Posted by: Dr. Breffni Lennon | June 6, 2012

Eileen Crist: “Against the social construction of nature and wilderness”

In her article Against the social construction of nature and wilderness Eileen Crist argues that the “application of constructivism to ‘nature’ and ‘wilderness’ is intellectually and politically objectionable”. Well worth the read!

Crist’s homepage, which can be accessed here, gives a short biography and list of publications:

“Her early research focused on animal behavior science and the ways scientists conceptualize, or avoid conceptualizing, the question of animal mind. Her interest in this topic was driven by the conviction that western discourses, heavily influenced by anthropocentric doctrines, have underestimated the real depths of animal awareness. She continues to hold an active interest in this topic, while increasingly devoting her energies to the foremost crisis of our time: the destruction of the Earth’s biological diversity and wild places. This irreversible, far-reaching loss has not received sufficient attention in academic and public arenas, with so many people staying myopically focused on the economy, energy issues, ! ! ! depletion of resources, technological fixes, sociopolitical strife, and other strictly-human concerns.”

Reference:

  • Crist, E. (2004) Against the social construction of nature and wilderness. In The Wilderness Debate Rages On, Volume II, Michael Nelson and J. Baird Callicott, eds., University of Georgia Press, pp. 500-525. (Reprinted from Environmental Ethics, 26(1):5-24, 2004.)

The article can be download in full here.

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