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Arne Naess:

The Call of the Mountain

This beautiful and rewarding film features the great Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess (b. 1912, d.2009), founder of the Deep Ecology movement. Naess felt that academic philosophy in the West had become too abstract, was characterized by obscure terminology and was only remotely connected to daily life. His spontaneous experiences as a naturalist and mountain climber convinced him of the wholeness of the natural world and its many beings--its diversity and community, its complexity and uniqueness. During his years as a professor, he pioneered many fields of study, that were always related to issues of practical and moral importance.

Always respecting the dignity, worth and freedom of the individual, Naess championed, encouraged and empowered people to be their own teachers. He rejected the cult of the expert and specialist, and was always willing to take a humble role. He was a spokesman for cultural diversity, seeing it as completely interconnected with biodiversity.

Naess was deeply interested in Buddhism and wrote some seminal essays on it, such as Gestalt Thinking & Buddhism. He considered that all philosophies of life consist of basic value norms and hypotheses about the nature of the world. When these philosophies take careful account of ecological responsibility, they become ecosophies, a word he coined for ecological wisdom

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