What happens when a philosopher raised outside of a culture that promotes hunting takes up the sport?
What philosophical lessons can he learn from the experience and how can he describe them in existential terms?
Lawrence Cahoone asks these questions and more. Growing up in the urban and suburban Northeast, he had no experience of
hunting. But in middle-age, after moving to a rural area, he decided that if he was going to eat meat he ought to find
some himself. It seemed only fair. So, he began to hunt. But as a philosophy professor, he was forced to reflect on the
experience in a very particular way. Was it moral to shoot animals? What does it feel like to seek and to kill? What was
involved in entering the “wild on wild” business? Philosophers have debated whether hunting is a violation of animal rights,
a friend to the environment, or a sport. But what Larry ended up asking was something more basic. In the end, he wanted to
know: what does hunting mean?
Lawrence Cahoone is an Associate Professor at Holy Cross College. He received his Ph.D. from the State University
of New York at Stony Brook. He is the author and editor of multiple books, most recently
Reason versus Culture in Contemporary Philosophy, Politics, and Jihad
(Penn State, 2005).