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

Humanities. 2017;6(4):78 DOI 10.3390/h6040078

 

Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Humanities

ISSN: 2076-0787 (Print)

Publisher: MDPI AG

LCC Subject Category: General Works: History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Country of publisher: Switzerland

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF, HTML

 

AUTHORS

Amba J. Sepie (Department of Geography, College of Science, University of Canterbury, Christchurch 8041, New Zealand)

EDITORIAL INFORMATION

Blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 11 weeks

 

Abstract | Full Text

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.