The theory and practice of nature : reinventing nature through the literature of Jim Harrison

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Letters & Science


The term, "nature," has been and continues to be utilized widely throughout Western culture to great effect in shaping our understanding of ourselves as "human beings," what we conceive of as our "environment," and our existence. This thesis aims to explore traditionally and alternatively-based popular understandings and conceptions of "nature," their origins, and their consequences, along with the making of an alternative conception of nature through a reinvention of the term by means of the literary arts. In the course of this study, the work of several significant thinkers and writers concerning the subject of "nature" are referenced, including that of Joseph Campbell, Jim Harrison, Matsuo Basho, William Cronon, Alan Watts, Al Gore, John Muir, and Thich Nhat Hanh, along with insights concerning the perceptions and conceptions pertaining to the subject of nature as offered within The King James Bible. This thesis additionally explores the intersection amongst myth, nature, science, and art, supporting the need for a critical poststructuralist approach to analyzing the term "nature," along with a validation for an episteme of sensibility, as necessary for a legitimate intellectual underpinning from which to understand and interact with ourselves and our "environment" in an effort to work towards our and its preservation and well-being.




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