K. Violet McKeon


"Amongst the Sierra Nevadas" (detail) by Albert Bierstadt

Wilderness and Human Values

What is wilderness? How has this concept been historically shaped by philosophy, religion, or artistic expression? We take an interdisciplinary approach to debates on wilderness, examining how our changing values shape our polices and ideas of how land ought to be used. Selections of philosophic discourse, scientific literature, poetry and fiction, and legislation like the Wilderness Act of 1964 are discussed, while authors as diverse as Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Aldo Leopold, John McPhee, Gary Snyder, Roderick Nash, and others are explored.