Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Environmental Philosophy

Department or School/College

Department of Philosophy

Committee Chair

Deborah Slicer

Commitee Members

Christopher Preston, Phil Condon, David O'Hara


storytelling, literature, environment, climate change, Thoreau, Nussbaum


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Creative Writing | Other Philosophy | Reading and Language


This thesis seeks to explore the relationship between philosophy and storytelling as grounded in their shared task of instructing readers in how to live a rich and moral life. Using a combination of narratives and the philosophical theories of Martha Nussbaum, Edward Mooney, and Iris Murdoch, I claim that philosophy and storytelling ought to be natural allies rather than territorial enemies as each reveals and attends to separate but equally important aspects of the good life in community with others. I then extend this claim into the context of environmental philosophy, using the work of writer Jason Mark as an exemplar for how such an alliance between philosophy and storytelling might be used to great effect to illuminate the many contours of our intimate relationships with place and to engage with the conflicts that arise therein in a full-blooded way. I conclude with a call to action for philosophers to take on the challenge of storytelling in order to reach a broader readership in this age of social apathy and ignorance towards climate change, which is the greatest problem of our time.


© Copyright 2019 Mason James Voehl