Animism

Russell Edwards
Jan 17, 2016 · 21 min read

The lightbulb moment — or, rather, string of lightbulb moments — came for me when I was reading, alternately, The Island Within, by Richard Nelson, and Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason, by Val Plumwood. A change of employment had gifted me with two solid hours of train commuting each day, which I split luxuriously between sleeping and reading. Short doses of Plumwood’s dense, intense, incisive polemic, tempered with something a shade less demanding: for a time, The Island Within.

Reading the two together, it was impossible to miss the strong links between the the kind of ontology and ethics Plumwood was calling for, and the worldview Nelson modeled, which was informed by his intimate understanding of the culture of the Koyukon people of Alaska. The picture Nelson presented was far from the usual Western anthropological description of indigenous religious beliefs, which they labelled animism, characterised by a belief in a pantheon of supernatural animal-gods. Instead, Nelson’s worldview was one of intimate awareness of his material and communicative involvement in a particular ecological community of human and nonhuman persons, which demanded that relations with the nonhuman world be undertaken with respect. Nelson wrote:

According to Koyukon teachers, the tree I lean against feels me, hears what I say about it, and engages me in a moral reciprocity based on responsible use. In their tradition, the forest is both a provider and a community of spiritually empowered beings. There is no emptiness in the forest, no unwatched solitude, no wilderness where a person moves outside moral judgement and law. [1]

To me, this gelled perfectly with Plumwood’s bottom-line call to “develop a communicative, place-sensitive culture which can situate humans ecologically and nonhumans ethically.” [2] No mention of animism is made in Environmental Culture, but just as I began to seek out her later works, a new paper appeared that joined all the dots: Val Plumwood’s Philosophical Animism: Attentive Interactions in the Sentient World. In this paper, Deborah Bird Rose makes it clear that, prior to hear death in 2008, Val Plumwood had indeed began to characterise her position as a kind of animism. Moreover, I learned from Debbie Rose’s paper, a new movement in anthropology and religious studies had engaged with animism on its own terms, and I hoped in these I would find much useful elaboration of the ideas I had found in the synthesis of Nelson and Plumwood. I’ll begin here in this entry by discussing the most accessible title I have encountered so far, Animism: Respecting the Living World, by Graham Harvey.

What is Animism?

Harvey opens with a concise and useful definition of animism:

Animists are people who recognise that the world is full of persons, only some of whom are human, and that life is always lived in relationship with others. Animism is lived out in various ways that are all about learning to act respectfully (carefully and constructively) towards and among other persons.” [3]

The meaning of “persons” is clarified soon after:

Persons are those with whom other persons interact with varying degrees of reciprocity. Persons may be spoken with. Objects, by contrast, are usually spoken about. Persons are volitional, relational, cultural and social beings. They demonstrate intentionality and agency with varying degrees of autonomy and freedom. [4]

“Life is always lived in relationship with others.” Credit: Guérin Nicolas

Harvey is a scholar of religious studies, but it’s clear he sees animism not just as a common element of religious doctrine, but rather as a metaphysical framework with much to say about environmental ethics, and about the failings of Western culture on this front.

Far from being just an obscure and esoteric set of beliefs, animism in Harvey’s view not only “addresses contemporary issues and debates,” but also “clarifies, in various ways, the argument that the project of modernity is ill-conceived an dangerously performed.” [5] The potential for cultural critique Harvey finds in animism again has much in common with the analysis articulated by Val Plumwood in Environmental Culture (and indeed with Patrick Curry’s critique of secular monism [6]). For Harvey, animism offers an alternative to the dominant culture’s tendencies towards monism and dualism:

Instead of crying ‘One!’ or ‘Two!’, animists celebrate plurality, multiplicity, the many and their entwined passionate entanglements. Instead of the hero who struggles against one or other side of things in an attempt to discern the underlying truth, animist stories present tricksters who multiply possibilities in increasingly amusing ways. [7]

