Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Everyday Environmental Ethics as Comedy & Story: A Collage

Shagbark Hickory
Ethics and the Environment
Vol. 8, No. 2, Special Issue on Environmental Narrative (Autumn 2003), pp. 80-105
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40339068
Page Count: 26
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Download ($15.00)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Everyday Environmental Ethics as Comedy & Story: A Collage
Preview not available

Abstract

In Section I, I provide a brief historical sketch of tragedy and its relationship to Socratic philosophy and comedy. II focuses on one aspect of tragedy, namely, its view that morality transcends natural limitations. This understanding of morality is with us still. III presents the central concerns of the world religions as evidence of a widespread feeling of alienation from the sacred and the wild, and contrasts world religions with indigenous spirituality. IV moves us away from the understanding of philosophy as argument and counterargument and toward an ecosystemic, or wild, conception of philosophy as story in the mode of comedy. V offers a Buddhist understanding of tragic alienation that sees it as expressive of something deeply problematic about humans. This something is actualized throughout Western culture but seems to exist only as a potentiality in indigenous cultures. This is reason enough to take indigenous cultures and comedy seriously. VI brings us back to earth with a sketch of comedy in the lives of dear friends. VII sketches some of the attributes of functional communities that give support to comedy. I also point out a number of features of indigenous so-called worldviews that would greatly enhance the ability of comedy to displace tragedy in the West. VIII portrays picaresque comedy as exemplifying the lessons of comedy taught by wilderness. Examples from indigenous cultures of Africa and Gary Snyder's The Practice of the Wild underscore the importance of picaresque strategies and understandings of comedy. A look at Tom Birch's enigmatic statement, "wilderness treats us like human beings," setting it alongside some lines from Thoreau's Walden, rounds out my discussion of comedy. DC poses a challenge: Can we survive "The News" that pours in upon us from tragic seats of power?

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[80]
    [80]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
81
    81
  • Thumbnail: Page 
82
    82
  • Thumbnail: Page 
83
    83
  • Thumbnail: Page 
84
    84
  • Thumbnail: Page 
85
    85
  • Thumbnail: Page 
86
    86
  • Thumbnail: Page 
87
    87
  • Thumbnail: Page 
88
    88
  • Thumbnail: Page 
89
    89
  • Thumbnail: Page 
90
    90
  • Thumbnail: Page 
91
    91
  • Thumbnail: Page 
92
    92
  • Thumbnail: Page 
93
    93
  • Thumbnail: Page 
94
    94
  • Thumbnail: Page 
95
    95
  • Thumbnail: Page 
96
    96
  • Thumbnail: Page 
97
    97
  • Thumbnail: Page 
98
    98
  • Thumbnail: Page 
99
    99
  • Thumbnail: Page 
100
    100
  • Thumbnail: Page 
101
    101
  • Thumbnail: Page 
102
    102
  • Thumbnail: Page 
103
    103
  • Thumbnail: Page 
104
    104
  • Thumbnail: Page 
105
    105