Session Organizer: Alexandria Poole

Friday, May 17

Three interrelated factors – human language, culture and inhabited ecosystems – have helped to shape the evolution of the human species and sympatric biotic communities. Human perceptions and understanding of biodiversity are influenced by language, culture and technology; in turn, it is these understandings and values that influence how humans modify the landscape.  In a world with a rapidly changing climate, understanding the coevolutionary role of humans within their environment, along with the ethical implications, is of paramount importance for conservation efforts.  The papers in this interdisciplinary panel of philosophers, ecologists and anthropologists explores various aspects of the deep and complex relationship between humans, language and the environment by going beyond the human-nature dichotomy, treating human culture as a coevolutionary component of ecosystems. The panel includes researchers from the University of North Texas, home to the world-renowned PhD program in Environmental Philosophy, and the Sub-Antarctic Biocultural Conservation Program, based in the Omora Ethnobotanical Park in Southern Chile.