A theory of place in north american mountaineering

Philosophy and Geography 5 (2):179 – 194 (2002)
Abstract
This essay examines mountaineering narratives in the light of recent eco-critical scholarship to assert that their tales of intense awareness and connection reveal a more fundamental integration between human subject and natural object than our culture has imagined. North American climbing narratives show three primary modes of imagining nature: first, as an object to conquer; second, as a picturesque setting to admire; third, as the extension of a self whose identity is shaped by the interpenetration of the human and the natural. The third of these modes motivates my study because this interpretation offers a lived example of the type of human connection to the natural world philosophers theorize is possible, and ecologists insist is necessary.
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