An ecosocial philosophy of education project continues with new articles on humility, technology informed education, morality of economism, ecosocialization, and ecosocial Bildung

Pulkki, Jani (2022) Humility imparts the wonders of nature: a virtue-ethical elaboration of some Michael Bonnett’s thoughtsEnvironmental Education Research, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2022.2083082 Please contact about the preprint!


An attitude of (1) metaphysics of mastery is a major ecological problem accompanied with (2) scientism, which considers all reality is understood with one form of knowledge acquisition, that of classical experimental science. In this article, I consider the two ideas of Michael Bonnett from a virtue ethical perspective. I propose that metaphysics of mastery and scientism are virtue ethical problems of hubris. Modern hubris considers everything a resource for human use without asking for permission. I also claim humility is usually conceived incorrectly, as self-abasement and poor self-worth in a hierarchical relationship between the higher and the lower. A non-hierarchical idea of humility is proposed instead. Humility, this way conceived, is the proper evaluation of oneself. On the other hand, humility is a virtue and a way to unlearn the metaphysics of mastery and scientism. Humility also enables learning a friendlier and more realistic relation to nature. Without self-abasing humility or the self-absorbed pride of the Western subject, we can see reality in more truthful ways. This means seeing both the ecological havoc and the wonder and awe of nature in a fruitful way for environmental education.

Takkinen, Pasi & Pulkki, Jani (2022) Discovering earth and the missing masses—technologically informed education for a post-sustainable future, Educational Philosophy and Theory, DOI: 10.1080/00131857.2022.2060816


Climate change education (CCE) and environmental education (EE) seek ways for us humans to keep inhabiting Earth. We present a thought experiment adopting the perspective of Earth-settlers, aiming to illuminate the planetary mass of technology. By elaborating Hannah Arendt’s notion of ‘earth alienation’ and Bruno Latour’s notion of technology as ‘missing mass’, we suggest that, in the current Anthropocene era, our relation to technology should be a crucial theme of CCE and EE. We further suspect that sustainable development (SD) and the education promoting it (ESD) are problematic, because the green growth proposed is inextricably linked to the unattainable goal of decoupling growth from environmental impact. We therefore suggest education for post-sustainability (EPS) that critically re-evaluates the connections between technology and sustainability. But can educators critically question technology, since educational institutions seem to be unconditionally committed to promoting technological progress? While tracing this professional dilemma, we call for educational responsibility and autonomy to question technology when it is at odds with sustainability. To this end, we outline technological literacy that introduces the arts of (a) seeing technology, (b) living with technology, and (c) delegating or sustainably assimilating technology.

Pulkki, Jani (2022) The Moral Problems of Economism in an Age of Eco-Crisis. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies 19 (3)


To make a convincing argument, people are nowadays expected to speak the language of conomics. Neoliberalism has become notorious for making an economic worldview dominate politics, yet it offers only a partial and ideologically inclined explanation for the zeitgeist of today. This paper expands upon the term, or ideology, of economism as a critical means for understanding educational politics and the contemporary formation of moral subjectivity. Economism helps clarify the ideological features of mainstream economics that can influence education. Rather than describe the influence of markets and competition as an ‘invisible hand’, this paper envisages it less favourably as an ‘invisible foot’. Philosophers such as Samuel Bowles, Michael Sandel and Robin Hahnel claim that seeing the world through a purely economic lens crowds out certain important features of the human character such as moral obligation. Based on my earlier research I show how competitive ways of thinking are hampering the learning of ecological virtues, such as empathy. The ideology of economism is thus examined as a concept from a primarily moral or virtue-ethical perspective. Rather than examining moral rules or moral obligations as such, virtue-ethics asks what character traits we should adopt to live a morally fulfilling or ecologically viable life. This philosophical paper therefore has two main research questions: (1) What is economism? (2) How does economism affect our moral character? The main conclusion is that economism and competition have a detrimental impact that hardens our moral subjectivity.

Foster, Raisa & Mnemo Zin, Keto, Sami & Pulkki, Jani (2022) Recognizing Ecosocialization in Childhood Memories, Educational Studies, DOI: 10.1080/00131946.2022.2051031


Western modernity has shaped people’s thought patterns and value hierarchies, relegating humans to the position of supremacy. This anthropocentric worldview has disconnected humans from the rest of nature and eventually led to the social and ecological catastrophe. This paper shows that collective memory work can help us recognize how we are always socialized within and by human communities and also already ecosocialized within and by the rest of nature. The motivation to use the ecosocialization framework to analyze childhood memories comes from our wish to problematize the anthropocentric view of life further and resituate childhood and growing up beyond exclusively social and human contexts. We draw on the memories collected in the Re-Connect / Re-Collect: Crossing the Divides through Memories of Cold War Childhoods project (2019–2021). We “think with theory” to reveal traces of ecosocialization present in childhood memories. On this basis, we suggest that including multisensory awareness practices in memory workshops to recognize our bodily belonging—as participants create their memory stories bringing into focus relations with more-than-humans—could potentialize collective biography as a form of transformative ecosocial education.

Mansikka-aho, Anette & Pulkki, Jani (2022). Ekososiaalisen sivistyksen haaste: autoetnografia luokanopettajan voimaantumisesta. In Ninja Hienonen & Päivi Nilivaara & Milja Saarnio & Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen (Eds.) Laaja-alainen osaaminen koulussa. Ajattelijana ja oppijana kehittyminen. Helsinki: Gaudeamus