Interviews with Arne Naess

Simple in Means, Rich in Ends: A Conversation with Arne Naess

Interview by Stephan Bodian

This is a very early interview with Arne Naess, published in 1982. It was influential in introducing the concept of “deep ecology” to an American audience. Stephan Bodian, a teacher of spiritual awakening in the Zen tradition, Dzogchen, and Avaita Vedanta, encourages Naess to speak about a shift that he would welcome in society. Ideally, in his view, people should no longer let themselves be dominated by means, instruments, and gadgets, but would start to reconsider instead what they really need for a rich and fulfilling life.

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“Here I Stand”: An Interview with Arne Naess

Interview by Christian Diehm

Christian Diehm, professor of Philosophy, was probably one of the last to conduct a long interview in English on Arne Naess’s philosophy. The conversation took place in 2001, in Arne’s home in Oslo. Main theme is the relation between Naess’s own thought and the work of philosophers in the phenomenological and existential tradition such as Heidegger, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty. Diehm zooms specifically in on some of Naess’s key notions, such as “identification,” “ecological self,” and “dwelling.”

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An Optimist for the Twenty-Second Century: Meeting Arne Naess High Up in the Mountains

Interview by Jan Van Boeckel

This interview with Naess by Jan van Boeckel was held as part of the production of the film The Call of the Mountain: Arne Naess and the Deep Ecology Movement (1997). Naess talks of his special relation to the place where the conversation is being recorded: Tvergastein, Naess’s cabin at 1,505 meters above sea-level. Some of the many other themes that are taken up are Gestalt thinking, Spinoza, the difference between basic and vital needs, and the freedom of being above the tree line.

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Arne Naess

Arne Naess (1912-2009)
Photo: Doug Tompkins