Harvey insists that the value in learning about cultures of animism is more than just satisfying curiosity, pointing out that “unless we are willing to be challenged, or make changes, we ought not to waste so much of other people’s time asking them questions that most often seem simplistic and insane.” [8] Instead the aim is to learn from animist lifeways: “I seek a way to speak of and to celebrate all that we are as embodied, sensual, participative persons in a physical, sensuous, relational world and cosmos.” [9]

Ethics are inherent to the animist worldview: “animism is not only an enchanting vision of a world that might be, it is a considered and cultivated interaction with a world in which there are better or worse ways in which to relate and act.” [10] The wording here seems to me to concur with the position articulated by Plumwood, Curry and others, that a nondualist outlook finds a better fit with virtue ethics than with the dominant modernist frameworks of deontology or utilitarianism, which are burdened by excessive individualism and respect/use dualism. To this end, Harvey notes that

Far from naïve, Animists engage (responsively or proactively) with the real world in which, if they are correct, people must eat other persons, may be in conflict with other persons, will encounter death, and will need to balance the demands made by a series of more-or-less intimate and more-or-less hostile relationships. [11]

A kind of umbrella virtue is to be found in the notion of “respect”: “’respect’ is a blend of cautious and constructive acting towards other persons and even towards ‘things’ which might turn out to be persons.” [12] The way in which environmental ethics straightforwardly follows from recognising the personhood of nonhuman others is familiar from other sources: for example, Aldo Leopold’s call for respect for our fellow members of the “land community” [13], or Richard Sylvan and David Bennett’s suggestion that “the ecological community forms the ethical community.” [14]

What Animism Isn’t

Harvey is careful to point out that each animist culture differs from the others, for example in terms of whether particular entities are taken to be persons or are seen as inanimate objects, and whether or not there exist any disembodied persons. The term “animisms” is put into use to reflect the plurality of animist worldviews.

An important point to notice about animisms is that they need not be making any universal claims to truth, for example about the existence of supernatural spirits. Harvey cautions:

It may be necessary to note, forcefully, that in the following discussion to the terms ‘person’ and ‘other-than-human person’ are not intended to replace words like ‘spirit’ or ‘deity’. They are not references to any ‘greater than human’ or ‘supernatural’ beings unless this is specified in some other way. Animists may acknowledge the existence and even presence of deities or discarnate persons (if that is what ‘spirit’ means), but their personhood is a more general fact. [15]

Bunjil (wedge-tailed eagle) is a creator figure in the dreaming of several aboriginal nations including the traditional owners of the region where I live. Credit: David Cook

Harvey is happy to acknowledge the belief in discarnate spirits by some animisms. A belief in the supernatural or at least in esoteric modes of interspecies communication seems essential to understanding the points Harvey makes around shamanism, although he does not state this explicitly. (I suspect there are layers of nuance in Harvey’s writing that have escaped me. The same is true to an even greater extent of some of the leading edge scholars of new animism; Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think has collected dust on my shelf for about a year already, awaiting the time when I’m up to the challenge of grokking his no doubt profound insights.)

At other times, Harvey is shows by example how seemingly supernatural ideas can be understood in more realist terms. For example, with regards to the existence of dead persons, he writes that “while death might dramatically transform those human people who become ancestors, this is just another demonstration of processes that may be considered central to life,” [16] and says that “since the signs indicative of personhood recognised by animists typically include the power of transformation, death can be conceived of as a great transformation rather than a final cessation. Certainly, for example, the least interesting thing about ancestors is that they are dead.” [17]

For many of us, a little more effort is needed to notice the intentionality of non-animal persons, although shortcuts exist, as shown by this timelapse sequence from David Attenborough’s extraordinary series, The Private Life of Plants.

