August 2019 Philosophy Think & Drink (Missoula)

This month’s Think & Drink — facilitated by 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer — was chock-full of inquiry, tasty grog, and great discussion. Check out what sorts of things we explored & access resources here!

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August 2019 Philosophy Walk (Missoula/Huson): Reconnecting with Nature

We had a great time on our first Missoula county Philosophy Walk! Big thank you’s to the 9 Mile Community, Steve King, and Deborah Slicer and to the numerous community members, visitors from out of state (The Kramer clan!), and University of Montana students who came out to participate in the fun! Thank you also to Mother Nature for providing such a beautiful setting for our meandering. Led by 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow & Philosopher, Henry Kramer, and Grants Manager & Humanitarian, Ryan Aikin, on this walk (a “spin-off” of our August Helena Philosophy Walk) we explored the importance of “reconnecting with nature” through the lens of phenomenology and animism. Access resources & photos here!

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August 2019 Philosophy Walk (Helena): Reconnecting with Nature

We were blown away by how amazing our August Philosophy Walk was…beautiful weather, wonderful people, great questions, and thought-provoking discussion led by 2019 Merlin Student Fellow & Philosopher, Henry Kramer, and Grants Manager & Humanitarian, Ryan Aikin. Our group of 17 — including 3 delightful young philosophers who joined us for the journey — enjoyed a lovely hike on the Waterline & Rodney Ridge Trails and explored “reconnecting with nature” through the lens of phenomenology, pragmatism, and animism. Access resources & photos here!

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A Phenomenology of Mass-Produced Things and Our Relation with the More-than-human World

In this paper, Henry Kramer, explores the human-technology relationship and argues that “our perception of mass-produced things, a perception unique to and only possible within technological culture, dulls our senses and de-emphasizes the basic materiality of all things, thereby discouraging connection and engagement with the more-than-human world.” An iteration of this paper was presented at the 16th Annual Gonzaga Graduate Philosophy Conference and received the Hutchins Award in Philosophy for best paper in the conference.  It is featured here on our website by permission of the author. Read more here!

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow in the Paper with His Article on Wolf Conservation

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on the democracy of wolf conservation. Prompted by bills currently being proposed in Montana that will decide the fate of wolves for years to come and the democratic process of conservation, Thomas asks us to consider the role of adaptive management and pragmatism (over blind ideology) and engaged citizenry(so that the ends do not justify the means) in wolf conservation. The article went live on the Merlin website on Friday, February 8th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on the same day, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Wednesday, February 13th.  

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The Democracy of Wolf Conservation

No other species on this planet elicits stronger emotions in us than the wolf. This should come as no surprise. After all, it’s the wolf which has been in our presence the longest, it’s the wolf with whom we’ve shared our ancestral dwellings and whose descendants we keep as pets today, and it’s the wolf who has shaped our humanity and our relationship to wildness like no other. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses the role of adaptive management, pragmatism, and engaged citizenry in wolf conservation.

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Congratulations Henry Kramer: 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow

We are thrilled to announce our 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow, Henry Kramer.  A graduate student at the University of Montana, Missoula, Henry is currently working toward two Master’s Degrees — one in Environmental Philosophy, and the other in Literature. As part of his fellowship work with Merlin, Henry will be developing, conducting and co-leading several philosophy in the community projects related to the human-nature relationship, environmental ethics, ecology, eco-phenomenology, and the phenomenology of imagination and story.

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Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Makes the Paper with His Elk Project

Congratulations to 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow, Thomas Baumeister, for making the paper with his research and writing project on elk.  Prompted by a concern for the state of hunting and conservation and ethical questions regarding the measure of the hunt, fairness, and respect, Thomas offers valuable & important food for thought — for hunters and non-hunters alike.  The article is a perfect example of how philosophy reaches beyond the classroom and why asking philosophical questions matter to our everyday lives (and the lives of others), practices, and policies. The piece went live on the Merlin website on Sunday. January 13th, was submitted for consideration as an op-ed to the Helena Independent Record on Monday, Jan. 14th, and appeared as a featured “guest view” article on-line and in print on Thursday, Jan. 17th.

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