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Humanities 2017, 6(4), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/h6040078

More than Stories, More than Myths: Animal/Human/Nature(s) in Traditional Ecological Worldviews

Department of Geography, College of Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 24 September 2017 / Accepted: 11 October 2017 / Published: 20 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
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Abstract

Reason and rationality, upon which modern, westernized, societies have been founded, have powerfully characterized the nature of human relations with other species and with the natural world. However, countless indigenous and traditional worldviews tell of a very different reality in which humans, conceived of as instinctual and intuitive, are a part of a complex web of ecological relationships. Other species, elements of the natural world, and people are active participants in relations overflowing with communications, interactions sometimes recorded in ethnographies, or as ‘myths’ and ‘stories’. The present article draws upon a range of traditions to explore the biases which shape how indigenous and traditional life-ways are represented in westernized contexts; the phenomenon of receiving direct insight or intuitive knowing from more-than-human worlds; and the numerous valuable understandings regarding the nature of the human being, other species, and how to live well, that are offered by a deeper comprehension of different worldviews. I also argue that the various capacities for instinctual and intuitive knowledge which accompanies these life-ways are endemic to the human species yet overlooked, the correction of which might work to usefully recalibrate our ethical relations with each other, and with other life on earth. View Full-Text
Keywords: earth; worldviews; indigenous wisdom traditions; relationality; ecology; language; human-animal studies; more-than-human geography; multispecies ethnography; ecopsychology; anthropology; environmental philosophy; decolonization; intuition; instinct; myth; non-verbal communication; IK; TEK earth; worldviews; indigenous wisdom traditions; relationality; ecology; language; human-animal studies; more-than-human geography; multispecies ethnography; ecopsychology; anthropology; environmental philosophy; decolonization; intuition; instinct; myth; non-verbal communication; IK; TEK
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sepie, A.J. More than Stories, More than Myths: Animal/Human/Nature(s) in Traditional Ecological Worldviews. Humanities 2017, 6, 78.

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