The Philosophy Of Wildness with Paul Shepard, Ph.D.

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In contrast to the modern, external, technological world, lurking somewhere deep within the human psyche there are intimations of a hidden, more primitive place. Wildness is part of our heritage. Though often suppressed by the pattern of daily life, its lure is constant, according to Shepard, who has spent a lifetime exploring the wonders of the wild. He reveals the dangers of domesticating animals and challenges us to recognize our kinship with other life on the earth, while telling some great stories about bears. (hosted by Michael Toms)


The late Paul Shepard, Ph.D. (1925-1996) was a premier environmental philosopher and Professor of Natural Philosophy at Pitzer College and the Claremont Graduate University. He explored the connections between domestication, language, and cognition. He created a developmental model for understanding the role of sustained contact with nature in healthy human psychological development, positing that humans, having spent 99% of their social history in hunting and gathering environments, are therefore evolutionarily dependent on nature for proper emotional and psychological growth and development.

His books include:

To learn more about the work of Paul Shepard go to

Host: Michael Toms           Interview Date: 11/4/1989          Program Number: 2162

Music Included

From Album: The Language and Music of the Wolves
Columbia #C-30769 various wolf calls

From Album: Western Spaces
Artist: Steve Roach
Innovative Communications #IC87-101
Track - The Breathing Stone

From Album: The Shape of The Land
Artist: Phillip Aaberg
1986 Windham Hill #WH-1055