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

Dr. Christopher Preston

Commitee Members

Dr. David Sherman, Dr. Andrew Larson


Nature, dialectic, dualism, monism, environment, ethics


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Ethics and Political Philosophy | Metaphysics | Other Philosophy | Philosophy


The protection of nature has been a central aim of environmentalism for well over a century. However, the concept of nature has been subjected to abundant critiques in recent literature, threatening the conceptual tenability of this goal. In this paper, I discuss why I find the concept of nature too valuable to dismiss and offer an account of nature that I believe remedies existent critiques. In Chapter 1, I recount arguments for the protection of nature and illustrate their dualistic underpinnings. In Chapter 2, I discuss issues with dualistic accounts of nature and demonstrate why Steven Vogel’s monistic alternative is unsatisfactory. In Chapter 3, I propose a dialectical account of nature and explore what an environmental ethic might look like within this framework.



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