Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Philosophy; Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Deborah Slicer

Commitee Members

Christopher Preston, Kathryn Shanley, Matthew Calarco


Timothy Treadwell, Grizzly Man, Ethology, Environmental Philosophy, Critical Animal Studies, Ursus Arctos


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Behavior and Ethology | Continental Philosophy | Ethics and Political Philosophy | Feminist Philosophy


This paper explores the ethical appropriateness and significance of Timothy Treadwell’s life among the bears and foxes of Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve. In an attempt to reveal the formative and transformative aspects of Treadwell’s project, I rely upon an ethological framework developed by Matthew Calarco that moves beyond the narrow conception of ethology as a scientific practice aimed at systematic and rigorous documentation of the quantifiable aspects of animal behavior. While many people might be hesitant to conceive of Treadwell’s project as an ethological one, I hope to illuminate the ways in which his life among bears and foxes might be understood as emblematic of a kind of amateur ethology and ethological philosophy (i.e., ethosophy) and then use this understanding of Treadwell’s work to give shape to the disclosive, generative, and transformative aspects of such practice. I then suggest that ethological experiments of this sort, while subjecting practitioners to certain risks, are vitally important for understanding human-animal relationships, reducing conflict between humans and other predator species, and generating systemic cultural changes in view of other animals.



© Copyright 2018 Blake L. Ginsburg