Environmental Philosophy - April Green Drinks 2011

April Green Drinks saw 50 people gathering to participate in the event Environmental Philosophy held at the School of Practical Philosophy in Valletta. The turn-out and interest was brilliant. Many thanks for participating and for bringing such lovely and thoughtful refreshments with you.

We deeply thank the speakers Margaret Louderback and Colette Sciberras who in the true spirit of Green Drinks freely shared their insightful presentations with us, Michael Żammit for chairing, Joseph Sapienza, Maria Żammit and John Anastasi for their assistance on behalf of the School and the lovely Green Drinks support team Tanya Briffa, Barbara Elekes, Alan Cassar and Aldo Calleja. We also thank Sparkbow Ltd for suppling the technical equipment. Many thanks to the Green Drinks network for making the Green Drinks Gatherings a repeated success!
Friday 29 April 2011
6.30pm – 9.30pm
School of Practical Philosophy,
St. Christopher’s Street, Valletta

Reservation on first come first served basis and strictly by booking: info@greendrinksmalta.org

This event is Free but each participant is kindly asked to bring food & drink to share.

6.30pm – 7pm Registration ╏ 7pm – 8.30pm Presentations ╏ 8.30pm – 9.3pm Socialising

Oneness with Nature; Identification as Solicitude Deep Ecology and other related movements - focus on the notions of identification with nature and the ecological Self related to the virtues of love and compassion will be addressed by Colette Sciberras

A pervasive theme in eco-spiritualism celebrates holism, and includes the belief that an appropriate attitude and conduct towards the environment—sometimes labelled ‘deep ecology’—depends on having an awareness of the so-called ‘oneness’ of nature, or of the interrelatedness of all things. It is also believed that these realizations coincide with the goal of certain Eastern teachings and practices. This paper is an attempt to disentangle the valuable threads in this discussion from others which are less useful. If oneness (or interrelatedness) is understood as a metaphysical theory all sorts of conceptual and ethical problems arise, whereas, if it is the felt experience of oneness as identification with all beings with which deep ecology is concerned, then there are gainful consequences for environmental ethics, and parallels to be drawn with Buddhism. In particularly, the deep ecologist’s notion of identification corresponds closely to the Mahāyāna Buddhist’s understanding of love and compassion. Although there are several difficulties with the project of basing environmental ethics upon love and compassion, these can be partially overcome if identification is understood in this sense.

Landscape at Zero Point Environmental Aesthetics - perspective - scientific thought, phenomenology – perception - roundness of being and most importantly you IN the Maltese landscape will be addressed by

Margaret Louderback.

Considering the deconstruction of notions held within a paradigm shift, an introductory emphasis will focus on the specific context of the Maltese islands’ landscape from a phenomenological perspective. Landscape at zero point centers on perceiving landscape as engaged, ‘landscaping’ as an experiential verb, with reference to basic human needs for a meaningful life. Through a discussion of non-elitist aesthetics within the context of natural environments deeper links will be established which are more profound than simple ideas of appreciation.

Colette Sciberras
obtained her M.A in Values and the Environment from Lancaster University in 2002, and her Ph.D in philosophy from Durham University in 2011. Her research interests include Buddhism, environmental philosophy, philosophy of science and religion. She has been practicing Buddhism (or rather, attempting to) for ten years, under the guidance of several Tibetan lamas (mostly from the Nyingma tradition). She now teaches Philosophy at Giovanni Curmi Higher Secondary School in Naxxar, and hopes to be starting as a lecturer at the University of Malta in 2012.

Margaret Louderback is an American citizen who has been living abroad for the past 6 years. Educated in the United States, she has degrees in Landscape Architecture and Fine Arts. Putting into practical use this educational foundation, she owned a residential landscape design business in Tucson, Arizona for 12 years. Her passion is arid landscapes (with the new addition of the seascapes) like those found throughout the Mediterranean region. While living in Jordan she authored two books, Visual Thinkers and Low Water Use Plants of Amman, Jordan, while teaching landscape architecture studio classes at the German Jordanian University. She is a PhD student at the University of Malta, and looks forward to continuing a writing career voicing ideas of landscape within the context of built environments.