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


Committee Chair

Deborah Slicer

Commitee Members

Christopher Preston, Kathleen Kane


community, nonhumans, virtue ethics, flourishing, capabilities


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy


I attempt to understand what is meant by community by grounding the analysis in Raymond Williams’ historical definition. From this, I work the criteria of community as described by Williams so to determine their precise meaning and primacy. I attempt to show why community must be small in size while arguing that humans are in a community with nonhumans. Building upon this move, I take up an argument for the role of place in community formation. This preceding inquiry is meant to prime an analysis of both virtue ethics and literature, specifically an application of Martha Nussbaum’s Central Capabilities to Terry Tempest Williams’ Refuge and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. In this, I make the case that human flourishing is possible when one is in an ecosystemic community with nonhumans present. This is to say that nonhumans impact other imperative goods in a serious way. Following from this, I provide a moral constructivist account of intrinsic value.



© Copyright 2020 Alexander Moore