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Análise Psicológica

Print version ISSN 0870-8231


LOURENCO, Orlando  and  KAHN, Peter. Raciocínio ecológico-moral: um estudo desenvolvimentista numa amostra de sujeitos de Lisboa. Aná. Psicológica [online]. 2000, vol.18, n.4, pp.425-435. ISSN 0870-8231.

Environmental problems cannot be ignored any more. In this paper, we present a few results of a research carried out in a sample of people from Lisbon (Kahn & Lourenço, 2000). In this research we tried to explore some aspects of one's understanding of the ontogenesis of human relationship with nature. The sample consisted of 120 participants evenly divided into four grade levels (fifth, eighth, eleventh, and college). Participants were first presented with environmental problems appealing to the four elements of nature (i.e., earth, water, air, and fire), and then questioned about the importance of those problems to them, and their possible conceptualization as environmental moral problems. The results suggest that (1) participants at all ages care about environmental problems, a finding that is consistent with Wilson's (1984) biophilia hypothesis of a genetically based human propensity to affiliate with nature; (2) this hypothesis becomes more powerful if it is inserted into a broader perspective that incorporates biology, culture, and development; (3) such a propensity enlarges the traditional domainof morality, a domain in which it makes good sense to speak already of a relatively new area of research (i.e., environmental moral reasoning); (4) this area of research may be of help to clarify fundamental and long-standing controversies in the field of moral development (e.g., the justice-care debate); and (5) there is much to be gained if environmental education takes into account the findings emerging from research on the understanding of the ontogenesis of human relationship with nature.

Keywords : Environmental values and conceptions; environmental-moral reasoing.

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