A comprehensive guide to Deep Ecology

Deep_Ecology_21C

Published in 1995, this book is a comprehensive compendium of writing about the Deep Ecology movement that emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. This is the best book I have read about the movement, because of its breadth of coverage and the selection of important writers included. Covering such subjects as ‘What is Deep Ecology’ and ‘The Historical Roots of Deep Ecology’, the book also includes key texts by Arne Naess, who first defined the idea of Deep Ecology, and chapters covering related movements, the political aspects and critical writings on the differences between ‘deep’ and ‘shallow’ ecology.

Deep Ecology is most easily distinguished from other conservation and sustainability philosophies on the basis of its ecocentric as opposed to anthropocentric standpoint. The view that nature has an intrinsic value apart from any uses that humankind might put it to or resources it might provide for us is its fundamental principle.

Each section in the book has an excellent introduction written by George Sessions that discusses the writing that follows, clarifying and setting into context what follows. Though there are other books on Deep Ecology and related philosophies, this has to be the definitive ‘bible’ for anyone seriously interested in ecology and the impact of ecosophy and ecophilosophy on attitudes to life and action.

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