How wide is deep ecology?

Inquiry 39 (2):189 – 201 (1996)
Abstract
Arne Naess's ?rules of Gandhian nonviolence? might usefully be applied to recent debates in ecophilosophy. The ?radical ecologies? have increasingly been depicted as mutually exclusive alternatives lacking any common ground, and many of the hostile and antagonistic attitudes that Naess cautions against have become prevalent. Naess suggests, however, that fundamental differences concerning theory and practice can coexist with a respect for one's opponents, an openness to the views of others, and a commitment to cooperation in the pursuit of mutually held goals. I raise questions about the scope of deep ecology in the light of Naess's non?ideological, ?deep questioning? approach. First, I ask whether an expanded consideration of the social institutional implications of deep ecology would not increase its depth, relevance, and appeal to proponents of other ecologies. Second, I pose the question of whether certain tendencies to define deep ecology in stark opposition to other ecophilosophies have not impeded the original aims of the movement. And, finally, I suggest that possible answers to these questions are implicit in Arne Naess's ecophilosophy
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