HomeInternational Journal of Education Research for Higher Learningvol. 22 no. 2 (2016)

Arne Naess’ Ecosophy: Exploring the Overlap between Philosophy and Ecology

Raymundo R. Pavo



This paper deals with following queries: (1) What is ecosophy? and (2) What type of overlap subsists in an ecosophy? The first query revolves around Naess’ position in ECL, which is the expository part of the paper, and the second question involves an analysis on the nature of overlap that subsists between philosophy and ecology in Naess’ ecosophy. Guided by the expository-analytic approach in philosophical writing, this paper has come up with its set of analyses and reflections, which can hopefully remind humanity of his/her role in upholding the value and intricacies that can protect the environment from further damage, and perhaps cultivate thinking and practical conditions that can redirect humanity’s relation with nature, and remind each person of his/her originary link with the environment. In conclusion, this paper advances that ecosophy can be construed as an overlap between philosophy and ecology. On this note, having an ecosophy means that its interface is that of the reconstituting type because: (1) a person develops a philosophical total-view shaped through the continuous rethinking of man’s proper relation to nature, (2) an individual utilises yet evaluates scientific information in the light of his total view, and (3) the philosophical world-view of humanity’s rightful place in nature and the evaluated information provided by science, serve as a presupposition for a person to act in facing and responding to the challenges of protecting and nourishing life in the ecosphere. Also, it is paradoxically both a symbolic and mitigating overlap, since an ecosophy reminds humanity of his/her capacity to live in harmony with nature – pertaining to symbolic overlap, and his/her presence in the environment, however remains tension-filled given that it is still unclear as to why humanity is yet to categorically decide on his/her stance on the value of the environment and humanity remains oblivious of his/her role in the over-all scheme of things in nature.