ERIC Number: ED417041
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993
Reference Count: N/A
Wisdom in the Open Air: The Norwegian Roots of Deep Ecology.
Reed, Peter, Ed.; Rothenberg, David, Ed.
This book traces the Norwegian roots of "deep ecology": the search for solutions to environmental problems by examining fundamental tenets of culture. Deep ecology contributes to the philosophical foundations of environmental education and outdoor education, and much writing in this area has focused on promoting awareness of the human relationship with nature. More broadly defined, deep ecology is a "questioning" ecology that recognizes the intrinsic value of nature, beyond human need. Although Arne Naess coined the term in the 1970s, the insights of deep ecology reflect a long tradition of thought within Norwegian culture. An introduction describes the Norwegian landscape, explores how the land has shaped Norway's politics and culture, and traces the history of the environmental movement in Norway. Chapters describe the work of seven Norwegian ecophilosophers and include excerpts of their work. Peter Wessel Zapffe (1899-1990), although pessimistic about the survival of humanity and nature, saw wilderness preservation as essential to mankind's spiritual development and existential well-being. Excerpts are "The Last Messiah"; "Farewell, Norway"; and poems. Professor of philosophy, 1936-70, Arne Naess shaped Norwegian higher education, which stresses a basic grounding in philosophy for all students and a concern for linking academics with real-world problems. This concern also forms the backbone of deep ecology: "wisdom related to action." Excerpts are "Intrinsic Value: Will the Defenders of Nature Please Rise?"; "The Politics of the Deep Ecology Movement"; and"Everything Really Important Is Dangerous." Sigmund Kvaloy, Norway's leading environmentalist, integrates philosophical thought and political action. Excerpts are "Complexity and Time: Breaking the Pyramid's Reign" and "Getting Our Feet Wet." Nils Faarlund, wilderness educator, expands on the Norwegian tradition of "friluftsliv" (open-air life) to emphasize the importance of first-hand nonaggressive outdoor experiences to reintroduce people to nature as their true home. Excerpts are "A Way Home" and "Touch the Earth." Other writers and their excerpts are: novelist Finn Alnaes ("The Way of Two-ness"); sociologist Johan Galtung ("Development Theory: Notes on an Alternative Approach"); and social reformer Erik Dammann ("The Future in Our Hands: Its Conceptions, Aims, and Strategies"). The Future in Our Hands is a Scandinavian organization that sponsors alternative development projects and related development education in secondary schools and adult education classes. A conclusion examines deep ecology's potential as a force for change. Contains references in notes, a selected bibliography, illustrations, and an index. (SV)
Descriptors: Activism, Conservation (Environment), Ecology, Environmental Education, Foreign Countries, Outdoor Education, Philosophy, Sustainable Development, Wilderness
University of Minnesota Press, 2037 University Ave. Southeast, Minneapolis, MN 55414 (cloth: ISBN-0-8166-2150-0, $44.95; paper: ISBN-0-8166-2182-9, $18.95).
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Norway