking about Talking about Nature
Nurturing Ecological Consciousness

The increasing effort, both lay and academic, to encourage a transition from an “I-It” to an “I-Thou” relation to nature is located within a typology of ways of “knowing nature.” This typology provides the context for a particular understanding of human conversation which sees the relation as a cyclical process of “immersion” and “realization” from which a model of the dialectic between “I-It” and “I-Thou” relations to nature can be developed. This model can be used to identify practical measures that can be taken as first steps toward a balance between these relations, both in general and in the context of science-oriented nature conservation organizations such as English Nature in Britain (formerly, the Nature Conservancy Council).

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