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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 13, Issue 1, Spring 2016

James Hatley
Pages 105-122
DOI: 10.5840/envirophil20164533

Telling Stories in the Company of Buffalo
Wisdom, Fluency, and Rough Knowledge

Beginning in story and memoir, an appeal is made for the practice of “paranoiesis,” a mode of knowing appropriate to dwelling in the company of other living kinds. Paranoiesis is particularly called for in responding to the twin legacies of ecocide and genocide at work in the extirpation of Buffalo across the high plains. Philosophical responses to this plight are called upon to cultivate “rough knowledge,” a mode of hearing the other’s speaking—both human and more-than-human—that eschews dialectical opposition and negative critique for the sake of dialogical fluency and torsion.

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