Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

Wild Ideas

1995

David Rothenberg, editor

Wild Ideas

A new view of what’s “wild,” and a new path for environmentalism.

Blending well-known and new voices, the volume surveys classical and romantic concepts of wilderness, from the scary to the sublime, and shows why neither serves us anymore. Instead, the authors argue for a “wild culture,” in which nature is not opposed to humanity, a mere matter of resources and consumers.

Contributors: David Abram, Douglas Buege, Denis Cosgrove, Robert Greenway, Ed Grumbine, Marvin Henberg, Irene Klaver, Andrew Light, Lois Lorentzen, Max Oelschlaeger, R. Murray Schafer, Tom Wolf.

“Wild Ideas is a diverse collection of essays exploring the concepts of wilderness and wildness. This fine collection will be of interest and value to those in the field of literature and environment. The essays in Wild Ideas are thoughtful, well-written, and cover a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, psychology, human geography, music, outdoor education, and ecology.” ISLE

At the very heart of American respect for nature, historically and philosophically, is the notion of the wild. This notion comes under scrutiny in Wild Ideas, a collection of essays that bring a fresh and refreshing perspective to the wilderness paradoxically at the center of our civilization.

Blending well-known and new voices, the volume surveys classical and romantic concepts of wilderness, from the scary to the sublime, and shows why neither serves us anymore. Instead, the authors argue for a “wild culture,” in which nature is not opposed to humanity, a mere matter of resources and consumers. A cogent reassessment of the ideas that drive the conservation movement, Wild Ideas points out a new direction for future environmentalism.
Among the topics discussed are the confluence of wilderness, empire, and race in the United States; the way the ecology movement uses language; gendered views of the wilderness; maps and topology, and how they affect our view of the wild; healing by the wilderness experience; and the idea of an urban wilderness.

Contributors: David Abram; Douglas Buege, U of Wisconsin; Denis Cosgrove, U of London; Robert Greenway, Sonoma State U; Ed Grumbine, Sierra Institute; Marvin Henberg, Linfield College; Irene Klaver, Montana State U; Andrew Light, U of Alberta; Lois Lorentzen, U of San Francisco; Max Oelschlaeger, U of North Texas; R. Murray Schafer; Tom Wolf.

Wild Ideas

David Rothenberg is assistant professor of philosophy and director of the program in Science, Technology, and Society at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the author of Is It Painful to Think? (Minnesota, 1992) and Hand’s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature (1993).

Wild Ideas

“Wild Ideas is a diverse collection of essays exploring the concepts of wilderness and wildness. This fine collection will be of interest and value to those in the field of literature and environment. The essays in Wild Ideas are thoughtful, well-written, and cover a wide range of disciplines including philosophy, psychology, human geography, music, outdoor education, and ecology.” ISLE

“Excellent collection.” Research in Philosophy and Technology

“The essays in Wild Ideas include their own equally wild ideas. In addition to his own contributions to the book, editor David Rothenberg has put together essays that will contribute to a more sophisticated discussion of how to mind the wilderness and to make wild our minds.” Christopher Manes from WildEarth winter 96/97

“This book is about reclaiming our connection to the processes that sustain and nourish us, body and mind. In essence this book is a commentary on Thoreau’s famous dictum: ‘In Wildness is the Preservation of the world.’” Animal Keepers’ Forum, Journal of the American Association of Zoo Keepers

“Wild Ideas is an eclectic book, mixing phenomenology, feminism, anthropology, geography, semantics, psychology, social philosophy, theater, and more. Rothenberg succeeds in weaving one thematic thread through thirteen patches of extraordinarily different fabric.” Environmental Ethics