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Chinnagounder's Challenge

The Question of Ecological Citizenship

Chinnagounder's Challenge by Deane W. Curtin
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"... an important contribution to environmental philosophy.... includes provocative discussions of institutional and systemic violence, indigenous resistance to 'development,' the land ethic, deep ecology, ecofeminism, women's ecological knowledge, Jeffersonian agrarian republicanism, Berry's ideas about 'principled engagement in community,' wilderness advocacy, and the need for an attachment to place." -- Choice

"[T]his is a very important book, raising serious questions for development theorists and environmentalists alike." -- Boston Book Review

When Indian centenarian Chinnagounder asked Deane Curtin about his interest in traditional medicine, especially since he wasn't working for a drug company looking to patent a new discovery, Curtin wondered whether it was possible for the industrialized world to interact with native cultures for reasons other than to exploit them, develop them, and eradicate their traditional practices. The answer, according to Curtin, defines the ethical character of what we typically call 'progress.' Despite the familiar assertion that we live in a global village, cross-cultural environmental and social conflicts are often marked by failures of communication due to deeply divergent assumptions. Curtin articulates a response to Chinnagounder's challenge in terms of a new, distinctly postcolonial, environmental ethic.

Indiana University Press; October 1999
240 pages; ISBN 9780253109071
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Title: Chinnagounder's Challenge
Author: Deane W. Curtin