Arne Naess

The smaller one comes to feel compared to the mountain, the nearer
one comes to sharing in its greatness. I don’t know why this is so.
—Arne Naess

This page displays content relating to Arne Naess, widely regarded as the foremost Norwegian philosopher and one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. Naess was an inspirational figure within the environmental movement of the late twentieth century. He is perhaps most known as the person who coined the term “deep ecology,” an approach to environmental problems that looks for its roots deep in the structure of our western society and the worldviews that guide it. He later preferred the term “ecosophy”, which we use here to distinguish between the philosophy underlying Deep Ecology, and the group practices themselves.

Arne Naess at work in his retreat hut, “Tvergastein”, at just over 1,500 metres above sea level in the mountains of central Norway. Most of his life’s writings were composed there.

Now is the time to share with all life on our maltreated earth by deepening our identification with all life-forms, with the ecosystems, and with Gaia, this fabulous, old planet of ours. we need the immense variety of sources of joy opened through increased sensitivity toward the richness and diversity of life, through the profound cherishing of free natural landscapes. care flows naturally if the self is widened and deepened so that protection of free nature is felt and conceived of as protection of our very selves. we must find and develop therapies which heal our relations with the widest community, that of all living beings.

Arne Naess

A Biography of Arne Naess


Posts relating to Arne Naess:

  • Book: “Thinking Like A Mountain”, By John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arnes Naess and Pat Fleming

    Book: “Thinking Like A Mountain”, By John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arnes Naess and Pat Fleming

    Published in 1988, this seminal text by John Seed, Joanna Macy, Arne Naess and Pat Fleming outlines their collective vision for Deep Ecology process. Originally referred to as a “Council of All Beings” these group therapeutic processes aimed at healing humanities’ illusion of separation from the natural world, as a response to the multifaceted challenges […]

  • Video: The Deep Ecology Movement with Alan Drengson

    Audio of an interview with Alan Drengson from Greenradio on youtube, R. Alan Drengson explains the origins and principles of the deep ecology movement, while speaking of its founder, Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss. In particular, Dr. Drengson identifies the importance of contextual knowledge and of engaging conversations at the intersections of difference. Radio interview by […]

  • Article: “What is Deep Ecology Philosophy” at

    Back in 2021, this helpful article about deep ecology was published on It in includes an overview of the history of the movement, as well as a concise summary of criticisms that Deep Ecology has attracted over the years. Deep ecology, a movement initiated by Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss in 1972, posits two main […]

  • Philosophy in the Mountains: ABC radio show about Arne Naess and interview John Seed.—arne-naess/3176186 “Arne Næss, who died in January just a couple of weeks short of his ninety-seventh birthday, was a great mountaineer and part of the history of twentieth-century philosophy. He started out as a member of the great philosophical school the Vienna Circle but was better known as the founder of the movement known as […]

  • Article: The Shallow and the Deep, long-Range Ecology Movement, A Summary, by Arne Naess

    The emergence of ecologists from their formerrelative obscurity marks a turning point in ourscientific communities. Their message, however,is twisted and misused. A shallow, but currentlyrather powerful movement, and a deep, but less influen-tial movement compete for our attention. I shall makean effort to characterize the two Arne Naess, Inquiry 16 See below for an embedded […]

  • The Ecosophy Platform

    In his “eight-point platform,” formulated together with George Sessions in 1984 while the two were camping in Death Valley, California, Arne Naess offers a convenient overview of deep-ecological principles. It runs as follows: The well-being and flourishing of human and nonhuman Life on Earth have value in themselves (synonyms: intrinsic value, inherent value). These values […]