A state of mind like water: Ecosophy T and the buddhist traditions

Inquiry 39 (2):239 – 253 (1996)
Arne Naess has come under many influences, most notably Gandhi and Spinoza. The Buddhist influence on his work, though less pervasive, provides the most direct account of key deep ecological concepts such as Self?realization and intrinsic value. I read Ecosophy T as a rigorously phenomenological branch of Deep Ecology. like early Buddhism, Naess responds to the human suffering that causes environmental destruction by challenging us to return to the reality of lived experience. This Buddhist reading clarifies, but it also complicates. It reaffirms Naess's essential vision, but it challenges him at two points: first, to affirm that Self?realization is a process of co?realization with all beings, not just with sentient beings. Second, while this reading accepts that humans do not create the value of nature, it questions whether its value is best expressed in terms of the ?intrinsic value? of radical environmental ethicists
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