I recognize four phases of ethnobiology: I, II, III, and IV. Ethnobiology I begins well before the formal naming of ethnobiology as a scholarly endeavor at the end of the 19th century. This initial phase has been widely characterized, albeit over simply, as essentially utilitarian. Ethnobiology II was elaborated in the cognitive/linguistic anthropology of the 1960s. Ethnobiology III integrates knowledge with practice, stressing the ecological consequences of knowledge applied to make a living. Ethnobiology IV emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to control their traditional knowledge. I elaborate this framework here and consider how these diverse perspectives might be integrated more effectively in the future.
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