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

Deborah Slicer, Christopher Preston, David Gilcrest, David Abram


phneomenology, nature, ecopsychology, ecophenomenology, environment, wonder


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Aesthetics | Applied Ethics | Epistemology | Other Philosophy


This paper presents a phenomenology of wonder through careful description of the internal state of wonder, defined here as “full engagement with something that bewilders you.” This phenomenology explores what is at stake in regards to our inhibitions toward wonder, how we can overcome those inhibitions, what the experience of wonder is like, and what effects wonder can have on our lives and ethical activity. This includes an investigation of the relationships between wonder and topics such as judgment, attention, engagement, imagination, play, and our ethical treatment of the more-than-human world. This paper demonstrates that by cultivating wonder we are both more fully ourselves and more capable of care towards what we might otherwise take for granted. Regardless of the origins or deeper benefits to wonder, a more careful and wondrous attention to the things around us invites us into relationship with them. This sense of relationship is itself a positive influence in motivating ethical treatment of our often ignored more-than-human surroundings.



© Copyright 2020 Henry R. Kramer