Exploring African holism with respect to the environment

  • Behrens K
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Abstract

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.

Author-supplied keywords

  • African environmentalism
  • Harmonious relationships
  • Holism
  • Non-anthropocentricism

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