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Deep Ecology

Ravi Resck 30 de January de 2023

This chapter talks about the concept of Deep Ecology and “The Work that Reconnects” by Joanna Macy.

1. Origin and Principles

Deep ecology, a direct translation from the English deep ecology, is a concept proposed by the Norwegian philosopher and ecologist Arne Næss in 1973, who sees humanity as another thread in the "web of life" (web of life).

According to this concept, each element of nature, including humanity, must be preserved and respected to guarantee the balance of the biosphere system. The term was created to counter the concept, also formulated by Næss, of “shallow ecology”, according to him the dominant paradigm over the use of natural resources, in which humans are the center of everything and nature is something to be explored.

While shallow ecology would be a study of the interactions between living beings and between them and the environment, deep ecology is a way of thinking and acting, within ecology or any other activity. For Fritjof Capra, deep ecology differs from traditional ecology in that it presents something more, because it is a way of thinking in which everything is questioned.


Deep ecology argues that the natural world is a subtle balance of complex interrelationships in which the existence of organisms depends on the existence of others within ecosystems.

Human interference or the destruction of the natural world poses a threat, therefore, not only to human beings, but to all organisms that constitute the natural order.

The central principle of deep ecology is the belief that the environment as a whole must be respected and considered to have certain inalienable legal rights to live and flourish, regardless of their instrumental utilitarian benefits for human use.

Deep ecology is often framed in terms of the idea of much broader sociability; recognizes several life communities on Earth that are composed not only by biotic factors, but also, when applicable, by ethical relationships, that is, by valuing other beings as more than just resources.

It describes itself as “profound” because it considers the current reality of humanity's relationship with the natural world to be more profound, reaching philosophically deeper conclusions than the prevailing view of ecology as a branch of biology.

The movement does not adhere to anthropocentric environmentalism (which is concerned with conserving the environment only for exploitation for and for human purposes), since deep ecology is based on a quite different set of philosophical assumptions.

Deep ecology takes a more holistic view of the world in which human beings live and seeks to apply to life the understanding that the separate parts of the ecosystem (including humans) work as a whole.

This philosophy provides a basis for ecological movements and has fostered a new system of environmental ethics that advocates the preservation of the jungle, the control of the human population and simple life.

Taken from Wikipedia

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