We had a great time on our first Missoula county Philosophy Walk! Big thank you’s to the 9 Mile Community, Steve King, and Deborah Slicer and to the numerous community members, visitors from out of state (The Kramer clan!), and University of Montana students who came out to participate in the fun! Thank you also to Mother Nature for providing such a beautiful setting for our meandering. Led by 2019 Merlin Student Scholar Fellow & Philosopher, Henry Kramer, and Grants Manager & Humanitarian, Ryan Aikin, on this walk (a “spin-off” of our August Helena Philosophy Walk) we explored the importance of “reconnecting with nature” through the lens of phenomenology and animism. Access resources & photos here!
We were blown away by how amazing our August Philosophy Walk was…beautiful weather, wonderful people, great questions, and thought-provoking discussion led by 2019 Merlin Student Fellow & Philosopher, Henry Kramer, and Grants Manager & Humanitarian, Ryan Aikin. Our group of 17 — including 3 delightful young philosophers who joined us for the journey — enjoyed a lovely hike on the Waterline & Rodney Ridge Trails and explored “reconnecting with nature” through the lens of phenomenology, pragmatism, and animism. Access resources & photos here!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.