My responsibility in the face of mass extinction
Gray-Sharp, K. (2021). My responsibility in the face of mass extinction (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14209
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/14209
Extinction is the “irreversible condition of a species or other group of organisms having no living representatives in the wild, which follows the death of the last surviving individual of that species or group” (Hine and Martin 2015g, para. 1). Mass extinctions are extinctions of the greatest magnitude, occurring “when many diverse groups of organisms become extinct over short periods of time” (Condie 2011, 250). These “are not step-events but rather a step into a prolonged alternative global ecosystem state” (Hull 2015, R941). Five mass extinctions have previously been recorded. A sixth has begun. Humans are the cause of the latest episode. This thesis develops an Indigenous, non-agential conception of responsibility for considering an ethical problem of wide consequence. Founded in mātauranga Māori and recalling the work of Emmanuel Levinas, it applies Kaupapa Māori autoethnography, narrative, and conceptual analyses alongside exegeses and a replication study. Investigations of responsibility across various positions are encountered: those found in place and polity, those made as visitor and the commanded, those gifted as inherited erudition and in the suffering-with. Now facing the last structural violence, what is my responsibility?
The University of Waikato
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