Environmental Ethics

Volume 41, Issue 4, Winter 2019

Inter-Continental Dialogues II

Luca Valera
Pages 293-303

Depth, Ecology, and the Deep Ecology Movement
Arne Næss’s Proposal for the Future

The aim of this paper is to focus on the idea of depth developed by Arne Næss, which is related both to his research methodology and some of its anthropological/cosmological implications. Far from being purely a psychological dimension (as argued by Warwick Fox), in Næss’s perspective, the subject of depth is a methodological and ontological issue that underpins and lays the framework for the deep ecology movement. We cannot interpret the question of “depth” without considering the “relational ontology” that he himself has developed in which the “ecological self” is viewed as a “relational union within the total field.” Based on this point of view, I propose that we are able to reinterpret the history of the deep ecology movement and its future, while rereading its politics, from the issue of depth.