Life's Philosophy: Reason and Feeling in a Deeper World




Author: Arne Naess, Per Ivar Haukeland
Type: eBook
Date Released: 2002
Format: pdf
Language: English
Page Count: 216
Isbn10 Code: 0820324183
Isbn13 Code: 9780820324180


From Library Journal Naess (Ecology, Community, and Lifestyle) reflects here on themes and ideas he considers most important for a meaningful life, based on years of philosophical inquiry. In his earlier years, he had been a proper "card-carrying" philosopher as a professor at Oslo University. In that role he wrote about many of the traditional philosophical questions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Then, in middle age, and after retiring from teaching, he became a founding member of the Deep Ecology Movement, dedicating himself to ecological issues and activities. In his latest book, he argues passionately throughout for cultivating the positive, life-affirming feelings over the negative. Basing his thinking on ideas found in Spinoza, he is convinced that there is no such thing as "pure reason," that feelings do and should play a decisive role in human choice and action. The question of the relation of reason and feeling is a traditional philosophical one (here one thinks of David Hume and his "fact/value," "is/ought" distinction), and Naess states at the outset that he cannot solve the problem definitively, that he can only suggest new ways of understanding "how reason and feeling belong to each other." Because the narrative is primarily reflective and anecdotal, this would be an optional purchase for academic collections but a good choice for public libraries. Leon H. Brody, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Lib., Washington, DCCopyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. Review "Very few people, I fear, change their lives as a result of reading contemporary academic philosophy. They are more likely to respond to example, to story. So here is a kind of universal great-grandfather, eager to share some gentle wisdom about that most mystifying of topics: How to live. It is a grand and generous gift.”—Bill McKibben, from the foreword "Looking back on his long life, a brilliant philosopher and wise old man offers us a joyful meditation on the role of emotion in mature reasoning. Naess's philosophy of emotions is fully consistent with the concept of the "embodied mind" in contemporary cognitive science. The elegant simplicity of his language, evolved from countless solitary days in his beloved Norwegian mountains, is inspiring and healing."—Fritjof Capra "[Naess's] most readable book . . . Perhaps the main value of Life's Philosophy is that it lets us deepen into the glassy landscapes of this extraordinary man."—Jordi Pigem, Resurgence "[Naess] argues passionately throughout for cultivating the positive, life-affirming feelings over the negative. Basing his thinking on ideas found in Spinoza, he is convinced that there is no such thing as "pure reason," that feelings do—and should—play a decisive role in human choice and action."—Library Journal

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