Anthropocentrism’s fluid binary

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I consider myself among a band of heretics seeking to deanthropocentrise environmental education. And yet, I increasingly struggle with blanket condemnations and recommendations. I do not know if the binary is as real or useful as I once thought. In this paper, I unearth some of the ways in which alleged anthropocentrisms can be nonanthropocentric, and vice versa. They seem much more fluid to me now. My purpose is not pedantic: I think environmental educators need to be more careful in their diagnoses and prescriptions. As we grope toward sustainability, we need pedagogies that help students imagine and engage with what our various claims and conceptualisations actually do when believed (if indeed they do anything at all); pedagogies that develop suppleness in our capacity to modify beliefs in alignment with intentions, and that help us modify these intentions in turn. I believe confronting the instability of dualistic thinking reveals paradoxes inherent in human reason, ushering a dose of humble bafflement essential for navigating the (non)Anthropocene.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Early online date1 Jan 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Jan 2020


  • new materialism
  • posthumanism
  • environmental education
  • philosophy of education
  • sustainability education

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