Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering Arne Naess (1912-2009)

Arne Naess was a Norwegian philosopher, writer and mountaineer and some say the 'father of Deep Ecology'. Although he coined the phrase in 1973 and provided the philosophical framework for Deep Ecology, he believed that it was Rachel Carson’s book "Silent Spring" (1962) that was the beginning of the international deep ecology movement. He also founded the journal Inquiry.
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He passed away this week at the age of 96.
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“The earth does not belong to humans.”
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- Arne Naess
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"The right of all forms [of life] to live is a universal right which cannot be quantified. No single species of living being has more of this particular right to live and unfold than any other species."
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- Arne Naess
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He did much of his thinking and writing in isolation, at a self-built hut (he called the Tvergastein hut, after the locals' name for the quartz crystals found near the small tarn below it) high on a Norwegian mountain. At just over 1500m above sea level is Norway's highest privately-owned dwelling.
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He believed life’s necessities were water, food, shelter, warmth, clean air and perhaps solitude – what he called in his philosophy human “vital needs”.
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Picture: View from his window (from the Tvergastein hut) where he spent over 11 years thinking and writing.
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He famously described the original 8m by 5m hut (which he built in 1938) as "Simple in means, rich in ends". This is the place after which he has named his own philosophy, Ecosophy T. The "T" is for Tvergastein.
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He uses the term Deep Ecology in the paper "The Shallow and the Deep, Long Range Ecology Movements: A Summary".
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In it, he suggests that the ecological movement has two strands: the shallow, concerned with pollution and resource depletion; and the deep, which rejects the idea of humans as being separate from their environment and highlights the complex relatedness of all that is and supports biocentric equality and the equal right of all living organisms to blossom and flourish. (taken from Clare Palmer)
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Publications:
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He published about 30 books and numerous articles including:
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The Selected Works of Arne Naess - 10 volume work (2005)
Life's philosophy: reason and feeling in a deeper world (2002)
Gandhi (2000)
Ecology, Community and Lifestyle (1989)
Freedom, Emotion and Self-subsistence (1975)
Gandhi and Group Conflict (1974)
Four modern philosophers (1968)
Communication and Argument (1966)
Symbolic Logic (1961)
History of Philosophy (1953)
Democracy, Ideology and Objectivity (1956)
Truth as conceived by those who are not professional philosophers (1938)
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Please check out the Random Man Top 10
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For a link to the complete transcript of the film about Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement (see: The Call of the Mountain)
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Note: He is not to be confused with Arne Naess, Jr. (who was his nephew and the former husband of Diana Ross). .
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Sources:
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Living in the World: Mountain Humility, Great Humility by Richard Langlais
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University of Oslo (Arne Naess page)
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Remembering Arne Naess (1912-2009) by David Orton

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** If you enjoyed this post please also check out:
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Allan Schnaiberg

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Communicating Climate Change
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Splitting: 'jobs' versus 'the environment'
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Combating Climate Change and Boosting Growth Are Natural Allies.

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COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME !!

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So please, tell us what you think.

3 comments:

Sylvia said...

Hi. Nice tribute and helpful links. Thanks. :)

Ipanema said...

To read the entire article posted by David Orton "Remembering Arne Naess (1912-2009)" go to
http://home.ca.inter.net/~greenweb/Arne_Naess.pdf

Knowledge is Power said...

Thanks for the link !!