Naess, Arne

Arne Naess (1912–2009) was a philosopher, social and environmental activist, and mountaineer. Appointed to the only chair of philosophy at the University of Oslo at 27, Naess became the most prominent Norwegian philosopher of his time. He was a prolific scholar who addressed all the major subdisciplines of philosophical research in several hundred publications. Since the 1970s, however, Naess has been most widely known as the foremost exponent of deep ecology as a philosophical view and a justification for action.

Naess coined the term deep ecology in “The Shallow and the Deep, Long Range Ecological Movement,” published in 1973. In this brief article Naess distinguishes “deep ecology” from the “shallow ecology” movement, which, he argues, is primarily concerned with mitigating pollution and resource depletion to preserve ...

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