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Deep Ecology

  • By: Matthew Schnurr
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Deep ecology is a radical environmental philosophy and political movement founded upon the holistic belief that all living things have an equal right to life, or have subjective or objective intrinsic values. It has two defining philosophical ideals. First, self-realization, which emphasizes a broadening and deepening of the self toward a sense of personal identity that allows each being's potential to be realized. Second, biological egalitarianism, the principle that humans have no more right to live than any other organism—all living things are equally valuable and deserve the same consideration. In accordance with these principles, deep ecology is considered a biocentric (living-centered), rather than an anthropocentric (human-centered), worldview.

The term deep ecology was coined by Norwegian professor of philosophy and accomplished mountaineer Arne Naess in his ...

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