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Bowers to present annual philosophy lectures at Linfield

C.A. (Chet) BowersC.A. (Chet) Bowers, professor emeritus at Portland State University and courtesy professor of environmental studies at the University of Oregon, will present two lectures on educational reforms that address the ecology of war. The talks are part of the annual Walter Powell-Linfield College Philosophy Lectures April 21-22 at Linfield.

The lectures, based on the theme “Educational Reforms that Address the Ecology of War,” will explore ideological, technological and economic forces that have created a state of conflict that can be identified as an “ecology of war.” These conflicts exist today in the form of cyber attacks, in the use of drones to kill people perceived to be enemies, in efforts to colonize other cultures, in the exploitation and destruction of habitats and species, and in the conflict between ideologies that reduce political decisions to that of avoiding compromising with the enemy.

Bowers will speak on “How Language Undermines the Revitalization of the Cultural Commons” on Sunday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in Jonasson Hall, lower level of Melrose Hall. He will discuss the cultural commons, which are the intergenerational knowledge, skills and mentoring relationships that exist in every community. According to Bowers, modernization undermines awareness of the traditional forms of knowledge that enable people to be self-sufficient rather than being dependent on consumerism.

Bowers will present “Technologies that Undermine the Exercise of Ecological Intelligence” on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m. in the Pioneer Reading Room. This lecture will focus on the relationship all forms of life share with one another. Human existence involves responding to relationships. Bowers will discuss how print-based thinking promotes abstract thinking, which contributes to deepening social and global conflicts. Bowers will explain how classroom teachers and university professors need to understand their role as mediators in helping students recognize the ecological differences between their cultural commons and consumer-based experiences.

Bowers received his Ph.D. in educational studies at the University of California. An invited speaker at more than 41 universities in the U.S. and 40 universities abroad, he is the author of 21 books and more than 103 articles, published in a variety of disciplinary journals. He co-founded an international online journal called “The Ecojustice Review: Educating for the Commons.” Bowers’ research primarily focuses on environmental ethics in cultural perspective, cultural issues in environmental education, and the cultural commons.

The Walter Powell-Linfield College Annual Philosophy Lectureship is in recognition of a generous gift from Michael Powell in honor of his father. Walter Powell founded Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, the largest private bookstore in the United States with over one million volumes.

The lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Kaarina Beam at 503-883-2216 or kbeam@linfield.edu.