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John Foster

Formerly at Lancaster University

John Foster

Current Teaching

Since 2004 I have worked as a freelance, developing and running the Philosophy Department's Schools Outreach Programme, which introduces philosophy topics to school students from Year 6 to Year 11 and supports AS/A2 teaching in Sixth Forms. I am continuing this work within PPR, and also extending the programme (with the help of a grant from the Lancaster Alumni) to include outreach based on the other disciplines within the new department. For details of the outreach programme, click here.

I am a member of the British Philosophical Association's A-level teaching panel, and have conducted a study funded by the Higher Education Academy looking at the involvement of undergraduates in outreach philosophy work.

Intermittently I do some undergraduate teaching for the Department.

Additional Information

Worked in school teaching, public sector management and consultancy before joining the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change as a researcher in 1992. Launched and directed (1998-2001) the innovative MA in Environment, Culture and Society. As management convenor of CSEC, initiated and led the creation of the Institute for Environment, Philosophy and Public Policy out of the Centre and (an earlier version of )the Philosophy Department, and was its Associate Director 2000-01.

Research overview


I don’t have research interests, leaving those to scientists, but I do sometimes think and (less frequently) write things. My books and articles have explored the conceptual and socio-political assumptions of environmental economics and the idea of natural capital. I have also written about sustainability and education, particularly the relations between scientific, social-scientific and humanities modes of sustainable education. My book The Sustainability Mirage (Earthscan, 2008) offered a critique of the currently dominant sustainability paradigm. I am currently writing a book to be brought out by Earthscan/Routledge in 2014, about what we do, and in particular how we go on hoping, once we stop trying to pretend that "sustainable development" policies are going to save us from major climate-related chaos and breakdown.

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