Experiences of Deep Ecological Thinking in African Traditional Environmental Thought: A Philosophical Reflection in Perspective

Mulata Hiluf Abrha


The logic of relational view as an ethic of maintaining balance of interaction between human beings and the rest of nature is central to both deep ecological worldview and African traditional environmental knowledge. It is argued in this article that relational view is an overseen/unrecognized depiction of resemblance between African Traditional Environmental Knowledge and deep ecological thinking first and for most in terms of the way they approach ‘ontology of live and let others live.’ Hence, their similarity in this respect rests on the fact that both affirms the inevitable logic of relations between humans and non-humans from which important scholarships would be drawn and exchanged with practitioners in the field of environmental ethics. Owing to this, the founder of Deep Ecology (DE) Arne Naess considers indigenous knowledge (with particular emphasis to the Eastern, Asian ethical tradition) as fundamental premises for any enlightened environmental thinking. Contrary to this deep ecological claim within indigenous knowledge, I argue that, very little or probably no attention is given to the similar contribution of ATEK to an ecologically friendly system of thought such as deep ecology in particular and to the whole spectrum of environmental ethics in general. Hence, this article aims at examining elements of deep ecological thinking in ATEK with particular focus on relational view (nature-relatedness). This article is also guided by Bryan Norton’s Convergence Hypothesis theory (CHT) and concludes that ATEKs have attributes that can be seen as enlightened part of environmental ethics as has been done to the Asian, Australian, Red Indian traditional environmental thoughts.

Keywords: African, Traditional, Environment, Knowledge, Deep Ecology, Convergence.

DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/45-01

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN 2422-8443

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