Home, Ecological Self and Self-Realization: Understanding Asymmetrical Relationships Through Arne Næss’s Ecosophy


In this paper, we discuss Næss’s concept of ecological self in light of the process of identification and the idea of self-realization, in order to understand the asymmetrical relationship among human beings and nature. In this regard, our hypothesis is that Næss does not use the concept of the ecological self to justify ontology of processes, or definitively overcome the idea of individual entities in view of a transpersonal ecology, as Fox argues. Quite the opposite: Næss’s ecological self is nothing but an echo of the theme of the home and of belonging to a place, and, therefore, it deals with a positive relationship of the individual with its environment. This allows us to reshape environmental ethics starting from environmental ontology, and recalling the primacy of the latter on the former: the very theoretic background of an ethical view might only be a suitable interpretation of human nature and properties, starting from a relational viewpoint that may help understanding us our asymmetrical relationships with the world.

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Luca Valera
Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

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