on January 19, 2003
As a long time environmental activist and graduate student in philosophy I found the book wonderfully comprehensive in its analysis and explanation of deep ecology. The book delves nicely into the sources of deep ecology and its response to other perspectives on environmental issues. I found it a quick read (I read it at the gym, but then, I read Heidegger for fun) and well put together.
It will not, however, make someone who is coming from a perspective far from deep ecology change their mind. For that I would recommend Muir or Jeffers or better yet, spend some time in the real wilderness yourself. What it does is provide extensive background material and elucidation of the philosophy to someone who already believes in the importance of wilderness preservation.
on May 28, 2000
This classic text of the environmental movememt has influenced groups as diverse as The Nature Conservancy, Greenpeace, and Earth First! Devall and Sessions explore the emotional and spiritual underpinnings of hamanity's ties to the earth in this deeply philosophical work. They link a plethora of sources in their exploration of Deep Ecology, including numerous religions, the words of such notables as David Brower, Aldo Leopold, and Edward Abbey, and the perspectives of many cultures. Despite all of this, though, I found it somewhat lacking. Not present is the graceful beauty of Aldo Leopold, nor the raw passion of John Muir. Perhaps this book might grow dog-eared with use in the library of a Philosophy Professor or a career activist, but I suspect that most people, like me, will find this book a bit dull. Call me simpleminded, but I was more deeply moved by Leopold's heartfelt musings on the chickadee in "A Sand County Almanac" than by Devall and Sessions' philosophical ruminations.