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The Culture of Nature through Mississippian Geographies

Jeff Baldwin
Ethics and the Environment
Vol. 11, No. 2, Special Topic Issue Nature / Culture Dualism (Fall - Winter, 2006), pp. 13-44
Published by: Indiana University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40339122
Page Count: 32
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The Culture of Nature through Mississippian Geographies
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Abstract

The paper's first interest is in re-forming exploitive human-environment relations. It shows that culture/nature dichotomies are not only false, but obscure the commonality of culture to humans and nonhuman beings and processes. The paper draws upon the Roman genesis of "culture" to describe its function in finding appropriateness among co-evolving human and nonhuman projects. Culture, thus, is the process through which co-eval projects are brought together. The study argues that through dialectic interrelationships, culture works to move biospheric relations towards mutualism and away from parasitism (or exploitation). This is evident among nonhuman beings and processes as well as cultures in which humans are more central. The paper draws upon various interrelationships in the Mississippi watershed to illustrate these points. It then briefly explores the usefulness of a culture of nature perspective in planning and managing development projects.

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