Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Good That TranscendsHow US Culture Undermines Environmental Reform$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric T. Freyfogle

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226326085

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226326252.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 June 2020

Wilderness and Culture

Wilderness and Culture

Chapter:
(p.135) Six Wilderness and Culture
Source:
A Good That Transcends
Author(s):

Eric T. Freyfogle

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226326252.003.0007

Wilderness both as place and idea has become contested, and for reasons that, when probed, help illuminate contemporary struggles to understand the natural world and to live well within it. Controversies about whether wilderness really exists—about the social construction of nature—stem from basic confusions about the distinction between ideas and language, which are always human created, and the realities of physical nature, which exists apart from humans even as we face limits on our ability to know it and cannot live without altering it. As a human construct, wilderness as idea and term can take many different forms: by some definitions, many wilderness areas still exist, by other definitions no wilderness remains. How we define wilderness and why we might protect it all call for human normative choices. Those choices in turn are best made through an all-things-considered assessment of how we might wisely distinguish between the legitimate use of nature and the abuse of it, and how wilderness protection might help efforts to keep on the right side of that normative line. It ends considering the ways wilderness and wilderness protection can help foster broader, essential cultural change.

Keywords:   wilderness, human construct, normative choice, social construction of nature, wilderness

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.