Year of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Other Degree Name/Area of Focus
Department or School/College
Department of Philosophy
Christopher Preston, Phil Condon, David O'Hara
storytelling, literature, environment, climate change, Thoreau, Nussbaum
University of Montana
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.
Voehl, Mason James, "The Kite and the String: Why Philosophy Needs More Storytellers" (2019). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11343.
© Copyright 2019 Mason James Voehl