ITEM VIEW

The value of being wild : a phenomenological approach to wildlife conservation

dc.contributor.advisorDu Toit, Louiseen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorCruise, Adam Johnen_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Philosophy.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2020-02-21T06:54:51Z
dc.date.accessioned2020-04-28T12:09:16Z
dc.date.available2020-02-21T06:54:51Z
dc.date.available2020-04-28T12:09:16Z
dc.date.issued2020-03
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107918
dc.descriptionThesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: Given that one-million species are currently threatened with extinction and that humans are undermining the entire natural infrastructure on which our modern world depends (IPBES, 2019), this dissertation will show that there is a need to provide an alternative approach to wildlife conservation, one that avoids anthropocentrism and wildlife valuation on an instrumental basis to provide meaningful and tangible success for both wildlife conservation and human well-being in an inclusive way. In this sense, The Value of Being Wild will showcase the concept of eco-phenomenology as an important non-anthropocentric alternative to the current approach to wildlife conservation, namely sustainable development. The problem with this dominant paradigm, as Chapter Two will reveal, is that sustainable development has not only failed to provide humans and future generations of humans with their own needs but, as per the latest IPBES report, failed in arresting the freefall decline of wild species. The situation currently requires a radical overhaul of the current system. As emerged from the later work of French phenomenologist, Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), eco-phenomenology is particularly well-suited as a practical alternative to sustainable development. The core reason is that eco-phenomenology moves away from a human-centred framework toward a far more inclusive approach that embraces the conservation of wild animals as well the wild environment they dwell in, beyond any human needs (although humans are embraced within the approach too). Merleau-Ponty helps us to move away from anthropocentrism to a more inclusive approach in conserving wildlife, since his phenomenology does not consider the human animal’s relationship in the world as exclusive (to use and exploit wild animals solely for their benefit), but inclusive (as an interconnected biological component in a broad ecological system). The strength of Merleau-Ponty’s concept of phenomenology is that it facilitates an understanding of all living and even non-living entities, such as air, water and soil, as interconnected and interrelated within a broad biosphere. While Merleau-Ponty did not address the concept of wild animals or the biosphere directly, his later work points to the fact that human animals cannot exist outside a world that provides life-giving force to all living beings. Phenomenology, as developed by Merleau-Ponty, is a concept that recognises the axiological qualities of the natural world are inherent and ineliminable from the discipline of traditional phenomenology, hence the term ‘eco-phenomenology’, developed in one reception of his thinking. Eco-phenomenology offers a return to a world that humans have tried hard to alienate themselves from, in that it approaches the natural environment and wild animals, not as a complex set of objects and objective processes, but rather as they are experienced and lived from within by the attentive animal who is entirely a part of the world that he or she experiences. Merleau-Pontian eco-phenomenology thus emphasises a holistic dialogue within a more-than-human world (Abram, 1996: 65). Eco-phenomenology is a concept that points toward an applied strategy but so far this has not been attempted in earnest. This is specifically true when it comes to wildlife conservation. The Value of Being Wild, therefore, sets out to employ the concept of eco-phenomenology in order to provide a new practical wildlife conservation approach that challenges, and potentially replaces, the current prevailing policies as employed by global governmental and inter-governmental agencies. In particular, this alternative frame is posed as a replacement for the failing anthropocentric conservation practices currently in place in South Africa. This dissertation will therefore conclude by exploring strategies where conservation of wildlife is not taken as instrumentally-valued, or even intrinsically-valued, but rather as wild-valued in that the existence of wild animals as wild is conserved within a broader, more inclusive overall ecology that supports the survival and flourishing of all living beings that include plants, wild animals and human beings.