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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 2015

Jonathan Beever
Pages 1-19
DOI: 10.5840/envirophil201410616

An Ecological Turn in American Indian Environmental Ethics

In this paper I argue that, instead of standing as an exemplar of contemporary environmentalism, North American Indian voices on the environment offer insights concerning ecological relationships that can be brought to bear on theories of environmental value and the politics of environmentalism. I argue that environmentally orthodox representations of Native views are further complicated by the metaphysics of local ecological knowledge. I then argue that moral ecologism, a normative view focused on inter­dependence throughout the living world and evidenced by contemporary American Indian voices, can help align traditional environmentalism with the contemporary scientific understanding of ecological relationships.

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