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Humanities 2015, 4(4), 977-992; doi:10.3390/h4040977

Humanities for the Environment—A Manifesto for Research and Action

1
School of Histories and Humanities, Trinity College Dublin, 2 College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Department of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
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Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, National Sun Yat-sen University, 70 Lien-hai Road, Kaohsiung 804, Taiwan
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SAS Institute, Købmagergade 7-9, 1150 Copenhagen K, Denmark
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Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University, Social Sciences Building Room 107, PO Box 876505, Tempe, AZ 85287-6505, USA
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Department of History, D17—Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney 2006, NSW, Australia
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Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship, University of Pretoria, Private bag X20, Hatfield 0028, South Africa
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Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, University of Oxford, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
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Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences, National Taiwan University, No.1, Sec.4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
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National Museum of Australia, GPO Box 1901, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Albrecht Classen
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 12 December 2015 / Accepted: 13 December 2015 / Published: 21 December 2015
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Abstract

Human preferences, practices and actions are the main drivers of global environmental change in the 21st century. It is crucial, therefore, to promote pro-environmental behavior. In order to accomplish this, we need to move beyond rational choice and behavioral decision theories, which do not capture the full range of commitments, assumptions, imaginaries, and belief systems that drive those preferences and actions. Humanities disciplines, such as philosophy, history, religious studies, gender studies, language and literary studies, psychology, and pedagogics do offer deep insights into human motivations, values, and choices. We believe that the expertise of such fields for transforming human preferences, practices and actions is ignored at society’s peril. We propose an agenda that focuses global humanities research on stepping up to the challenges of planetary environmental change. We have established Environmental Humanities Observatories through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems by providing insight into human action, perceptions, and motivation. We present this Manifesto as an invitation for others to join the “Humanities for the Environment” open global consortium of humanities observatories as we continue to develop a shared research agenda. View Full-Text
Keywords: humanities for the environment; global change; observatories humanities for the environment; global change; observatories
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Holm, P.; Adamson, J.; Huang, H.; Kirdan, L.; Kitch, S.; McCalman, I.; Ogude, J.; Ronan, M.; Scott, D.; Thompson, K.O.; Travis, C.; Wehner, K. Humanities for the Environment—A Manifesto for Research and Action. Humanities 2015, 4, 977-992.

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