Martha Nussbaum Writes About ‘“Wild” Nature’

A Peopled Wilderness

Should we try to leave nondomesticated animals alone in “the wild,” imagined as their evolutionary habitat, but also known to be a place full of cruelty, scarcity, and casual death? Or do we have a responsibility to protect “wild” animals from scarcity and disease and to preserve their habitats? And what about predation of vulnerable animals by other animals? Could it possibly be our responsibility to limit that? Can we envisage such a thing as a multispecies society, where “wild” animals are concerned?

And what is “the wild”? Does it even exist? Whose interests does this concept serve?

My answers to these questions will be, in some cases, controversial. But my conclusions, albeit provocative, are also tentative, since we are searching for new ways to think and act in a world dominated everywhere by human power and activity.

Read more at The New York Review

Faculty books