Volume 18, Issue 4, Winter 1996
Eric H. Reitan
Deep Ecology and the Irrelevance of Morality
Both Arne Naess and Warwick Fox have argued that deep ecology, in terms of “Selfrealization,” is essentially nonmoral. I argue that the attainment of the ecological Self does not render morality in the richest sense “superfluous,” as Fox suggests. To the contrary, the achievement of the ecological Self is a precondition for being a truly moral person, both from the perspective of a robust Kantian moral framework
and from the perspective of Aristotelian virtue ethics. The opposition between selfregard and morality is a false one. The two are the same. The ecological philosophy of Naess and Fox is an environmental ethic in the grand tradition of moral philosophy.