Deep Ecology

Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess coined the term deep ecology in the short essay “The Shallow and the Deep, Long-Range Ecology Movement: A Summary” (1973). As the title of the paper suggests, this was at once a positive formulation of a new, deep ecology and a critique of what he disparagingly termed shallow ecology. These divergent “ecologies” were not divisions within scientific ecology, but branches of the environmental movement. Consumed with the search for piecemeal solutions to particular issues such as pollution and resource depletion, shallow ecology failed to ask deeper questions about the causes of ecological problems and therefore could never hope to solve the ecological crisis itself. Deep ecology, on the other hand, offered a wholesale normative critique of human society, and particularly ...

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