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Een miljoen spesies staar tans uitwissing in die gesig en mense ondermyn die totale natuurlike infrastruktuur waarvan ons moderne wêreld afhanklik is (IPBES, 2019). In die lig hiervan, sal hierdie proefskrif aantoon dat daar ‘n behoefte is aan ‘n alternatiewe benadering tot die bewaring van wildlewe, naamlik ‘n benadering wat antroposentrisme vermy, sowel as die waardering van wildlewe op ‘n instrumentele basis, ten einde betekenisvolle en tasbare sukses te verseker vir beide wildbewaring en menslike welsyn op ‘n inklusiewe manier. The Value of Being Wild bespreek die konsep van eko-fenomenologie as ‘n belangrike nie-antroposentriese alternatief tot volhoubare ontwikkeling. Die probleem met hierdie dominante paradigm, soos wat in Hoofstuk Twee aangetoon word, is dat volhoubare ontwikkeling nie net gefaal het om in die behoeftes van mense en toekomstige menslike geslagte te voorsien nie, maar soos vervat in die jongste IPBES-verslag, ook gefaal het om die vryval van wildspesies te voorkom. Die situasie benodig ‘n radikale transformasie van die bestaande stelsel. Soos wat in die latere werk van die Franse fenomenoloog Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961) na vore kom, is eko-fenomenologie besonder geskik as ‘n praktiese alternatief tot bestaande wildbewaringspraktyke. Merleau-Ponty beweeg weg van ‘n mensgesentreerde na ‘n veel meer inklusiewe benadering tot wildbewaring. Dit is omdat sy fenomenologie nie die menslike dier se verhouding met die wêreld beskou as eksklusief nie (om wilde diere te gebruik en uit te buit tot sy voordeel), maar eerder as inklusief (as ‘n interverweefde biologiese komponent in ‘n breë ekologiese stelsel). Die krag van Merleau-Ponty se konsepsie van fenomenologie lê daarin dat dit ‘n siening bemiddel van alle lewende dinge en nie-lewende dinge, soos lug, water, en grond, as interafhanklik en verweef binne ‘n breë biosfeer. Alhoewel Merleau-Ponty nie die konsep van wilde diere of die biosfeer direk aangespreek het nie, dui sy latere werk op die feit dat menslike diere nie kan bestaan buite ‘n wêreld wat lewegewende krag aan alle lewende dinge verskaf nie. Die fenomenologie wat Merleau-Ponty ontwikkel, erken dat die natuurlike wêreld aksiologiese kwaliteite besit en dat hierdie insig gewortel is in die dissipline van tradisionele fenomenologie; vandaar die term eko-fenomenologie wat deur een resepsie van sy denke ontwikkel is. Weens die onontkombare en inherente ekologiese aspek van fenomenologie, bied eko-fenomenologie ‘n terugkeer tot ‘n wêreld waarvan mense hard probeer het om hulleself te vervreem. Merleau-Ponty se fenomenologie beskou die natuurlike omgewing en wilde diere, nie as ‘n komplekse stel objekte en objektiewe prosesse nie, maar fokus eerder op hoe dit ervaar en geleef word van binne uit deur die aandagtige dier wat heeltemal deel is van die wêreld wat sy of hy ervaar. Merleau-Ponty se eko-fenomenologie beklemtoon dus ‘n holistiese dialoog binne ‘n meer-as-menslike wêreld (Abram, 1996: 65). Eko-fenomenologie is ‘n konsep wat vra om ‘n toepassingstrategie, maar dit is tot dusver nog nie in erns aangepak nie. Dít is veral waar ten opsigte van wildbewaring. The Value of Being Wild is dus daarop gemik om die konsep van eko-fenomenologie te gebruik om ‘n nuwe praktiese wildbewarings-benadering voor te stel. Hierdie benadering daag die heersende beleide uit wat tans wêreldwyd deur regerings- en inter-regeringsagentskappe gebruik word en mag hulle selfs uiteindelik vervang. In die besonder word hierdie alternatiewe raamwerk voorgestel as ‘n plaasvervanging vir die mislukkende antroposentriese bewaringspraktyke wat tans in Suid-Afrika gebruik word. Hierdie proefskrif kulmineer daarom in ‘n verkenning van strategieë waar wildbewaring nie onderneem word aan die hand van óf ‘n instrumentele óf ‘n intrinsieke waardering van wildlewe nie, maar eerder aan die hand van wild-waardering. Hiermee word bedoel dat die wilde bestaan van wilde diere as sodanig beskerm word binne ‘n breër, meer inklusiewe en omvattende ekologie wat die oorlewing van alle lewende wesens ten doel het, insluitend plante, wilde diere en mense.af_ZA
dc.format.extent241 pagesen_ZA
dc.language.isoen_ZAen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch University.en_ZA
dc.subjectUCTD
dc.subjectEco-phenomenologyen_ZA
dc.subjectWildlife conservation -- Philosophyen_ZA
dc.subjectWell-beingen_ZA
dc.subjectSustainable developmenten_ZA
dc.subjectEnvironmental responsibilityen_ZA
dc.titleThe value of being wild : a phenomenological approach to wildlife conservationen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.description.versionDoctoralen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch University.en_ZA


Files in this item

Thumbnail
Thumbnail

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

ITEM VIEW