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Book ChapterDOI

The Ecological Humanities

14 Apr 2015-pp 1-6
About: The article was published on 2015-04-14. It has received 11 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Ecological humanities.
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Inspired by the activism of young people in response to growing calls for climate justice, the authors examines the rich possibilities to more meaningfully engage with the interconnections between communities.
Abstract: Inspired by the activism of young people in response to growing calls for climate justice, this discussion examines the rich possibilities to more meaningfully engage with the interconnections betw...

16 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2021
TL;DR: The concept of species is a central concern in relation to the issue of categorization, membership, displacement and decision-making (in terms of state sovereignty, territory, colonization and its implications for human, animal and plant life) as urbanisation encroaches on the wild spaces and displaces other forms of life as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: ‘Existential risk’ continues to escalate and the crime of ‘ecocide’ is not yet recognised as part of international law even though it poses a new form of ‘genocide’. Politically fragmentation and populism have become the new order driven by capitalism, anthropocentrism, speciesism, nationalism and racism. The case is made that liberalism has progressed too far in undermining collective (cosmopolitan) responsibility. The result is a form of state control and governance that is more closely linked with the nation state and the market than with protecting habitat or the needs of all those who fall outside the mantel of the social contract, such as young people, asylum seekers, the disabled and other sentient beings. The frontiers of justice need to be extended to protect living systems. The concept ‘species’ is a central concern in relation to the issue of categorization, membership, displacement and decision-making (in terms of state sovereignty, territory, colonization and its implications for human, animal and plant life). As urbanisation encroaches on the wild spaces and displaces other forms of life, relationships that are Anthropocentric need to be re-framed to enable re-generation and sustainable living that is non-anthropocentric.

13 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2021
TL;DR: In this paper, the concept of multispecies relationality and the importance of the practice in African culture (as in other Indigenous traditions) of having a totem in which a human soul is given to animals, plants and nature is discussed.
Abstract: In this chapter we endorse the concept of multispecies relationality by explicating African worldviews which emphasize the importance of the practice in African culture (as in other Indigenous traditions) of having a totem in which a human soul is given to animals, plants and nature. For example, the clan totem called Ndou in Venda means persons have characteristics of the elephant, which forms part of their identity. Some clans are not allowed to cut a tree called Mutavhatsindi because they are Vhatavhatsindi (people associated with the tree) and this can bring bad omens. Rivers and caves can also function as totems. We can interpret the symbolism of totemism as implying that humans and non-humans become separated analytically only by creating the categories of “human” and “non-human”, which are (often) recognized to create an arbitrary boundary. In our considering further the symbolism of totems in this chapter, we confirm that we can draw out, and extend, the ethical implications of African cultural traditions which suggest that we are all (and can become better) embedded in a community, which includes “all that exists”, including past, present, and future generations. Some authors emphasize that the African concept of Ubuntu intimates that humans need to care for other humans as well as animals, trees and rivers (as the biophysical world). We point out how this interpretation of Ubuntu, which implies a (spiritual) orientation towards furthering “cosmic harmony”, is tied to a moral standpoint to create more connectivity in seeking regenerative sustainability.

7 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2019
TL;DR: McIntyre-Mills as discussed by the authors discusses the water crisis in the city of Cape Town as a symptom of convergent challenges associated with the way in which the nation state interacts with the global economy, in line with the international division of labour and in the interests of military power and capability.
Abstract: The chapter underlines the importance of sociological research across boundaries and the so-called Mode 2 knowledge production (Gibbons et al., The new production of knowledge, Sage, London, 1994) based on systemic approaches that span conceptual boundaries and support working across disciplines and sectors in order to respond to the cascading consequences of modernity and to address the new cascade economics (Pauli 2010) that maximise opportunities in new creative ways that flow from an ecosystemic approach. Giddens stressed in the ‘Consequences of Modernity’ that trust is contingent and that risks escalate when transfers are disembedded from local contexts and local controls. The systemically interconnected nature of social, economic and environmental danger and risks are explored elsewhere (McIntyre-Mills, Planetary passport, Springer, New York, 2017). In this paper, I draw on Giddens (The consequences of modernity, Stanford University Press, Palo Alto, 1990: 71) in terms of the crisis of trust and rising risk and discuss the water crisis in the city of Cape Town as a symptom of convergent challenges associated with the way in which the nation state interacts with the global economy, in line with the international division of labour and in the interests of military power and capability.

6 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2021
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors make a case for systemic interventions to protect the planet from "ecocide" based on the assumption that we live in a participatory universe, where the knower and the known are not separate.
Abstract: Consciousness is a continuum. Axiologically, the paper begins with the assumption that ethically we need to transform the way we live our lives and that this entails changing our relationships to sentient beings and living systems. Ontologically we need to place ourselves within a web of life and epistemologically it requires humility and the willingness to learn from nature. Methodologically this approach is systemic as it is based on recognising that the knower and the known are not separate. In this respect it is based on the notion of a participatory universe. The paper explores the nature of relationships across species. It makes a makes a case for systemic interventions to protect the planet from ‘ecocide’, based on the assumption that we live in ‘a participatory universe’. Systemic Intervention is discussed in terms of mindfulness, critical reflection, an appreciation of Capra’s notion that we are a strand within the ‘web of life’ and praxis to enhance ethics, democracy and governance. The paper explores some of the parallels across systems thinking, the Mahayana Tradition of Buddhism and aspects of Indigenous ways of knowing. The axiological focus is on social and environmental justice and the protection of habitat for all living systems. The paper—written in the form of a dialogue—reflects on key questions pertaining to axiology, ontology, epistemology and methodology inspired by Mertens’ work on this topic.

4 citations