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So far Open Air Philosophy has created 48 blog entries.

A Lasting Love for Wild Nature and Wild Souls

By Helena Norberg-Hodge Helena Norberg-Hodge was a good friend of Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng; to her he was one of the greatest thinkers she has ever encountered. In this text from 2015, she tells of the frustration she shared with him in trying to wake the environmental movement up to the threat of economic centralization. [...]


Jumping into the Stream of Things

By Peter Reed And David Rothenberg In this text from 1993, Peter Reed and David Rothenberg make it abundantly clear why Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng, at the time, was regarded as “Norway’s leading environmentalist.” For a quarter century there were few ecological maelstroms he was not somehow mixed up in, and the ideas, protests, and [...]


Let the Rivers Flow: An interview of Sigmund Kvaløy

By Satish Kumar Satish Kumar, then editor of Resurgence magazine, asks Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng in 1983 to tell about how he combines being both eco-activist and ecophilosopher. The story of the action against a large river damming in western Norway is extensively told. Setreng also elaborates on the differences between the notions of “complex” [...]


Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng Bibliography

In this selection of publications we have listed the books that Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng wrote in his life. None of these have been translated into English thus far. We also present a selection of articles that he wrote which are expressive of his environmental philosophy and that have also been translated into English. Finally, [...]


Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng Biography

Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng was born in 1934 in Trondheim, but grew up in Lom. The family’s house was close to the river Bøvra, and it is here that his love for rivers and waterfalls was built. He spent the summers at the farm Sætereng with his uncles and grandmother. As a boy he often [...]


The View from Mount Zapffe

By Gisle R. Tangenes As a Result of his personal choice to remain childless, Zapffe’s name is now borne only by one of the Arctic mountains he pioneered. Some of Zapffe’s readers may feel that the fact that he was a mountaineer, humorist, and early champion of environmental conservation is rather at odds with [...]


Farewell Norway

By Peter Wessel Zapffe This is a funny interview full of mockery that Zapffe conducts with himself – or rather, with his alter ego, Jørgen, the old man of the mountain. The latter is sad to see his land fall to ruins. In this piece from 1958, Zapffe makes no secret of his bleak [...]


Parting with Gausta

By Peter Wessel Zapffe According to Sigmund Kvaløy Setreng, “Parting with Gausta” is one of the most evocative postings in favor of preserving wild, undisturbed nature that he has ever come across. Gausta is an iconic Norwegian mountain that, for Zapffe, was desecrated through the construction of roads and towers. In this elegy, written [...]


The Last Messiah

By Peter Wessel ZapffeThis essay from 1933, arguably one of the best Zapffe has written, formed the basis for the dissertation that he defended in 1941 (with the title Om det tragiske, “On the Tragic”). Zapffe presents his thoughts on what he considers “the error of human existence.” He believed that existential angst was the [...]


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