Arne Næss on Environmental Ethics: Worksheet

A worksheet on Arne Næss's key ideas on environmental ethics, including what they are, how they work, and why they're important.


Who was Arne Næss and what are his key ideas on environmental ethics?

Arne Næss (1912-2009) was a Norwegian philosopher and environmentalist. He received his PhD from the University of Oslo, and was appointed as its youngest ever professor in 1939. In 1970, he resigned his academic chair and retired to his mountain hut (Tvergastein), where he spent the rest of the decade developing deep ecology and writing Ecology, Community and Lifestyle (published in 1989). Make a note about who he was and what he did.


To understand Arne Næss's key ideas on environmental ethics, it is necessary to understand his definitions of "ideology" and "ecosophy". Write definitions for “ideology" and "ecosophy".






Arne Næss introduced three key ideas about environmental ethics in his book, Ecology, Community and Lifestyle. Make a note about three of his key ideas.

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How do Arne Næss's key ideas on environmental issues work?

Arne Næss's key ideas support his view that human beings should radically change their ways of life to benefit both themselves and Earth. Taken together, they form an ethical argument that concludes all living things have equal intrinsic value and human beings should behave accordingly. Explain how each key idea supports his view.


The root cause of environmental issues is capitalist ideology.


Promoting ecosophy can solve environmental issues.


Deep ecology recognises the intrinsic value of all living things.


Why are Arne Næss's key ideas on environmental issues important?

The key ideas of Arne Næss are important for three reasons in particular. Make a note about why his key ideas are important.

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