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Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions

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TALK CANCELLED – Cultivating Ecological Virtues

April 6, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

Given the current situation with the COVID-19 virus, and following guidance from the University of Maine System and the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this talk has been cancelled. We will try to reschedule for a later date.

A three-part environmental ethics workshop

Don Beith, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Maine

Please be ready to share ideas and discuss ecological values together. First, a short presentation from Don Beith will explore ways we can think of our own morality ecologically, as well as how this might help us articulate environmental decision-making frameworks and ecological virtues. Forming small groups, in the second part participants will brainstorm short lists of “environmental virtues”. We often think of virtues in anthropocentric, human oriented terms; take for example honor, courage, honesty, magnanimity or generosity–each group’s challenge is to recast and articulate new ethical virtues in ecocentric, environmentally oriented terms. Reconvening, we’ll round out the session to discuss each group’s ideas about environmental virtues.

Don Beith approaches philosophy as a search for meaning, particularly through the study of how our lives become meaningful in organic development, habit formation, cultural and institutional life, and our ecological embeddedness in nature. You can read about this in The Birth of Sense, his recent book about the philosophy of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. He is currently working at the intersection of environmental philosophy, medical ethics, the philosophy of technology and existentialism. Questions of how our medical and environmental senses of “health” should involve deeper reflections on our existential and spiritual well-being animate his current research.

Teaching philosophy inspires him. Before coming to Maine, he taught at Algoma University, Bishop’s University, McGill University and the University of British Columbia. He is also passionate about hiking, cycling, chess, taekwondo, live music and exploring new places.


April 6, 2020
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Mitchell Center
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107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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