Wilderness and the wise province: Benton mackaye's pragmatic vision

Philosophy and Geography 4 (2):185 – 202 (2001)

Benton MacKaye's name is rarely evoked in the fields of environmental history and philosophy. The author of the Appalachian Trail in the early 1920s and a co-founder of the Wilderness Society with Aldo Leopold and Bob Marshall in the 1930s, MacKaye's unique contribution to American environmental thought is seldom recognized. This neglect is particularly egregious in the current debate over the intellectual foundations of the American wilderness idea, a discussion to which I believe MacKaye has much to contribute. Specifically, I believe that his pragmatic vision for wilderness conservation, a project supported through an appeal to the values of a reconstructed "indigenous" communal environment, owes much to the social philosophy of Josiah Royce, MacKaye's former teacher at Harvard. While the Appalachian Trail never delivered on MacKaye's goals of progressive reform and failed to unite the regional planning and conservation communities of the time, his vision remains highly relevant to our present-day deliberations about the relationship between wild nature and society at the dawn of the 21st century.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/10903770125687
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 40,625
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

47 The Trouble With Wilderness.William Cronon - forthcoming - Environmental Ethics: The Big Questions.
In Defense of the Land Ethic.J. Baird Callicott - 1991 - Philosophy East and West 41 (3):437-441.
The Economy of the Earth.Mark Sagoff - 1990 - Law and Philosophy 9 (2):217-221.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

On Wilderness and People: A View From Mount Marcy.Wayne Ouderkirk - 2003 - Philosophy and Geography 6 (1):15 – 32.
What “Wilderness” in Frontier Ecosystems?J. Baird Callicott - 2008 - Environmental Ethics 30 (3):235-249.
Wildness, Wise Use, and Sustainable Development.R. Edward Grumbine - 1994 - Environmental Ethics 16 (3):227-249.
The Possibility of Managing for Wilderness.David Graham Henderson - 2009 - Environmental Ethics 31 (4):413-429.
The Theory of Relativity: For What is It a Disguise?James MacKaye - 1930 - Journal of Philosophy 27 (5):126-134.


Added to PP index

Total views
21 ( #390,614 of 2,242,373 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #160,313 of 2,242,373 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature