Campfire Philosophy Outing/Field Seminar Program in Yellowstone — “Where the Wild Things Are: An Exploration of Our Relationship with the Wild”

This dynamic and interactive Yellowstone Forever Institute field seminar program & Merlin campfire philosophy outing explores our relationship with the wild through the lens of literature, philosophy & science. Led by Marisa Diaz-Waian & Thomas Baumeister, the 4-day program involves a mix of classroom and outdoor time — with a heavy emphasis on the outdoors, reflection, experiential learning, and discussion. The field seminar program/outing runs from August 24th – 28th 2020 and includes lodging at Lamar Buffalo Ranch Field Campus in Yellowstone National Park.

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Elk Shoulder Seasons Ineffective–Time to Think Outside the Box

Montana is home to a lot of elk—134,557 to be more precise. Elk reign prominently in our state’s identity and Montana is better for it. Yet, according to the Elk Management Plan put forth by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP), this is 42,419 elk too many. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses the numerous practical and moral challenges of elk shoulder seasons. Read more!

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Philosophy Workshop: From Karma to Dharma – Finding our Way through Indian Philosophy (Winter 2019)

This 2½-hour workshop introduced key concepts and arguments from the philosophical traditions of India. Our goals were to dispel some common misconceptions about Indian philosophy and religion, to distinguish different Indian philosophical schools from one another, and to develop a deeper understanding of these rich and varied traditions.
Access resources & photos here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Thinking Ecologically About Virtue & Value (Fall 2019)

For many philosophers, scientists, and ordinary people, “species” are not only descriptive categories of how things are, but ideal models for how things should be. In this workshop, led by David Nowakowski, we took a whirlwind tour of “species” from antiquity to the present, in order to better understand the hidden assumptions behind our own thinking today…and what thinking ecologically might tell us about virtue & value. Access resources & photos here!

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September 2019 Philosophy Walk: Virtue & Excellence — From Ecology to Ethics

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!

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September 2019 Montana Internet: Team Philosophy Walk

We had such a wonderful time with the Montana Internet Team! Not only were we gifted with spectacular weather by Mother Nature, we also got to enjoy talking and spending time with an inspiring and lovely group of people! 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 in both our personal lives and the workplace. Access photos here!

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Philosophy Workshop: Thinking Ecologically About Virtue & Value

In this 3.5-hour “philosophy as a way of life”-inspired workshop led by philosopher David Nowakowski, PhD we’ll look at what it might mean to live a life of virtue from the lens of ecology. Select readings and activities inspired by numerous ancient (and some contemporary) thinkers will be examined and applied with the aim of introducing participants to a variety of philosophical perspectives on virtuous living and practical tools for living well.   No background in philosophy is required to participate in this workshop. FREE. All ages welcome. $20 Suggested donation. Light snacks & hot tea provided. Space is limited. 

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Ancient Greek Insights for Today’s America: A Philosophical Conversation

Sponsored by the Carroll College Philosophy Department and Merlin CCC, this evening program will be an informal conversation about greek philosophical insights and how they relate to can help us navigate our everyday lived experiences. Guest participants will be provided with set questions/topics, not as a debate, but rather as an illuminating conversation. Barry Ferst (Professor of Philosophy, Carroll College) will be serving as the moderator and will aide in directing discussion.

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