Biodiversity and Systems of Ethics

By Indira Y. Junghare.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Generally speaking, man is perceived to be superior to all other species and the elemental world due to his power of thinking and reasoning. This paper examines the nature of the relationship between man and the universe in the philosophical and ethical systems of India; specifically Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism in comparison with the Western view. In the philosophies of the West, whether secular or religious, there seems to be a dichotomy between man and nature. On the basis of the comparative study, this paper discusses the need of understanding an ‘all-inclusive’ subsistence, i.e. the universe being one big cosmic entity and all other lives with souls or no souls, animate or inanimate, organic or non-organic are part of the totality of existence. Furthermore, in the maintenance of the health of biodiversity lies the health of all beings, including humans. In a true sense then, a human being has to become the ultimate measure - guardianprotector, but more importantly, a being of reason that understands the importance of bio-diversity for a sustainable world. This ideology can be labeled in philosophical terms as ‘Dignity of Diversity’, or ‘Organic Realism.’

Keywords: Diversity, Biodiversity, Nature, Ethics, Symbiosis, Philosophy, Religion, Health, Dignity

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp.25-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.473MB).

Dr. Indira Y. Junghare

Professor, South Asian Languages, Literatures, & Cultures, Institute of Linguistics, ESL, & Slavic Languages & Literatures, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Dr. Indira Y. Junghare did her M.A. and Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin. Since 1971 she has been teaching at the University of Minnesota South Asian languages, linguistics, literatures and cultures—Marathi, Hindi, and Indo-Aryan Linguistics, Indian Literature and Culture—Hinduism, Buddhism and Comparative Religions. She has published extensively in the field of linguistics, literatures and religions of India. Junghare’s most outstanding contribution to Indian Studies lies in her tremendous efforts of preserving the South Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures curriculum and the Programs at the University of Minnesota. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the CLA Distinguished Teacher Award, Outstanding Faculty Award, and the University’s Community Service Award. Drawing on the philosophies of India, her present projects are to create a scholastic discipline of Diversity-Ethics-Peace; offer curriculum and academic programs in it; and establish the Institute of Diversity, Ethics and Peace Studies at the University of Minnesota, which has received a Tony Diggs’ Excellence Award for Innovation.

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