Three Ecosophies for the Anthropocene: Environmental Governance, Continental Posthumanism and Indigenous Expressivism

Edinburgh University Press
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Deleuze Studies, 2016, 10, (4), pp. 455-478
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To facilitate engagement across diverse philosophical cultures, this paper expands points of alliance between the ‘ecosophical’ perspectives shared by Deleuzo-Guattarian posthumanism and by Indigenous thought, here exemplified by the expressivist philosophy of Ngarrindjeri Yannarumi or ‘Speaking as Country’. Indigenous philosophies of existential interconnectivity resist simple incorporation into the Western ‘post’-humanism that they in fact precede by millennia; instead they contribute fresh material for a more cosmopolitan or globally ecosophical (and therefore less Eurocentric), nonhumanist conceptualisation of humanity. We begin by discussing the humanist political ontology subtending the neoliberal-capitalist notion of ‘service benefit’, which informs much contemporary policy for environmental governance. We then consider how the ‘three ecologies’ described by Félix Guattari define a relational ontology of complex co-implication that is Spinozist in its inspiration and is characteristic of contemporary Continental posthumanism. Finally, we explain how the Indigenous Ngarrindjeri Nation in Southern Australia have begun a process of environmental policy reform by communicating a traditional philosophy of ecological well-being and prioritising this in contemporary political negotiations concerning the responsible management of their Country. An understanding of human responsibility for action realising interconnected benefit is manifest in the Ngarrindjeri Nation's striving for self-governance of their social, economic and environmental affairs, and is exercised transversally in the three interactive ecologies of self, society and nature.
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