We had so much fun on our October Philosophy Walk. Our group of 15 enjoyed the splendors of Mother Nature on Merlin Nature Preserve and explored the role of story and imagination across cultures. As a special treat, we also got to experience drumming & singing with Shane Doyle, an immersive “imagination cultivation” exercise with Henry Kramer, and to be part of the joyous news delivered by some of our walk-goers that (as of the morning of the walk) they had become new grandparents! What a great way to start a story!!! Access audio recordings & photos from the walk here!
We had a delightful time on our September Philosophy Walk. Our group of 9 — technically, 10 counting our furry four-legged companion named Bella (and Beast) — enjoyed a splendid hike on Mount Ascension. Led by David Nowakowski, our group enjoyed a delightful conversation about the principles of ecology…and what sorts of things it might be able to teach us about how to flourish and thrive. Access resources & photos here!
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!
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!
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!
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.