Folk, traditional, and indigenous ecological knowledges have a significant role to play in ecojustice. A case study in the traditional ecological knowledge among one of the religious communities with whom I have spent several decades illustrates how they embody the main principle and three fields of an ecological rationality: the community of inter-related beings; the ways the beings participate in that community or place; and the relations of nature and the nonhuman world to humans and human nature. Ecological rationality stands in contrast to economic rationality, a branch of instrumental reason exemplified by what economists call rational choice theory. An ecological rationality is based in the principles of connection, relation, engagement, cooperation and interdependence, in contrast to the economic rationality of separation, distance, individualism, and self-interest. I conclude with a gesture to my current project of a sound ecology, a thought experiment in which sounds rather than texts or objects enable the connections that lead to sound experience, sound communities, sound economies, and a sound ecology. A sound ecology embodies an ecological rationality aimed at who we think we are, how we know what we know, and what we can do to bring about ecojustice in a sustainable world.

Author Biography

Jeff Todd Titon is professor of music, emeritus, at Brown University where for 27 years he directed the PhD program in ethnomusicology. The author or editor of eight books, and numerous recordings, films, and articles, he is known for developing and practicing collaborative ethnographic field research based in reciprocity and friendship, for his pioneer work in establishing an applied ethnomusicology based in social responsibility, for proposing (in 1984) that musical cultures could be understood as ecosystems, for introducing the concepts of musical and cultural sustainability to the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology, and for his appeal for a sound commons for all living creatures, part of his current project that theorizes a sound ecology.

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