This Humanities Montana Conversations program explores the lives of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot and the questions their contrasting philosophies raise about “the wild” and our place in it. Co-lead by Humanities Montana scholars, John Clayton and Marisa Diaz-Waian, and hosted by North Valley Public Library, the walk and talk will take place at Bitterroot River Park, 100 Stevensville Cutoff Rd, Stevensville, MT 59870.
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Walk & Talk Conversation
How do we relate to nature? Preservation-based philosophies – associated with author and wanderer John Muir – celebrate the spiritual benefits of holistic, unimpaired natural systems. Conservation-based philosophies – associated with US Forest Service founder Gifford Pinchot – highlight management and sustainability of natural resources for all. In 1896, Muir and Pinchot met in what is now Glacier National Park and discussed these philosophies. What happened next changed the course of history.
In this program, biographer John Clayton and philosopher Marisa Diaz-Waian co-lead a discussion about the unique lives of Muir and Pinchot and the questions their contrasting philosophies raise about “the wild” and our place in it. Some of the questions we’ll explore include:
- Are people part of nature, or separate (and inferior)?
- How do we balance holistic spiritual benefits with specific resource-based ones?
- What’s more important, individualism or fairness and sustainability?
- Can contrasting philosophies come together for a common good?
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