Cronon, William, “The Trouble with Wilderness or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature”, Uncommon Ground: Toward Reinventing Nature ed. William Cronon, (W.W. Norton 1995)

This, then, is the central paradox: wilderness embodies a dualistic vision in which the human is entirely outside the natural. If we allow ourselves to believe that nature, to be true, must also be wild, then our very presence in nature represents its fall. The place where we are is the place where nature is not. If this is so–if by definition wilderness leaves no place for human beings, save perhaps as contemplative sojourners enjoying their leisurely reverie in Go’d natural cathedral–then also by definition it can offer no solution to the environmental and other problems that confront us. To the extent that we celebrate wilderness as the measure with which we judge civilization, we reproduce the dualism that sets humanity and nature at opposite poles. We thereby leave ourselves little hope of discovering what an ethical, sustainable honorable human place in nature might actually look like.

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