September 2018 Philosophy Walk: The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship (Part 1)

Part 1 of our 3-Part Fall Philosophy Walk Series on the environment, ethics & stewardship took place on Sunday, September 9th on Merlin Nature Preserve & Little Falcon Farm. What a spectacular day!  The weather was beautiful — soft fluffy clouds, a slight breeze, and warm sunshine — and the conversation and company was equally wonderful!

Sponsored in part by grants from The Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization & Humanities Montana, this walk explored philosophical and other perspectives related to public vs. private lands and rights (individual, collective, indigenous, other) and featured special guest speakers Shane M. Doyle, EdD & Edward Glowienka, PhD.

What We Explored

Our group of 16 enjoyed a 2.5 mile walk & hayride and delightful conversation about:

  • Land as property — Locke’s conception of property acquisition for how we conceptualize private land, public land, and natural resource holdings; notions of land as a “commons”; and distributive and procedural justice
  • Ecology & natural resources usage — Northern Plains tribal historic perspectives and behavior regarding respect for the ecology, including plant, animal, land and water usage
  • Individual & collective rights — Challenges involved with forming a coherent notion of collective rights as as the need to do so if we want to accord indigenous peoples rights like “self-determination”; what sorts of collective entities have rights; what are these rights; Northern Plains tribal historic perspectives on public and private lands and how those ideas inform our understanding of how group and individual rights compliment and contrast with contemporary beliefs and laws
  • Rights and responsibilities — The relationship between rights and responsibilities & what it might mean if cultures shifted their focus to responsibilities (vs. rights)
  • Environmental ethics (generally)
  • Repatriation & the Anzick Clovis Child
  • Generational & societal duties
  • And more…

Guest Speakers/Philosophers-On-Trail

Ed Glowienka

Shane M. Doyle

Thank you to our Guest Speakers/Co-Philosophers-on-Trail Edward Glowienka, PhD (Assistant Professor of Philosophy,Carroll College) & Shane M. Doyle, EdD (Independent Educational &  Cultural Consultant, Native Nexus Consulting). 

~ Thank you also to Ross P. Nelson for editing out the wind & crunching wild grass sounds as much as possible on our audio recordings, Stephen & Jeanie of Helena Civic Television for capturing some photos and recordings of our walk (for a soon to be released walk vignette on their station!), Max Eskildsen for stepping in as our hay ride driver, and The Solaimanian & Stevens families. ~

Audio Recordings

To listen to some of the discussions led by our special guest speakers/co-philosophers on trail, click on the applicable play button below!  PLEASE NOTE:  Some noise issues related to wind and crunching wild grasses were inevitable.  We have done our best to try and mitigate those as much as possible at various points throughout the recordings. 


Land as Property, Commons & Justice (Ed Glowienka)
Ecology and Natural Resources Usage, Northern Plains Tribal Historic Perspectives (Shane Doyle)
Individual & Collective Rights and Responsibilities (Ed Glowienka & Shane Doyle)




Thank You’s

Thank you to P.L.A.T.O. (Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization) & Humanities Montana for helping support our philosophy in the community programs and making events like this possible!

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