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DEEP ECOLOGY

Sociology of Environment, Silent Spring, Books on Environmental Sociology, Environmental Movement, Ecofeminism

Deep ecology is a set of ideas within the environmental movement which stress the belief that modern societies have become anthropocentric - placing the human species and its interests at the top of the agenda.

Supporters of deep ecology argue that society must become biocentric - seeing all biological organism, including humans, as having value in and of themselves. Although Arne Naess coined the term in the 1970s, the insights of deep ecology reflect a long tradition of thought within Norwegian culture.

Deep ecology suggests that human relationship with the natural environment should not be based on its value for the human species; rather things should be valued for themselves and consequently we should return the environment to its natural state.

Dialectical Materialism and Nature - An Alternative to Economism and Deep Ecology - Brett Clark, Richard York

Two commonly held views about the nature of Nature lead to a systematic misunderstanding and mismeasurment of natural processes. The "economistic" view conceives of the natural environment as a repository of resources, available for human exploitation, and "services" provided by mechanistic ecological processes.

The economistic perspective leads to a failure to properly recognize the sharp distinctions between ecological and economic processes, by positing that environmental-sustainability issues can be successfully addressed by "economizing ecology and ecologizing the economy." The deep ecology view conceives of nature in an idealized manner as a harmonious system in eternal balance unless disturbed by humans.

Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, Devall and Sessions on Defending the Earth 
Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 
The theory of deep ecology has had a profound effect on many environmental political movements over the past generation. While this notion was first advanced by Arne Naess in Western Europe, deep ecology found its broadest and most influential popularization, especially in North America, in the work of Bill Devall and George Sessions. Their 1985 work, Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered, outlines their vision of deep ecology, and it is an important source for anyone interested in the ethics and politics of deep ecology.

Gandhi, Deep Ecology, Peace Research And Buddhist Economics 
Thomas Weber, School of Sociology, Politics and Anthropology, La Trobe University 
The central importance of Gandhi to nonviolent activism is widely acknowledged. The new environmentalism in the form of deep ecology, the discipline of peace research and what has become known as `Buddhist economics' very closely mirror Gandhi's philosophy. This article analyses the Mahatma's contribution to the intellectual development of three leading figures in these fields: Arne Naess, Johan Galtung and E. F. Schumacher and argues that those who want to make an informed study of deep ecology, peace research or Buddhist economics, and particularly those who are interested in the philosophy of Naess, Galtung or Schumacher, should go back to Gandhi for a fuller picture.

Expropriating Nature: The Decoding of Deep Ecology, Lauer, Dean
Abstract: In this essay, I suggest that Nina Witoszek's semiotic dismantling of Arne Nęss' philosophy of deep ecology is more than just an effort to situate Nęss within the tradition of his native culture. Her sociological method, perhaps unwittingly, is hostile to the phenomenological possibility of what Nęss calls "spontaneous experience". Because the "decoding" of deep ecology takes place in the context of a sign-functional nexus, deep ecology's most valuable asset, the possibility for intimate experience and identification with nature, becomes expropriated within the system of signs.

Deep Ecology and Language: The Curtailed Journey of the Atlantic Salmon - Stibbe, Arran
Abstract: This article explores the representation of fish in ecological discourse through analysis of the recently published Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA, 2005) synthesis report. The analysis utilizes an ecological framework based on "deep ecology" (Naess, 1990), examining how the discourse of the MA asserts or denies the intrinsic worth of fish.

The Solitary Walker in the Political World - The Paradoxes of Rousseau and Deep Ecology - Joseph H. Lane, Jr., Rebecca R. Clark - Rousseau argued forcefully for the superiority of a life lived in accordance with "the simplest impulses of nature," but his complex (somewould say contradictory) understanding of the relationship between humans and "nature" is rarely cited as a source of inspiration by those seeking to reform the human relationship with the natural world. We argue that the complexities of Rousseau's political thought illuminate important connections between his works and the programs put forth by deep ecology. In Part One, we explore the theoretical connections between Rousseau's account of the human fall from nature and major works of radical environmentalism. In Part Two, we offer suggestions for a reconsideration of Rousseau's work that may illuminate the paradoxical political requirements of deep ecology's recommendations for a more ecological human life. We hope to illustrate howa careful reading of Rousseau'swork may serve as the basis for fruitful questioning of environmentalist thought.

Wisdom in the Open Air: The Norwegian Roots of Deep Ecology. 
Reed, Peter, Ed.; Rothenberg, David, Ed. 
Abstract: 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. 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 "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"). A conclusion examines deep ecology's potential as a force for change. Contains references in notes, a selected bibliography, illustrations, and an index.

Summer School in Deep Ecology, Macmillan, Catherine Hume 
Abstract: Describes one teacher's experiences at the Institute for Deep Ecology Education (IDEE) Summer School in Applied Deep Ecology. Reviews the program offered and the focus on interactive, experiential activities. - eric.ed.gov

Theses on Social Ecology and Deep Ecology, Janet Biehl and Murray Bookchin 
Ever since the debate between social ecology and deep ecology broke out in the summer of 1987, various individuals have taken it upon themselves to attempt to reconcile the two approaches and produce what they feel is a higher synthesis. Social ecology and deep ecology, however, are incommensurable, for several basic reasons. Deep ecologists differ among themselves as to the content of their approach, which often renders deep ecology itself self-contradictory and amorphous. Nevertheless, based on the writings of its major theorists, its basic areas of disagreement with social ecology may be identified.