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Exploring African Holism with Respect to the Environment

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Contrary to a pervasive presumption of anthropocentricism in African thought, I identify an emphasis on the interrelatedness or interconnectedness of everything in nature, and argue that this is best construed as a rejection of anthropocentrism, and as something similar in conception to, and yet distinct from, holist perspectives. I propose that this strand of African thought, suitably reconstructed, should be construed as providing the basis for a promising non-anthropocentric African environmentalism. I name this position 'African Relational Environmentalism', and suggest that it is what distinguishes this position from holism that can most enrich environmental ethics.
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Keywords: African environmentalism; harmonious relationships; holism; non-anthropocentrism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Environmental Values is an international peer-reviewed journal that brings together contributions from philosophy, economics, politics, sociology, geography, anthropology, ecology and other disciplines, which relate to the present and future environment of human beings and other species. In doing so we aim to clarify the relationship between practical policy issues and more fundamental underlying principles or assumptions.

    Environmental Values has a Journal Impact Factor (2016) of 1.279.
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