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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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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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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Measure of the Hunt: Elk Deserve Better

Elk are elk and their worth does not rely on us, though it is influenced by our ability to identify and communicate that value. If we truly love and appreciate elk, it’s time for hunters to reclaim the ethical highroad of fair chase hunting that honors elk for what they are and demands the hunter to be the very best he or she can be. In this article, 2019 Merlin Community Scholar Fellow Thomas Baumeister, discusses two different “measures” of hunting, how fairness and respect are part and parcel of reverence, and why reinstating the ethical pursuit of the hunted as a measure is important.

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How Philosophy (And Technology) Can Help Us Reconnect With Nature & Why It Matters

How Philosophy (and Technology) Can Help Us Reconnect With Nature & Why It Matters Andrea Houchard & Marisa Diaz-Waian, Public Philosophy Journal (2016) – Under Review. ABSTRACT: The human connection to nature is an important issue in the world today. While it is rarely articulated as matter of public concern,…

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