Animism need not run counter to the materialist view of the world. Beyond the readily apparent fact that non-human organisms engage in the self-willed pursuit of their own ends, attributing any extra capabilities or powers to nonhuman persons need not necessarily be a part of an animistic outlook. Instead, animism consists of a particular stance or posture taken in conceptualising the material world and our dealings with it. Contrasting her preferred stance — of recognising the intentionality of nonhumans — to the dominant Western anthropocentric stance, Plumwood asks, “is it to be a posture of openness, of welcoming, of invitation, towards earth others, or is it to be a stance of prejudged superiority, of deafness, of closure?” [18]. In a later essay, Plumwood advances that she is “not talking about inventing fairies at the bottom of the garden. It’s a matter of being open to experiences of nature as powerful, agentic and creative, making space in our culture for an animating sensibility and vocabulary.” [19]

Making a similar point about recognising the variety of stances available to us, and choosing one which leads us to make ethically better choices, Nelson writes:

Living with the Koyukon people, I was constantly struck by the wisdom and sensibility of their ways, and I tried — within the limits of my knowledge — to follow their teachings. Of course, their culture is not my own, nor is their way of seeing nature a part of my inheritance. I will never know if animals and plants have spirits, if the tree I stand beside is aware of my presence, if respectful gestures bring hunting luck and protect my well-being. But I am absolutely certain it is wise and responsible to behave as if these things were true. [20]

For many, the use of this word “spirit” automatically rings alarm bells, on account of its association with the “supernatural”. But, in Harvey’s view, it is necessary to remember that animist notions of spirit or soul have little in common with the Western conception of them:

The problem is how to speak of souls in relation to animism without importing understandings from religions or philosophies with a more transcendent focus. Animisms tend not to have the same problem with embodiment that leads many Westerners to privilege soul over body, spirituality over physicality, mind over matter, culture over nature, intention over performance, inner over outer, and so on. [21]

Graham Harvey’s affinity for hedgehogs pops up repeatedly in the book. Credit: Tomi Tapio

The animist position is neither to elevate the soul nor to deny its existence, but instead to recognise that the distinction between body and soul is false, as Harvey illustrates with a quote from Viveiros de Castro: “’Body’ and ‘soul’ are like ‘nature and culture’: they ‘do not correspond to substantives, self-subsistent entities or ontological provinces, but rather to pronouns or phenomenological perspectives’.” [22] Contrary to the old position that animism relied on supernatural concepts, Harvey points to

animists’ resistance to the notion of ‘the supernatural’, a domain that appears to transcend everyday reality and hereby dialectically to form another domain called ‘nature’. Neither ‘nature’ nor ‘supernature’ are necessary in the thinking of animists who understand that many and various persons co-exist and are jointly responsible for the ways the world will evolve next. [23]

An illustration of this view is found in Harvey’s treatment of ancestors, whose continuing influence in society after their death means that they “are very much part of the world of ordinary human and other-than-human personal interests,” so that “if ancestors are spirits, then the term ‘spirits’ needs to be understood in ways that disconnect it from associations with disembodied or non-material realities.” [24]

Incidentally, for Harvey, animism resists supernatural theism and modernist rationalism in equal measure, for related reasons that again resonate with Patrick Curry’s critique of secular monism that “carried on in direct continuity with, and alongside, its theistic ancestor” [25]:

Animist worldviews are opposed to the utopian and disembodied fantasies underlying assertions of the modernist kind of objectivity, contesting them as rootless and timeless abstractions, and as claims to a hierarchical kind of divinity variously inimical to everyday life. Instead animisms entail topophilic, biophilic and clitoral celebrations of life in all its diversity, materiality, physicality, specificity, ordinariness, locatedness and its many pleasures and excesses. [26]

