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PsycheNatur: Human Minds in Natural Spaces, Aesthetics & Perception

March 23, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This event is hosted by the North Cascades Institute

This is a virtual event

Class Tuition: $10

To register for this event click here.

For a much longer time than our very recent revisiting of what it means to be human on our planet, our psycho-biology, sense of aesthetics, notions of self, down to the manner in which we perceive the natural world (including ourselves), have been a seamless and integrated whole.

Only in the most rare occasions can one glimpse the integral nature of these factors in the way that our ancestors existed in natural spaces.

Furthermore, Paul Shepard invokes the very notion of psychological dysfunction when he asks: “What can one say of the prospect of the future in a world where increasing injury to the planet is a symptom of human psychopathology? What are the means and the effects of this psychological amputation?”

This foundational questioning leads to a revisiting of constructs we once thought were obvious, such as taken-for-granted definitions of “nature,” “self”, or “connection.” To the extent that approaches such as “nature aesthetics” subsumes various facets of the aforementioned integrated whole, Psychenatur, then in the words of the philosopher James Dow, we can ask the following questions: “What is a natural environment? What is relevant, psychologically speaking, to the aesthetic appreciation of natural environments? What is the relationship between nature aesthetics and environmental ethics?

Through further readings and discussions, participants will have an opportunity to recapitulate and then chart new ways of rethinking their own place on natural spaces in more integral and thus inclusive ways; eyes wide open!

This class is being taught by Dr. George Conesa, an interdisciplinary thinker with an academic and professional background in biology, philosophy, and experimental psychology. Dr. Conesa edits the International Journal of Ecopsychology (IJE) at CAL POLY Humboldt and has taught courses on animal behavior and cognition, in addition to many other pursuits.


March 23, 2023
5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

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