A philosophical analysis of Simone de Beauvoir's erotic ethic
Luther, Rachel Anne Gisewhite
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Marine science education is least emphasized in landlocked states and non-coastal areas. While landlocked states have equal right to the coast for economic and recreational purposes, they too have equal opportunity to exploit and degrade the marine environment and community. It is imperative for students to have equal access to marine science education across the United States so that youth can become ocean literate and capable of making the kind of decisions that benefit, not harm, marine and aquatic environments. In this dissertation I call for the integration and implementation of marine science education through the use of authentic inquiries. Aligned with Simone de Beauvoir’s (1944, 1948, 2011) erotic ethic, I argue for a marine science education curriculum that is based on an erotic ethic. Such a curriculum would prepare and encourage students to act with erotic generosities for the ocean-Other based on their human-nature experiences and through a larger community involvement that goes beyond what are traditionally considered marine science or science education communities. This is essential if we are to consider moral value to the ocean to establish respect and conservation measures. I use phenomenological theorizing to establish and defend the need for an erotic ethic in science education. I clarify the assumptions of Beauvoir’s erotic ethic regarding women and nature as Other. I validate the need for an erotic ethic for marine science education through three arguments: the ocean as Other, marine science for everyone regardless of distance to the sea, and a phenomenology of place. I conclude with educational implications, such as the use of socioscientific issues within the classroom to explore scientific concepts while fostering ecojustice ethics and moral/ethical reasoning; service learning in the community; citizen science projects, from which the data can be used in authentic ways to tackle ecojustice issues and through which could connect students on the coast with those in landlocked states; and student-scientist partnerships. Through these methods, students will be able to gain skills and content knowledge to enhance ocean literacy and tackle ocean-related issues in their community.