What is it that inspires us humans to take responsibility for our involvement with the natural environment? And how do we familiarise children with practices of environmental responsibility? These questions are at the heart of this book, resulting from a comprehensive inquiry into the ethical and politico-philosophical dimensions of environmental education. Two sources of inspiration and responsibility are discussed in particular. First, as citizens of a civilized society, inspiration stems from our commitment to the continuation of the collective practices in which we are already engaged. Second, inspiration emerges from our sensual-aesthetic acquaintanceship with the natural surroundings in the course of our everyday activities. This study concludes that there is insufficient room for these sources of inspiration and responsibility within the prevailing framework of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). An alternative view on the nature and purpose of environmental education is put forward in light of these shortcomings. This view aims to retrieve an existential human sense of care for our natural environment, beyond the narrowly defined appeals made on behalf of future generations, as well as beyond the romantic appeals made on behalf of the intrinsic sovereignty of nature.

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