Edward Tylor

For Harvey, the problem with the old conception of animism was not so much its characterisation of it as “’belief in souls,… controlling deities and subordinate spirits’” [27], which after all is true of many animisms, but instead its dismissal of animism as nothing more than this, and the use of that view to denigrate indigenous people as ‘primitive’, ‘savages’, ‘lower races’ on account of their failure to concord with Western anthropocentric ideas around the “’absolute psychical distinction between man and beast’” [28]. Harvey returns to this point throughout the book, for example in discussing Maori worldview:

Significantly, Maori do not predicate the right to use Earth’s natural resources on claims to human difference and superiority, and certainly not on the presumption that we alone in the world are living persons. Instead they discover such a right in whakapapa, genealogical descent from Papatuanuku and Ranginui, which makes people tangata whenua, i.e. ‘an integral part of nature … [with the] responsibility to take care of the whenua (land) and tangata (people)’. Some anthropologists have mystified Maori understandings by imputing them to beliefs in magical or mystical forces. However, the key theme and experience is of the etiquette of relationships. Offerings must be made, gifts given, exchanges made, excess profits returned. Life givers must not be abused or ignored, especially when they provide inestimable benefits. [29]

Harvey sums up the antagonism between animism and the Western worldview thusly:

Animist ontologies and epistemologies have fared badly in relation to the defining dualities of modernist philosophy and science (combined under the label ‘rationalism’). They seem to have arisen from and been reinforced by relational, embodied, subjective, particular, localised, traditional and sensual experience rather than by dispassionate, intellectual, objective, universalised, global, progressive and rational reflection. In celebrating what particular people — groups and participants in groups — experience in particular places by engaging in specific relationships, animisms appear to be the very opposite of Cartesian and other Western knowledge systems. Their modes of discourse and enquiry have been opaque or invisible to those who prefer detached observation to involved participation. [30]

Animism and Respectful Use

Animism offers perspectives for engaging with problems related to living in the world, a variety of which are discussed by Harvey, both in reference to particular animist cultures, and in more general terms. One problem of central importance, which I am especially interested in, is how to negotiate the ethical hazards of appropriative relationships. Here is one example, from Maori culture:

Tawhai’s summary of Maori religion, or at least that of Ngati Uepohatu, immediately links that activity with the violence and conflict-resolution of humans and their other-than-human neighbours. For example, in seeking permission from and offering placation to forest trees before they are cut down to build whare nui, or to kumara tubers before they are dug up to provide food in the whare kai, Maori confont the problem that to live is to take life. This problem is generative of much animist activity, and is noted again in later chapters. [31]

It is immediately clear that animists are unable to fall into what Val Plumwood termed use/respect dualism — the notion that any instrumental use of an ethically considerable being is necessarily disrespectful — because all their food and clothing consists of the body parts of persons. As an Iglulik shaman named Aua put it to Danish ethnographer Rasmussen, “the greatest peril of life lies in the fact that human food consists entirely of souls.” When not only animals but also plants and fungi are seen as persons, and ecosystems are seen as ethical communities, the vegetarian fantasy of an ethical purity attainable through non-use alone vanishes, and one is forced to reconsider the mutual exclusivity of use and respect.

Wood carvings on a Maori wharenui. Image credit: James Shook

Contrary to the Western impulse to deny the appropriative character of some or all of our interspecies relationships, animists embrace this fact, and all acts of appropriation are engaged in with mindfulness:

The cutting and carving of wood or stone entails the taking of life as much as the cutting and carving of bone does. Bone may come from beings whose matter (bone, flesh, blood and so on) is more like our own, but the difference between us and trees or rocks does not diminish the fact that to cut them is to assault them. The taking of life becomes unavoidably obvious. Carving and decorative arts flourish among the Maori, but far from attempting to avoid the awareness of the violence done, such awareness is central and generative. [32]

The ways in which respect is shown varies from culture to culture, but the foundation is the animist worldview, in which the organisms we eat are seen as ontological equals, as kin. The resulting attitude of humility informs every relationship animists hold with nonhuman persons. One of the more detailed explications of this in Harvey’s book comes in the form of quotes from Brian Morris’ study of Malawi relations with animals:

