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  • 1 NHH Norwegian School of Economics, Bergen, Norway
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Are the ecosophy of the Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss and its resulting Deep Ecology relevant today? The central maxims: ‘Live a rich life with simple means’ and ‘Self-realizing for all beings’, are interpreted and corroborated. Næss’s ecosophy builds upon gestalt thinking and spontaneous experiences. In particular, the paper deconstructs point seven in the Deep Ecological Platform, which states that “The ideological change is mainly that of appreciating life quality (dwelling in situations of inherent value) rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living. There will be a profound awareness of the difference between big and great”. The paper draws on Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen as the inspirational source of the degrowth movement, and on the Norwegian philosopher Arne Johan Vetlesen to understand the separation of man and nature that occurred during the Enlightenment, and it presents case studies of alternative economic models from Bhutan and Thailand. The conclusion is that Deep Ecological reasoning is not an ecotopia, but should be seen as an important source of inspiration and challenge to the prevalent consumer culture in affluent countries.

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