Monday, 25 October 2010

Arne Næss

When I was in Norway with Tom we went up the mountains to Arne Naess's home, the Tvergastein hut, if you look to the right of me on the picture you can see it, nestled into the mountainside. Arne Dekke Eide Næss (27 January 1912 – 12 January 2009) was a Norwegian philosopher, the founder of deep ecology.[5] He was the youngest person to be appointed full professor at the University of Oslo.

Næss cited Rachel Carson's 1962 book Silent Spring as being a key influence in his vision of deep ecology. Næss combined his ecological vision with Gandhian nonviolence and on several occasions participated in direct action. In 1970, together with a large number of demonstrators, he chained himself to rocks in front of Mardalsfossen, a waterfall in a Norwegian fjord, and refused to descend until plans to build a dam were dropped. Though the demonstrators were carried away by police and the dam was eventually built, the demonstration launched a more activist phase of Norwegian environmentalism. In 1958, Arne Næss founded the Interdiciplinary Journal of Philosophy Inquiry.

Næss was a noted mountaineer, who in 1950 led the expedition that made the first ascent of Tirich Mir (7,708 m). The Tvergastein hut in the Hallingskarvet massif played an important role in Næss' life.

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