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Deep Ecology: Living as if Nature Mattered Paperback – January 19, 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith (January 19, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879052473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879052478
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #194,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Contents Preface Nothing Can Be Done, Everything is Possible Minority Tradition and Direct Action The Dominant, Modern Worldview and Its Critics The Reformist Response Deep Ecology Some Sources of the Deep Ecology Perspective Why Wilderness in the Nuclear Age? Nature Resource Conservation or Protection of the Integrity of Nature: Contrasting Views of Management Ecotopia: The Vision Defined

From the Back Cover

Deep Ecology explores the philosophical, psychological, and sociological roots of today's environmental movement, examines the human-centered assumptions behind most approaches to nature, explores the possibilities of an expanded human consciousness, and offers specific direct action suggestions for individuals to practice. Widely read in it first printing, Deep Ecology has established itself as one of the most significant books on environmental thought to appear in this decade.
"Deep Ecology is subversive, but it's the kind of subversion we can use." --San Francisco Chronicle
"This book is an attempt at codifying a scattered body of ecological insight into a philosophy that places human beings on an absolutely equal footing with all other creatures on the planet." --Stephanie Mills, Whole Earth Review
"Difficult and (to some) unfamiliar insights on nature and human beings presented with simplicity and clarity, Deep Ecology rattles a cage full of occidental presumptions and yet it all seems almost like common sense." --Gary Snyder
Bill Devall has studied the social organization, politics, psychology and philosophy of the environmental movement for fifteen years. He teaches at Humbolt State University in California and is active in many environmental groups including Earth First! and the Sierra Club.
George Sessions teaches philosophy at Sierra College California. He was appointed to the Mountaineering Committee of the the Sierra Club in 1962, has served as a philosophy consultant to the National Endowment for the Humanities, and is editor of the International Ecophilosophy Newsletter.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Richard Risbridger on January 19, 2003
Format: Paperback
As a long time environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy I found the book wonderfully comprehensive in its analysis and explanation of deep ecology. The book delves nicely into the sources of deep ecology and its response to other perspectives on environmental issues. I found it a quick read (I read it at the gym, but then, I read Heidegger for fun) and well put together.
It will not, however, make someone who is coming from a perspective far from deep ecology change their mind. For that I would recommend Muir or Jeffers or better yet, spend some time in the real wilderness yourself. What it does is provide extensive background material and elucidation of the philosophy to someone who already believes in the importance of wilderness preservation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
Bill Devall (d. 2009) was Professor Emeritus in Sociology at Humboldt State University, and the author of other books such as Clearcut: The Tragedy of Industrial Forestry, Simple in Means, Rich in Ends: Practicing Deep Ecology, and Living Richly in an Age of Limits. George Sessions is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at Sierra College, and edited Deep Ecology for the Twenty-First Century.

They wrote in the Preface to this 1985 book, "Many philosophers and theologians are calling for a new ecological philosophy for our time. We believe, however, that we may not need something new, but need to reawaken something very old, to reawaken our understanding of Earth wisdom... the themes in 'Deep Ecology' alternate between personal, individual options and public policy and collective options... the book offers an examination of the dominant worldview in our society, which has led directly to the continuing crisis of culture. We then present an ecological, philosophical, spiritual approach for dealing with the crisis."

They suggest that the major contribution of the science of ecology to deep ecology has been "the rediscovery within the modern scientific context that everything is connected to everything else." Ecology thus provided a view of Nature that was lacking in the "discrete, reductionistic approach to Nature" of the other sciences. (Pg.
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30 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Moses on May 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This classic text of the environmental movememt has influenced groups as diverse as The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, and Earth First! Devall and Sessions explore the emotional and spiritual underpinnings of hamanity's ties to the earth in this deeply philosophical work. They link a plethora of sources in their exploration of Deep Ecology, including numerous religions, the words of such notables as David Brower, Aldo Leopold, and Edward Abbey, and the perspectives of many cultures. Despite all of this, though, I found it somewhat lacking. Not present is the graceful beauty of Aldo Leopold, nor the raw passion of John Muir. Perhaps this book might grow dog-eared with use in the library of a Philosophy Professor or a career activist, but I suspect that most people, like me, will find this book a bit dull. Call me simpleminded, but I was more deeply moved by Leopold's heartfelt musings on the chickadee in "A Sand County Almanac" than by Devall and Sessions' philosophical ruminations.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James Storm Shirley on December 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As advertised, long sought out, slow, going read.... but worth it, and should be read by anyone thinking about doing more for the planet
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 28, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is one of those books that would have been better left in the trees. There's nothing in it that wasn't said better before, and its pretension of being "more deeply ecological than thou" makes its "movement" a ready target for influential anti-ecologists like Joan Didion, as when she's when demonizing Robinson Jeffers (his poetry "pretentious, his postures ugly") in her Where I Was From: "He called himself an 'Inhumanist.' (As in, from a posting on the Jeffers studies web site, 'I'm interested in the relationship between Inhumanism and Deep Ecology and would welcome any thoughts or comments.')"
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