Education for Local and Global Ecological Responsibility: Arne Næss’s CrossCultural, Ecophilosophy Approach

Alan Drengson


This paper explains Arne Næss’s approach to understanding contemporary grassroots movements, and especially the long range deep ecology movement. Some critics reject what they call “deep ecology” and criticize “deep ecologists,” but in so doing they confuse Næss’s personal ultimate philosophy—which he calls Ecosophy T—with his description of global socio-political movements (Glasser, 1996, 1997). Næss’s interdisciplinary, cross- cultural approach involves a four level framework for discourse that is fruitful for local and global environmental study. It helps us clarify how local actions and global responsibility can become a part of all our relationships. This approach stresses respect and appreciation for all forms of diversity: personal, cultural and ecological. Using it we can help students and ourselves design personal ecosophies as living philosophies of ecological harmony.

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