Limits to Social Representation of Value: Response to Leroy Little Bear


  • Acknowledgments:This article was originally presented at the symposium “Is There, Can There Be, such ans Activity as World Humanities?” Simon Fraser University, January 27–28, 2012.

IAN ANGUS, Professor, Department of Humanities, Simon Fraser University. Specialties: 19- and 20-century European philosophy, Canadian philosophy. E-mail:


In response to Leroy Little Bear's description of the Blackfoot identity as rooted in place, the article articulates an ecological conception of value based in European thought that can be in close dialogue with the telling aboriginal phrase “I am the environment.” While important similarities are noted, especially the convergence of aboriginal and ecological conceptions of value on a critique of the assessment of value by commodity price, the difficulty of rooting value in Being within the European tradition contrasts with the continuity of human, animal, and cosmic intelligence in aboriginal thought.