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 [...]


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 [...]


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


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Arne Naess Essays & Articles

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