Philosophy of Ethnobiology

Organizer: 
David Ludwig
Email address: 
Proposal Type: 
Live 75 minute session - which includes 6 speakers/discussant timeslots.
Session Date and Time: 
Thursday, 13 May, 2021 - 10:45 to 12:00

Ethnobiology is a transdisciplinary field that brings together the knowledge of diverse actors from Indigenous and local communities to natural and social sciences. While this diversity of knowledge is crucial for engaging with socio-environmental change, it also raises complex questions about conflicting epistemologies, ontologies, and values. Philosophy of science has become increasingly concerned with ethnobiological research (Byskov 2020, Kendig 2020, Ludwig and El Hani 2020, Villagómez-Reséndiz 2020, Weiskopf 2020) in addressing issues such as knowledge diversity in biology, the prospects of knowledge integration, and the entanglement of taxonomies and values. The aim of this session is to take this “new philosophy of ethnobiology” back into the ethnobiology community to discuss its potential contributions to methodological and theoretical debates of the field. In particular, the talks will focus on interdisciplinary negotiation of ethnobiological research methods, the structure of dialogues between heterogeneous actors, and the relations between naming practices and taxonomies beyond a simple dichotomy of universalism vs. relativism. 

Ludwig: The new philosophy of ethnobiology - what’s in it for ethnobiologists? 

Nieves Delgado: From epistemic pluralism to interdisciplinary work in ethnobiology

Bollettin: “Ethno” and “Biology": Anthropological notes on multiple dialogues in knowledge practices

El Hani: Learning from dialoguing with and integrating Indigenous/peasant and academic knowledge systems 

Renck: Applying partial overlaps in ethnobiological studies in a Brazilian fishing community

Kendig: Philosophy of ethnolichenological naming practices