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Philosophy of Ecology (Russia, 2010)

Philosophical analysis of the problems associated with the specifics of education in the field of ecology is most important in the field of interaction between man and nature.


In the modern world, the number of people who are aware of the instability of their existence, who live in a state of anxieties and worries, is increasing. They are looking for a way out of the current unfavorable situation and in search of new ways create environmental movements; go on pedagogical experiments, nurture the sprouts of an alternative culture of nutrition, behavior, self-education, etc. Many of them are turning towards various societies in an attempt to find internal stability in this unstable world, saturated with natural disasters and catastrophes. And here it should be said that environmental education undeservedly remains outside the close attention of philosophers, who are called to investigate the immanent logic of the development of human society.

So, at one time V.I. Vernadsky, exploring the trends of scientific knowledge, wrote: “We are increasingly specializing not in the sciences, but in problems. This allows, on the one hand, to go deep into the phenomenon under study, and on the other hand, to expand its coverage from all points of view” [1]. Recently, it seems obvious that the experience accumulated by the collective efforts of scientists requires generalization. Thus, representatives of both non-environmental and environmental sciences could more successfully solve problems that are most closely related to each other. Until recently, there was an opinion that geography should take a leading role in the study of social and environmental problems, since "...modern geography is more than others prepared for environmental research on an interdisciplinary basis" [2]. Of course, the role of an integral interpreter of the complex of issues of social and environmental problems could be performed not by descriptive, but by constructive geography, focused on the expedient transformation and management of the environment [3]. Nevertheless, in the current ecological situation, the opposition of various scientific directions is unacceptable. It seems most expedient to find different points of contact, and in this matter we can be helped by a philosophical analysis of the problems associated with the specifics of education in the field of ecology.

First of all, one of the most important philosophical problems is the question of the specifics and structure of ecological knowledge. It is also necessary to determine not only their place in the general system of scientific disciplines, but also their role in the context of optimizing the interaction between nature and society. And here we should agree with Karl Marx's idea that as long as people exist, the history of nature and the history of people mutually determine each other. Therefore, a special approach should be developed that will help in studying the existing problems. And here "... it is absolutely necessary to avoid ... the installation when ... the problem is considered from the standpoint of one approach, biological ecology - from the standpoint of some other approach, and social ecology and anthropoecology - each have their own methodological foundations" [4]. Back in the 5th century BC. The great ancient Greek physician and thinker Hippocrates in his famous volume “On Airs, Waters and Places” noted that man is an integral part of Mother Nature. And already with the expiration of centuries, we, being witnesses of the active intervention of mankind in the processes taking place in the natural environment, can assert that they bear the stamp of their mutual influence. In this regard, it is necessary to highlight the special role of man and the measure of his responsibility for the ecological state of the planet. So, V.I. Vernadsky noted that "there is no chemical force on the Earth's surface that is more constantly acting, and therefore more powerful in its final consequences, than living organisms taken as a whole" [5].

Philosophy, along with the idea of a “wise worldview”, has always striven to be a universal and rational science, this is due to its very essence as paving new paths of historical progress. Our world is in dire need of solving "life issues", which also include the question of the unity of man and nature. Recently, threats of a global ecological crisis have been looming over humanity, which creates unprecedented tension in society. And the questions of "ecological being in nature", as well as the internal "ecology of man" are called upon to become the subjects of study of philosophy as a rigorous science. Of course, a philosophical view of modern environmental education can bear fruit if the problem itself is correctly formulated. We live in the most difficult, critical time, when philosophical analysis is especially important; and here philosophy can help to solve the problems associated with the "environmental illiteracy" of society.

—      First, philosophers, using the rich experience of their predecessors, could contribute to the formation of a new type of social consciousness.

—      Secondly, scientists could help to ensure that the practical orientation of man in his relations is not only pragmatically oriented character, but also would serve their mutual enrichment.

Thirdly, philosophy can carry out a theoretical synthesis by combining diverse approaches to the environmental problem.

—      Fourth, within the framework of this science, it is possible to develop a methodology for scientific knowledge of environmental education adequate to the XXI century.

And as a separate item, one can single out the most effective measures that will be seen as educational programs are implemented that popularize new achievements in the field of environmental research.




  1. Vernadsky V.I. Reflections of a naturalist. Scientific thought as a planetary phenomenon. - M .: Nauka, 1977. - Book. 2. - P. 54.

  2. Gerasimov I.P. Once again about the methodological problems of ecologization of modern science // Dialectics in the sciences of nature and man. - M.: Nauka, 1983. - S. 299.

  3. Los V.A. Human and nature. - M.: Politizdat, 1978. - S. 161.

  4. Kobylyansky V.A. Philosophy of ecology. – M.: Fair-Press, 2003. – P. 3.

  5. Vernadsky V.I. Selected works: In 5 vols. - M .: Publishing House of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, 1959. - T. 1. - P. 54.

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