On wilderness and people: A view from Mount marcy

Philosophy and Geography 6 (1):15 – 32 (2003)
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Wilderness has always been a problematic concept, and now even some environmental philosophers question its value. Using Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York State, the views from its summit, and the wilderness areas that surround it as heuristic devices, I examine four historically important concepts of wilderness. Even the most recently developed of those concepts has its philosophical problems, especially its implicit dualism, which many environmental thinkers regard negatively. I join those who reject dualism, but I disagree with the call to jettison the concept of wilderness. Instead, I argue that we need to develop an environmental philsophy that acknowledges both our differences from and our unity with wild nature.



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