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Burkhart, Brian. Indigenizing Philosophy through the Land: A Trickster Methodology of Decolonising Environmental Ethics and Indigenous Futures
2019, Michigan State University Press.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Land is key to the operations of coloniality, but the power of the land is also the key anticolonial force that grounds Indigenous liberation. This work is an attempt to articulate the nature of land as a material, conceptual, and ontological foundation for Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and valuing. As a foundation of valuing, land forms the framework for a conceptualization of Indigenous environmental ethics as an anticolonial force for sovereign Indigenous futures. This text is an important contribution in the efforts to Indigenize Western philosophy, particularly in the context of settler colonialism in the United States. It breaks significant ground in articulating Indigenous ways of knowing and valuing to Western philosophy—not as artifact that Western philosophy can incorporate into its canon, but rather as a force of anticolonial Indigenous liberation. Ultimately, Indigenizing Philosophy through the Land shines light on a possible road for epistemically, ontologically, and morally sovereign Indigenous futures.

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Humphreys, Rebekah. Biocentrism
2016, Encyclopedia of Global Bioethics, Springer
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: The orthodox approach to the environment and its inhabitants is deemed to be anthropocentric in that it recognises the moral standing of human beings alone, and as such other beings are given at the most indirect moral consideration when their interests conflict with the interests of humans. However, many global environmental problems and worldwide practices directly affect not just human beings but many other creatures too. In the light of this, the anthropocentric approach has been accused by some philosophers of being too narrowly focused on human interests to creditably account for the true extent of our moral obligations. This article provides a conceptual outline of biocentrism as an alternative approach to ethics; one which widens the moral scope to include all living beings as candidates deserving of moral consideration. The article also discusses how this approach might be applied to contemporary ethical issues which are international in their dimension, including environmental issues, as well as issues concerning our use of animals in worldwide human practices.

Comment: Provides a thorough and critical overview of debates in environmental ethics as they relate to biocentrism and applied issues (including climate change and our use of animals in modern-day practices).

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Humphreys, Rebekah. Suffering, Sentientism, and Sustainability: An Analysis of a Non-Anthropocentric Moral Framework for Climate Ethics
2020, Brian G. Henning, Zack Walsh (eds.), Climate Change Ethics and the Non-human World. Routledge Taylor Francis Group, 49-62
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Added by: Björn Freter, Contributed by: Rebekah Humphreys

Abstract: In the light of the current environmental crisis, different approaches to mitigating climate change have been put forward, some more plausible than others. However, despite problems with anthropocentric approaches to global warming (whether these be weak or strong versions of the approach), it seems that because of the largely anthropocentric outlook of the Western world, an internationally united approach to mitigating climate change will (perhaps inevitably) come from human-centred values. But what are the long-term implications of this? Such values need to be at the very least challenged if we are interested in providing justifiable and sustainable solutions to the current crisis. Indeed, this paper will analyse sentientism as an alternative environmental ethic stance and will discuss why it provides a more plausible approach than anthropocentric ones whilst recognising where it falls short.

Comment: Presents a critical evaluation of sentientism and biocentrism in relation to ethical frameworks for mitigation and adaption responses to climate change.

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Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants
2015, Milkweed Editions.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these lenses of knowledge together to show that the awakening of a wider ecological consciousness requires the acknowledgment and celebration of our reciprocal relationship with the rest of the living world. For only when we can hear the languages of other beings are we capable of understanding the generosity of the earth, and learning to give our own gifts in return.

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Korsmeyer, Carolyn. Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy
1999, Cornell University Press.
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Added by: Chris Blake-Turner, Contributed by: Christy Mag Uidhir
Publisher's Note: Taste, perhaps the most intimate of the five senses, has traditionally been considered beneath the concern of philosophy, too bound to the body, too personal and idiosyncratic. Yet, in addition to providing physical pleasure, eating and drinking bear symbolic and aesthetic value in human experience, and they continually inspire writers and artists.In Making Sense of Taste, Carolyn Korsmeyer explains how taste came to occupy so low a place in the hierarchy of senses and why it is deserving of greater philosophical respect and attention. Korsmeyer begins with the Greek thinkers who classified taste as an inferior, bodily sense; she then traces the parallels between notions of aesthetic and gustatory taste that were explored in the formation of modern aesthetic theories. She presents scientific views of how taste actually works and identifies multiple components of taste experiences. Turning to taste's objects?food and drink?she looks at the different meanings they convey in art and literature as well as in ordinary human life and proposes an approach to the aesthetic value of taste that recognizes the representational and expressive roles of food. Korsmeyer's consideration of art encompasses works that employ food in contexts sacred and profane, that seek to whet the appetite and to keep it at bay; her selection of literary vignettes ranges from narratives of macabre devouring to stories of communities forged by shared eating.

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Powys Whyte, Kyle, Cuomo, Chris. Ethics of Caring in Environmental Ethics: Indigenous and Feminist Philosophies
2016, In The Oxford Handbok of Environmental Ethics, Stephen Gardiner and Allen Thompson (eds.), OUP
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Abstract: Indigenous ethics and feminist care ethics offer a range of related ideas and tools for environmental ethics. These ethics delve into deep connections and moral commitments between nonhumans and humans to guide ethical forms of environmental decision making and environmental science. Indigenous and feminist movements such as the Mother Earth Water Walk and the Green Belt Movement are ongoing examples of the effectiveness of on-the-ground environmental care ethics. Indigenous ethics highlight attentive caring for the intertwined needs of humans and nonhumans within interdependent communities. Feminist environmental care ethics emphasize the importance of empowering communities to care for themselves and the social and ecological communities in which their lives and interests are interwoven. The gendered, feminist, historical, and anticolonial dimensions of care ethics, indigenous ethics, and other related approaches provide rich ground for rethinking and reclaiming the nature and depth of diverse relationships as the fabric of social and ecological being.

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Sarkar, Sahotra. Environmental Philosophy: From Theory to Practice
2012, Wiley-Blackwell.
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Added by: Simon Fokt, Contributed by: Rose Trappes

Publisher's Note: The first comprehensive treatment of environmental philosophy, going beyond ethics to address the philosophical concepts that underlie environmental thinking and policy-making today

  • Encompasses all of environmental philosophy, including conservation biology, restoration ecology, sustainability, environmental justice, and more
  • Offers the first treatment of decision theory in an environmental philosophy text
  • Explores the conceptions of nature and ethical presuppositions that underlie contemporary environmental debates, and, moving from theory to practice, shows how decision theory translates to public policy
  • Addresses both hot-button issues, including population and immigration reform, and such ongoing issues as historical legacies and nations' responsibility and obligation for environmental problems
  • Anchors philosophical concepts to their practical applications, establishing the priority of the discipline's real-world importance

Comment: This book provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to major philosophical issues in environmental science, ethics and policy. There are handy 'boxes' with examples to illustrate the text. Chapters are fairly short and can be a bit dense, but they are good as overviews of the major issues when paired with related but more specific texts. It's also sensitive to indigenous and racial issues when it comes to conservation.

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Todd, Zoe. Fish pluralities: Human-animal Relations and Sites of Engagement in Paulatuuq
2014, Arctic Canada. Études/Inuit/Studies, 38(1-2), 217–238.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Abstract: This article explores human-fish relations as an under-theorized “active site of engagement” in northern Canada. It examines two case studies that demonstrate how the Inuvialuit of Paulatuuq employ “fish pluralities” (multiple ways of knowing and defining fish) to negotiate the complex and dynamic pressures faced by humans, animals, and the environment in contemporary Arctic Canada. I argue that it is instructive for all Canadians to understand the central role of humans and animals, together, as active agents in political and colonial processes in northern Canada. By examining human-fish relationships, as they have unfolded in Paulatuuq over the last 50 years, we may develop a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic strategies that northern Indigenous people, including the Paulatuuqmiut (people from Paulatuuq), use to navigate shifting environmental, political, legal, social, cultural, and economic realities in Canada’s North. This article thus places fish and people, together, as central actors in the political landscape of northern Canada. I also hypothesize a relational framework for Indigenous-State reconciliation discourses in Canada today. This framework expands southern political and philosophical horizons beyond the human and toward a broader societal acknowledgement of complex and dynamic relationships between people, fish, and the land in Paulatuuq.

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Van Dyke, Christina. Eating as a Gendered Act: Christianity, Feminism, and Reclaiming the Body
2008, in K. J. Clark (ed.) Readings in the Philosophy of Religion, Second Edition. Peterborough: Broadview Press: 475-489.
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Abstract: In current society, eating is most definitely a gendered act: that is, what we eat and how we eat it factors in both the construction and the performance of gender. Furthermore, eating is a gendered act with consequences that go far beyond whether one orders a steak or a salad for dinner. In the first half of this paper, I identify the dominant myths surrounding both female and male eating, and I show that those myths contribute in important ways to cultural constructions of male and female appetites more generally speaking. In the second half, I argue that the Christian church should share feminism's perception of these current cultural myths as fundamentally disordered, and I claim that the Christian traditions of fasting and feasting present us with a concrete means to counter those damaging conceptions and reclaim a healthy attitude toward our hunger.

Comment: A great reading for a feminist philosophy of religion course, or alternatively for a general philosophy of religion course as a way to introduce feminist philosophy of religion - this text could also be a further reading for the latter. I think that this reading would incite a great deal of interest, and provoke fruitful discussion. Would be potentially even more useful for a course on religious aesthetics.

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Various Contributors. Indigenous Land Stewardship: Tending Nature
2021, KCET. 57min. USA.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Abstract: This "Tending Nature" special features multiple perspectives and voices from Indigenous communities across California who are striving to keep the practices of their heritage alive. From coming-of-age rituals, seasonal food harvests, basket weaving and jewelry making, the documentary shares how traditional practices can be protected and maintained as a way of life for future generations.

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Various Contributors. Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut
2008, John R. Bennett and Susan Rowley (eds.). McGill-Queen's University Press.
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Added by: Sonja Dobroski and Quentin Pharr
Publisher’s Note: Uqalurait presents a comprehensive account of Inuit life on land and sea ice in the area now called Nunavut, before extensive contact with southerners. Drawing on a broad range of oral history sources - from nineteenth-century exploration accounts to contemporary community-based projects - the book uses quotes from over three hundred Inuit elders to provide an 'inside' view of family life, social relations, hunting, the land, shamanism, health, and material culture. For the first time, the reader encounters Inuit culture and traditional knowledge through the voices of people who lived the life being described. Based on a larger research project developed under the guidance of six Inuit from across Nunavut, Uqalurait consists of thousands of quotations organised thematically into cohesive chapters. The book describes the seasonal rounds of four different groups, capturing the fact that while Inuit across Nunavut had much in common, there was also much to distinguish them from each other, living as they did in many small groups of people, each with its own territory and identity. Given the recent creation of Nunavut and the current focus of attention on the Arctic due to climate change, Uqalurait is a timely source of insight from a people whose values of sharing and respect for the environment have helped them to live contentedly for centuries at the northern limit of the inhabitable world.

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