‘Hunting is not undertaken in an aggressive spirit at all, and is certainly not a ‘blood sport’ or motivated by sadomasochistic tendencies… [nor is it] a war upon animals, but rather almost a sacred occupation… Ritual power is seen manifested in the game animals that they hunt, and typically hunter-gatherers view animals as spiritual equals who, in an important sense, allow themselves to be killed if the hunter is in the right mental and spiritual condition.’ [33]

Animism as material engagement

Echoing Plumwood’s call for a “materialist spirituality of place” [34], Harvey contrasts animism favourably with the tendency of Western culture to seek goodness in the transcendence of the Earthly condition. (It seems to me that the same criticism might well be levelled at Eastern religions, with their duality of samsara and nirvana and the precept of nonharming) Harvey makes this point in a few places, for example in the continuation of his discussion of Brian Morris:

Morris argues that the ‘organic unity’ of humans with, in and as nature is severed not by the rejection of hunting but under the influence of the ‘transcendental theism of Christianity and Islam’ which seems to justify the exploitation of, and denial of agency and significance to, animals and other members of the community of life. Animism and its respectful relationality, then, is not threatened by hunting and consumption, but by a shift of focus ‘upwards’ and away from the ordinary, messy realities of the shared world, [35]

and later in his own words, with explicit reference to the relevance of animism to ecological philosophy:

Animists’ contributions to ecological thinking and acting are rooted in the firm insistence that not only is all life inescapably located and related, but also that the attempt to escape is at the root of much that is wrong with the world today. Animism’s alternative promise is a celebratory engagement of embodied persons with a personal and sensual world. [36]

An Australian Figbird about to eat a beetle. Credit: Mdk572

Practical consideration of the fact that (to use J. Claude Evans’ phrase) life is appropriation leads to a realisation that the proper focus of ethical and spiritual engagement is outward towards the world, not away from it, upward or (as discussed below) inward. The same point was made with characteristic eloquence by Gary Snyder:

Everyone who ever lived took the lives of other animals, pulled plants, plucked fruit, and ate. Primary people have had their own ways of trying to understand the precept of nonharming. They knew that taking life required gratitude and care. There is no death that is not somebody’s food, no life that is not somebody’s death. Some would take this as a sign that the universe is fundamentally flawed. This leads to a disgust with self, with humanity, and with nature. Otherworldly philosophies end up doing more damage to the planet (and human psyches) than the pain and suffering that is in the existential conditions they seek to transcend. [37]

Snyder’s concluding point resonates as much with reference to otherworldly religions as it does to the Western secular worldview, with its elevation of the world of mind and ideas above that of mere matter. For this reason, it’s welcome but unsuprising that Harvey contrasts animism favourably not just with the ‘upward’ focus of transcendental religion, but also with the ‘inward’ focus of psychology and psychologically-oriented spirituality. Discussing Paganism, he suggests that “nature is neither ‘out there’ nor ‘within’”, and quotes Starhawk: “Meditation on the balance of nature might be considered a spiritual act in Witchcraft, but not as much as cleaning up garbage left at a campsite or marching to protest an unsafe nuclear plant.” [38]

Harvey’s critique of the ‘inward’ path appears mostly in his discussion of shamanism. Shamanism, in Harvey’s view, is the practice of mediating with other-than-human persons. Harvey’s view of shamanism is probably more succinctly quoted than summarised, even though the quote is lengthy:

