In this Book

Life's Philosophy
summary

Now available in English for the first time, Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess's meditation on the art of living is an exhortation to preserve the environment and biodiversity. As Naess approaches his ninetieth year, he offers a bright and bold perspective on the power of feelings to move us away from ecological and cultural degradation toward sound, future-focused policy and action.

Naess acknowledges the powerlessness of the intellect without the heart, and, like Thoreau before him, he rejects the Cartesian notion of mind-body separation. He advocates instead for the integration of reason and emotion--a combination Naess believes will inspire us to make changes for the better. Playful and serious, this is a guidebook for finding our way on a planet wrecked by the harmful effects of consumption, population growth, commodification, technology, and globalization. It is sure to mobilize today's philosophers, environmentalists, policy makers, and the general public into seeking--with whole hearts rather than with superficial motives--more effective and timelier solutions.

Naess's style is reflective and anecdotal as he shares stories and details from his rich and long life. With characteristic goodwill, wit, and wisdom, he denounces our unsustainable actions while simultaneously demonstrating the unsurpassed wonder, beauty, and possibility our world offers, and ultimately shows us that there is always reason for hope, that everyone is a potential ally in our fight for the future.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Foreword
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. xi-xii
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. xiii-xxxi
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  1. 1. Life Seen as an Open Landscape
  2. pp. 1-19
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  1. 2. How Do You Feel Yourself and the World?
  2. pp. 20-50
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  1. 3. On Imagination, Research—and Petty Rationality
  2. pp. 51-73
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  1. 4. Reason and Feeling Are Interactive
  2. pp. 74-91
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  1. 5. A Feeling for All Living Beings
  2. pp. 92-116
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  1. 6. How Does Our Emotional Life Mature?
  2. pp. 117-138
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  1. 7. You Can Learn Properly Only What Engages Your Feelings
  2. pp. 139-159
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  1. 8. The Art of Living: To Do Little Things in a Big Way
  2. pp. 160-180
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