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Meditations on Hunting Hardcover – August 1, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Wescott is Professor of Spanish at the SUNY College in Fredonia. He received his PhD from Brown University.

Before his death in 1996, Paul Shepardwas Avery Professor of Human Ecology and Natural Philosophy at Pitzer College and the Claremont Graduate School. Among his books are The Others: How Animals Make Us Human (Island Press/ Shearwater Books, 1995) and Encounters with Nature, (Island Press/Shearwater Books, 1999).


The late Datus Proper was the author of the path-breaking What the Trout Said, one of the most interesting and challenging books on fly-pattern design. He was an American Foreign Service Officer.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 140 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Adventures Press; 2nd edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1932098534
  • ISBN-13: 978-1932098532
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 10.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Kenneth D. Gartrell on August 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book which details the Ortega y. Gasset philosophy of hunting. It is surprising how little reader interest there is in the book. I would consider it a must read for those who still hunt.

Ortega y. Gasset bases his thinking on a combination of anthropology, history and natural sciences. The basic idea is that hunting is an ancient occupation of man, it is part of the definition of man's place in nature and it is ingrained into the genetic code of all of us.

In this way, Ortega y. Gasset reveals that by hunting, people fulfill their biological imperatives, realize their ability to transcend time and find their primitive being which predates recorded history.

The work is primarily a philosophical justification of hunting. I believe Ortega y. Gasset proves his point convincingly. However, that hardly matters because his analysis certainly evokes the right question which is, "Why do we hunt?"
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This is not a "how to" book on hunting, it is a classic study of "why" people hunt. This philosophical treatise was written in 1942 in Lisbon, Spain, and has been cited frequently over the years.

It is not an easy read, in that to appreciate what the author is presenting, one must give it some thought. The value to me is this requirement for contemplation.

This hardcover printing, with dust cover, is nicely produced on quality paper complete with etchings and footnotes. The only quibble I have is the font size on the footnotes can be a strain for older eyes...

If you hunt or want to better understand hunting, I highly recommend this book.
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Depending on which school of anthropology you subscribe to, "humans" have been on the earth in excess of 5 million years. Through the vast majority of that time, we have been hunter/gatherers. The genes remain; like it or not, we are hunters. Whether you're a serious hunter, a "weekend warrior", buy your meat wrapped in cellophane or an ardent vegetarian, you will enjoy the intelligent, philosophical discussion here.
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Thought-provoking and well written. But be warned, O&G has an odd way of dealing with his subject matter. Sometimes he seems to skirt the title of a chapter altogether. For example, one of the early chapters simply expounds at length upon the "credentials" of two early hunters (a Greek and a Roman). To what end? The gist of the chapter seems to be that if two very solid historical figures both liked hunting, that ought to be good enough for us. Hm. The chapter titled The Ethics of Hunting seems to say - as best as I could decipher it - that the ethical questions that underlie the matter are way too deep, tangled and just plain incomprehensible to even talk about. Philosophically, this can be a frustrating read sometimes. Still, what isn't? Like I said, the book does not fail to be well written and thought-provoking even though it asks more questions than it answers. If you are comfortable reading philosophy and you are interested in hunting, don't pass it up.
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Ortega y Gasset takes one in a philosophical journey into the art of huntiing. He is very serious when it comes to taking game,and views the practice from a very intelligent perspective. The book promotes selectiveness, and sportsmanship over ego. The true hunter is a gentelman. His take on stalking is artistic and scientific. Read this book and you will enjoy the outdoors even if you come back empty handed.
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By Rob_F on February 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mssr Ortega brings a refreshing perspective to human involvement in ecosystems. No apologies, no martyrdom, no drama, and focused on the relationship with hunting, not the broader ecosystem and associated conservation message; all of which is fine, but exists in abundance.
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