July 2019 Philosophy Walk: Virtue & Hope

Our group enjoyed fantastic weather and a lovely hike up Dump Gulch Trail on our July Philosophy Walk.   Led by philosopher-on-trail David Nowakowski, we explored the life of virtue and hope…and a range of related questions that arose in the process of this informal, free-flowing discussion. Access resources & photos here!

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June 2019 Philosophy Walk: Envrionment, Ethics & Stewardship

How we relate to nature is complicated and ever-evolving. Our group — led by co-philosophers-on-trail Christopher Preston & Patrick Kelly — enjoyed a morning & afternoon walk up the steep slopes of the 1906/Prairie trail to the summit of Mt. Helena, and explored a number of topics related to environment, ethics, the public trust doctrine, and stewardship. Access resources & photos here!

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May 2019 Philosophy Walk: “KNOW THY CITY”

Titled “KNOW THY CITY” (in homage to the Delphic maxim to “KNOW THYSELF”), our May walk was an invitation to explore a bit ourselves and the city.” Featuring guest speaker, historian, artist, & urban designer, Dennis McCahon, our group roamed the city of Helena and observed the ways in which design contributes to experiences, how we “move through” our built environments…and, equally, how they move through us.

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March 2019 Philosophy Walk: The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship (Part 3)

Part 3 of our 3-Part Fall Philosophy Walk Series on the environment, ethics & stewardship took place on Sunday, March 24th at Ten Mile Creek Park.  Despite the weather being overcast (a change from the sunny day prior) and the trails a bit slushy from the recent melt, our adventure was beautiful and fun.  We also heard numerous bird calls from above — geese, gulls, northern flickers — and some fun dog calls (from our furry four-legged’s who joined us on the walk). Sponsored in part by grants from The Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization & Humanities Montana, our group shared dialogue about philosophical and other perspectives related to current and future environmental & conservation challenges, and featured special guest speakers Thomas Baumeister, Mark Smillie, and Tyrrell Hibbard.

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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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November 2018 Philosophy Walk: The Environment, Ethics & Stewardship (Part 2)

Part 2 of our 3-Part Fall Philosophy Walk Series on the environment, ethics & stewardship took place on Saturday, November 10th on Merlin Nature Preserve & Little Falcon Farm. The weather was cooperative, overcast with spells of sun (save a fast-moving temperature drop near the close of our gathering)! Sponsored in part by grants from The Philosophy Learning & Teaching Organization & Humanities Montana, our group shared dialogue about philosophical and other perspectives related to landowner-steward & wildlife-habitat relationships, and featured special guest speakers Christopher Preston, PhD and Jim Williams, MA.

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October 2018 Philosophy Walk: Nature, Biomimicry & Virtue Ethics

We had a great time on our October Philosophy Walk on Sunday, October 7th. Our group enjoyed lovely weather, conversation, and a leisurely hike on the Tubbs Trail with special guest speaker, biomimicry specialist and civil engineer, Marie Z. Bourgeois. Our topic of choice: nature, biomimicry & virtue ethics!

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