Thoreau, Leopold, and Carson: Challenging Capitalist Conceptions of the Natural Environment

Kuper, Savannah

This paper examines criticisms on anthropocentricism expressed in Walden by Henry David Thoreau (1854), A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold (1949), and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962). The belief that humankind is the most superior in all existence, anthropocentricism promotes the exploitation and commercialization of the natural environment. Anthropocentric thought disregards the intrinsic value of nature and has raised debates concerning the relationship between humanity and the natural world throughout history. Despite the different time periods, historical contexts, and environmental consciousness of Thoreau, Leopold, and Carson, their assertions against anthropocentricism indirectly challenge America's industrializing and environmentally insensitive market- economy activities. While their works highlight criticism toward capitalism's narrow and anthropocentric conceptions of the natural world, their efforts for reform and awareness still hold resonance today.


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Also Published In

Consilience: The Journal of Sustainable Development

More About This Work

Academic Units
Earth Institute
Published Here
December 9, 2015


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