Two major problems of recognising one’s ontological similarity with others, of knowing the necessity of naming them persons, and of attempting to relate respectfully to all who live, are (a) some such persons (human or otherwise) are aggressive and even predatory, and (b) one must eat at least some of them in order to live. The maintenance and furtherance of human community within the wider community of life — of persons only some of whom are human — requires enormous efforts to establish, safeguard, repair, stabilise and enhance relationships threatened by various everyday acts of intimate violence. That is, ordinary nutritional needs assault the community of life and require vigorous action to prevent the reciprocal endangerment of human communities. This might also be true for other-than-human communities and the results of their nutritional needs, and might therefore constitute a reason for their parallel elaboration of cultural etiquette and so on — and their employment of (other-than-human) shamans. However, although respect for all life is important, there are predatory aggressors, enemies and especially ones with ‘magical’ abilities, who are far from welcome and must be dealt with by some means. These daily facts of violence and intimacy test the boundaries of human living alongside others. Their solution is the engagement of shamans.” [39]

Harvey defends this view of shamanism against what he terms the “psychologisation” of shamanism. This begins with the idea that shamans profess to journey “beyond the constraints of physical embodiment and location” [40], and into a higher, non-material realm:

The journey of the shaman from the profane (that is, not merely mundane but negatively valued) world to the unchanging purity of eternity — in ritual and especially in shamanic ascent — is definitive of all true religion for Eliade. More explicitly, it is central to religion as Eliade thought it should be.” [41]

The dissonance of this view with Western secularism led anthropologists to question the sanity of shamans. A way of legitimising shamanism was found by Eliade, Levi-Strauss and others by “constructing shamanism as psychology or therapy”, leading to the popularisation of “neo-shamanism” and the idea that “’traditional shamans undertook spirit journeys while neo-shamans undertake spiritual ones’ or ‘traditional shamans journey to other worlds, new ones enter their own inner-worlds which are often familiar from Jungian and other therapies.’” [42]

Rejecting a putatively ‘upward’ focus in favour of an ‘inward’ one misses the point for Harvey, who argues that the psychologisation of shamanism is a colonising process. Harvey suggests that this is part of a broader bias of modern dualism: “the celebration of ‘inner’ experience over ‘outward’ performance and ritual.” [43] I would have liked him to elaborate here; perhaps I should re-read the book from the start to keep an eye out, but this is about all I noticed on my first reading in terms the contrast between Earthly pluralism animism and the modernist notion of the primacy of human mind.

In a fascinating and related aside, Harvey takes on the various approaches to the substances used as aids by shamans and others:

“Some shamans utilise preparations or derivatives of plants that are commonly labelled ‘hallucinogenic’ in the West. The implication is that what people see and experience with the help of such substances is hallucination: false vision, illusion or delusion. To accept the label is to prejudice everything. Only a little better, perhaps, are words that privilege the internality of the results of ingesting these powerful derivatives and extracts: psychotropics, psychedelics, psycho-actives and even entheogens. Even words that allow the possibility of ‘visionary’ experiences are problematised by the possible implication that what is seen transcends the mundane world, i.e. that it is not ‘real’. The point is, of course, that people who consider themselves helped in this way think what they are enabled to see is really there — the false vision belongs to those who cannot or will not see.” [44]

Aldous Huxley

It’s always gratifying when someone else espouses an opinion you’ve privately held for some time. I have long wondered if the West could have learned more from its re-acquaintance with these substances from the 1950s onwards. What if Timothy Leary had chosen Native American traditions rather than the Tibetan Book of the Dead to popularise as a framework for interpreting experiences of psilocybin and LSD? Or, what if Aldous Huxley’s encounter with these substances had not come about through a psychiatrist — Humphrey Osmond, who coined the term ‘psychedelic’ in correspondence with Huxley — or, what if Huxley had understood that the real “perennial philosophy” is the Earthly animistic pluralism of the vast majority of human cultures, and not the other-worldly monism of Western and Eastern traditions (of which, in his view, the traditions of “primitive” people are but a “rudimentary” form)? Is it any surprise that an intensified focus on self and transcendence only served to accelerate that which one might have hoped the psychedelic revolution and the broader ferment of the 60s and 70s would curtail: the ruthless exploitation of of the Earth and its human and other-than-human inhabitants?

