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Document Details :
Title: The Beastly Familiarity of Wild Alterity
Subtitle: Debating the 'Nature' of our Fascination with Wilderness
Author(s): KOVER, T.R.
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 14 Issue: 4 Date: December 2007
This article discusses the ‘nature’ of our contemporary fascination with wildness, in light of the popular documentary “Grizzly Man.” Taking as its central point of departure the film’s central protagonist Timothy Treadwell’s fascination with wild grizzlies and director Werner Herzog’s condemnation of it as gross anthropomorphism, this paper will explore the context and basis of our contemporary fascination with wildness in terms of the current debate raging within environmental philosophy between the social constructivist or postmodern position as exemplified by Martin Drenthen and the feral humanist position as articulated by Paul Shepard. The former argues that this fascination with wildness is reflective of certain historical and cultural trends within contemporary western society, while the latter argues that it is reflective of our primordial human heritage.