Paul Shepard

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Paul Howe Shepard, Jr. (12 June 192527 July 1996) was an American environmentalist and author best known for introducing the "Pleistocene paradigm" to deep ecology. His works have attempted to establish a normative framework in terms of evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. He offers a critique of sedentism/civilization and advocates modeling human lifestyles on those of nomadic prehistoric humans. He explores the connections between domestication, language, and cognition.


  • Animals are among the first inhabitants of the mind's eye. They are basic to the development of speech and thought. Because of their part in the growth of consciousness, they are inseparable from the series of events in each human life, indispensable to our becoming human in the fullest sense.
    • Thinking Animals: Animals and the Development of Human Intelligence (1978), University of Georgia Press, 1998, Chapter 1, p. 2.
  • Longer than memory we have known that each animal has its power and place, each a skill, virtue, wisdom, innocence — a special access to the structure and flow of the world. Each surpasses ourselves in some way. Together, sacred, they help hold the cosmos together, making it a joy and beauty to behold, but above all a challenge to understand as story, drama, and sacred play.
    • The Others: How Animals Made Us Human (1996), Island Press, 1997, Part V, p. 173.
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