Conclusions

Harvey’s book is an excellent introduction to the various philosophical implications of animism. In it I found the confirmation I was looking for of the links I was drawing between Plumwood’s nondualism and Nelson’s encounter with Koyukon worldviews. The 14-page preface, in particular, lays out an excellent summary of the key points Harvey wishes to make around animism. A fine accompaniment to this for those wishing to become acquainted with animism is Harvey’s rather brilliant Animist Manifesto.

The remainder of the book really raised more questions that it answered, for me, but that’s a good thing. Clearly there are vast layers of misconception to scrape away before those of us raised under Western worldviews can comprehend the finer nuances of animist lifeways. We have to start somewhere, and for those of a more bookish bent, Harvey’s book is a very worthwhile starting point. Harvey makes some very intriguing points which often I felt like I was only partly able to grasp — but in most instances he cites a wealth of sources that certainly seem on that basis to be well worth following up. I suspect that chasing those up will keep me happily entertained for quite some time.


Endnotes

1. Richard Nelson, The Island Within, North Point Press; p. 13

2. Val Plumwood, 2002, Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason, Routledge; p. 239

3. Graham Harvey, 2005, Animism: Respecting the Living World, Hurst & Co; p. xi

4. Ibid. p. xvii

5. Ibid. p. xii

6. Patrick Curry, 2007, “Post Secular Nature”, Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 11: 284–304

7. Ibid. p. xiv-xv

8. Ibid. p. xx

9. Ibid. p. xxi

10. Ibid. p. xx

11. Ibid. p. xx

12. Ibid. p. xiv

13. Aldo Leopold, 1949, A Sand County Almanac. Reprinted in A Sand County Almanac With Essays on Conservation from Round River, Ballantine Books (1966); p. 240

14. Richard Sylvan and David Bennett, 1994, The Greening of Ethics, Polity Press; p. 91

15. Harvey, 2005; p. xviii

16. Ibid. p. 114

17. Ibid. p. 115

18. Val Plumwood, 2002, Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason, Routledge; p. 175–6

19. Val Plumwood, 2009, “Nature in the Active Voice”, Australian Humanities Review, 113–129

20. Richard Nelson, 1997, Heart and Blood: Living with Deer in America, Alfred A. Knopf; p. 286

21. Harvey, 2005; p. 135

22. Ibid. p. 136; quoting Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, 1998, “Cosmological Deixis and Amerindian Perspectivism”, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 4:481

23. Ibid. p. 185

24. Ibid. p. 127

25. Patrick Curry, 2007, “Post Secular Nature”, Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion 11: 284–304

26. Ibid. p. 185

27. Ibid. p. 7; quoting Edward Tylor, 1913, Primitive Culture, John Murray; vol I, p. 426–7

28. Ibid. p. 8; quoting Edward Tylor, 1913, Primitive Culture, John Murray; vol I, p.469

29. Ibid. p. 63

30. Ibid. p. 203

31. Ibid. p. 63

32. Ibid. p. 55

33. Ibid. p. 116; quoting Brian Morris, 2000, Animals and Ancestors: An Ethnography, Oxford; p. 20

34. Val Plumwood, 2002, Environmental Culture: The Ecological Crisis of Reason, Routledge; Ch. 10

35. Harvey, 2005; p. 116

36. Harvey, 2005; p. 186

37. Gary Snyder, 1990, The Practice of the Wild, Counterpoint; p. 196

38. Harvey, 2005; p. 86; quoting Starhawk, 1979, The Spiral Dance, HarperCollins; p. 20

39. Ibid. p. 139

40. Ibid. p. 142

41. Ibid. p. 140–1

42. Ibid. p. 142–3

43. Ibid. p. 143

44. Ibid. p. 145

Culture Dysphoria

towards ecological culture

Russell Edwards

Written by

ecology, ecophilosophy, ecopolitics, food ethics

Culture Dysphoria

towards ecological culture

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