By Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng

On the occasion of Zapffe’s death in 1990, Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng had this to say about his old friend and source of inspiration: “Peter addressed the drudgery of life with a perspective as wide as the Norwegian oceans and mountains. In everything he wrote and thought, he believed that all of us are seekers deep inside, after ‘an answer to the single burning question—what does it mean to be human?’”

In this short text from 2012, Setreng states that Zapffe was probably the first in Norway to clearly elaborate an eco-philosophy of his own. Setreng specifically looks at how Zapffe’s thinking, even in its formulations from nearly a century ago, tallies with modern system ecology and entropy thinking.