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So far Open Air Philosophy has created 48 blog entries.


By Peter Wessel Zapffe In several essays and stories Zapffe speaks subtly and humorously of his experiences in nature. In this short text from 1937, he describes the mountain Stetind, in northern Norway. This is the region of Norway in which Zapffe grew up. Stetind is for him a giant, titan, majesty and horn of [...]


The Road

By Peter Wessel Zapffe With his poetic pen, Zapffe describes a path here that gently winds its way past roots and rocks. This small track into the hills slowly transforms into a dirt road, fringed with wild flowers. As such, it continues to maintain its organic relations with its surroundings. However, in the course [...]


Die Norwegische Apparatlandschaft: Zapffe as Conservationist

By Dag O. Hessen Dag O. Hessen, himself a biologist, is fascinated by Zapffe’s existential philosophy rooted in biological arguments. He also admires him because of his often very humorous style of writing. In this essay from 2012, Hessen explores Zapffe’s thinking on nature, biology, and ecology. He looks at Zapffe’s environmental engagement, his [...]


A Biosophical Perspective: Humans as a Tragic Species

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 [...]


Peter Wessel Zapffe Bibliography

In this selection of publications we have listed all the books that Peter Wessel Zapffe wrote in his life. Of the books that are mentioned, most have been republished in 2015 by Pax Forlag in Oslo. None of these titles have been fully translated into English so far. We also present a selection of [...]


Peter Wessel Zapffe Biography

Peter Wessel Zapffe (1899–1990) is widely regarded as “Norway’s earliest eco-philosopher.” He was the first Norwegian thinker to develop a philosophical critique of man’s relationship with the environment. Zapffe was not only a philosopher, but also a writer, literary critic, humorist, environmentalist and alpine climber. He grew up in a rather bourgeois environment in [...]


Philosopher of Tragedy

By Thomas Hylland Eriksen In this short essay from 1997, Tomas Hylland Eriksen honors Zapffe – philosopher of tragedy – as perhaps the most original Norwegian philosopher of the twentieth century. Hylland Eriksen particularly emphasis Zapffe’s bleak existential views and his great sense of humor. View PDF Full Text


Arne Naess Biography

Arne Dekke Eide Naess is widely regarded as the foremost Norwegian philosopher and one of the most influential intellectuals of the twentieth century. Internationally he was an important and inspirational figure within the environmental movement of the late twentieth century. Within the field of environmental philosophy, he is perhaps most known as the person [...]


The Life and Work of Arne Naess: An Appreciative Overview

By Alan Drengson This long and comprehensive introduction to the life, work, and accomplishments of Arne Naess by Alan Drengson first appeared in The Trumpeter, in 2005, a magazine that was established by the author. In the article Drengson not only tracks the genesis (inception) of the term deep ecology, he also takes up [...]


The Influence of Arne Naess

By David Rothenberg Philosopher and composer David Rothenberg tells of his friendship with Arne Naess, and particularly his gentle way of dealing with critics. Yet, exactly because of his attitude of welcoming all kind of views, many philosophers, according to Rothenberg, found him too vague and too cordial to viewpoints that were not his [...]


Essays and Articles

Arne Naess Essays & Articles

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