Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


A Measure for All Measuring: The Need for Wild Ethics In The Technological Era Public Deposited
  • As humanity has inadvertently become an increasingly powerful global and geological force, there is a pressing need to reevaluate the roles of science and technology, not only in their social implications, but in their effects on wild nature—everywhere from the remaining vestiges of landscapes protected as parks and wilderness, to the wild creatures that live drastically reshaped lives in urban centers, to the global atmosphere and cryosphere. Key to this reappraisal are design and management, each of which have been somewhat neglected and underappreciated subjects of theoretical consideration. Climate change, including the prospect of geoengineering, along with the increasingly acute paradox of managing dynamic, self-directed landscapes, reveals the key role of deliberate design in shaping the global future. Our rapidly changing world beckons not only for a reappraisal of design as a crucial virtue in shaping the future of the entire spectrum of relatively humanized and wild components of this planet, both organic and inorganic, but for a reevaluation of the basis and possibility of ethics insofar as modern ethics, like modern thought more generally, is innately technological and thus implicated in technocracy.

    This dissertation offers new prospects for ethics, which are not simply an outgrowth of Enlightenment, humanistic theoretical ethics, but rather of critical reflection on science and technology—particularly those aspects of each that directly study or impact wild nature; of direct and sustained encounter with protected areas—from the perspectives of both management and aesthetics; and grounded in the concrete realities of scientific practices in the field and in managing wild nature. The latter consideration includes two primary case studies: the history and ongoing challenges of wilderness and wildlife management, and discourses of the cryosphere. Wild ethics gives new, vital perspectives on our designed and managed future.

Date Issued
  • 2021-11-07
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Last Modified
  • 2022-03-07
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