Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle Context

Arne Naess


(Student Guide to World Philosophy)

Arne Naess was Norway’s most prominent philosopher when he became convinced, in the late 1960’s, that the earth was facing an imminent ecological crisis. Naess had been a mountain climber since his youth and had a profound appreciation for nature. He also was an admirer of seventeenth century Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza, who maintained that God and nature were identical and that nature was an intricate system of interrelated parts. Pessimistic about the future of the planet but inspired by his love of nature and by Spinozistic philosophy, Naess retired from his position as professor of philosophy at the University of Oslo in 1969 to concentrate on ecological problems.