Posts Tagged ‘ecophilosophy’

The Call of the Mountain

November 3, 2013

1500 metres above sea level, on the slope of the mountain Hallingskarvet, on the Hardangervidda plateau, stands “Tvergastein’, the cabin of Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess. The highest mountain hut in Scandinavia. The only structures higher, meteorological stations.

During his life he has spent nearly 12 years in this hut, where he wrote several books and essays on philosophy and ecology. In this film, Naess tells about the concept of ‘deep ecology’, which was first introduced by him in 1973. One of the basic tenets of deep ecology is that nature has a value in itself, apart from its possible use value to humans. Next to being a famous mountaineer, Naess has been a longtime activist in the environmental movement.

Arne Naess participated in blockade to prevent the Alta river in northern Norway (the area of the Sami, an indigenous people) from being dammed. Deep ecology is involvement, direct action. We are part of nature, not apart from nature.

Camped out in Death Valley, California, during 1984, George Sessions and Arne Naess draw up eight basic principles that describe deep ecology.

Contributions from Helena Norberg-Hodge, Vandana Shiva, Bill Devall, George Sessions and Harold Glasser.

Gods live in the mountains. Climb a mountain, and you will understand why.

Henry David Thoreau sat beside a pond, Arne Naess sat atop a mountain.

Arne Naess (1912-2009), Norwegian philosopher founder of deep ecology. He was greatly influenced, as were many at the time, by Silent Spring. He contrasted shallow with deep ecological thinking.

Deep ecology is the foundation of a branch of philosophy known as ecophilosophy, Arne Naess prefers the term ecosophy, that deals with the ethics of Gaia. Deep ecology describes deep ecological awareness. Deep ecology is a network concept.