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Deep Ecology

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Deep Ecology for the 21st Century by George Sessions

Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology Beneath the Surface: Critical Essays in the Philosophy of Deep Ecology by Eric Katz (Editor), Andrew Light (Editor), David Rothenberg (Editor) 

The philosophy of deep ecology originated in the 1970s with the Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess and has since spread around the world. Its basic premises are a belief in the intrinsic value of nonhuman nature, a belief that ecological principles should dictate human actions and moral evaluations, an emphasis on noninterference into natural processes, and a critique of materialism and technological progress.

This book approaches deep ecology as a philosophy, not as a political, social, or environmental movement. In part I, the authors compare deep ecology's philosophical ideas with other positions and debates in environmental philosophy and to other schools of thought such as social ecology, ecofeminism, and moral pluralism. In part II, they investigate the connections between deep ecology and other contemporary world views, such as continental philosophy, postmodernism, and non-Western philosophical traditions. The first anthology on deep ecology that is not primarily the work of the movement's followers, Beneath the Surface offers a rigorous assessment of deep ecology's strengths and weaknesses as a philosophical position.

Contributors: John Clark, Deane Curtin, Arran Gare, William Grey, Mathew Humphrey, Knut Jacobsen, Eric Katz, Andrew Light, Jonathan Maskit, Val Plumwood, David Rothenberg, Ariel Salleh, Bron Taylor, Michael Zimmerman.

About the Author
Eric Katz is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Andrew Light is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Environmental Studies at the State University of New York, Binghamton, and a Fellow of the International Center for Advanced Studies at New York University. He is coeditor of the journal Philosophy and Geography. David Rothenberg is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the coeditor of The New Earth Reader: The Best of Terra Nova

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Interview with Michael Zimmerman
This interview with Michael Zimmerman serves as a good introduction to deep ecology.

Excerpt:

Deep ecology is founded on two basic principles: one is a scientific insight into the interrelatedness of all systems of life on Earth, together with the idea that anthropocentrism - human-centeredness - is a misguided way of seeing things. Deep ecologists say that an ecocentric attitude is more consistent with the truth about the nature of life on Earth. Instead of regarding humans as something completely unique or chosen by God, they see us as integral threads in the fabric of life. They believe we need to develop a less dominating and aggressive posture towards the Earth if we and the planet are to survive.

The second component of deep ecology is what Arne Naess calls the need for human self-realization. Instead of identifying with our egos or our immediate families, we would learn to identify with trees and animals and plants, indeed the whole ecosphere. This would involve a pretty radical change of consciousness, but it would make our behavior more consistent with what science tells us is necessary for the well-being of life on Earth. We just wouldn't do certain things that damage the planet, just as you wouldn't cut off your own finger. 

 

Some Philosophers strongly associated with Deep Ecology
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Bill Devall

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Dave Foreman

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Arne Naess 

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John Seed 

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Gary Snyder

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Michael Zimmerman 

 

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