197765 Thinking like a mountain and feeling like water: The legacy of Leopold, Potter and Naess

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:15 AM

Peter Whitehouse , Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
Narratives can create powerful teachable moments that change lives. Stories from history, about local communities, and concerning global connectedness can be sources of enduring ideas and values. Metaphors are central players in our cognition as we learn to create collective wisdom and sustainable values. Arne Naess, the Norwegian philosopher, mountaineer, and creator of deep ecology died in this the 100 year anniversary Aldo Leopold's journey to the Southwest of the United States. Leopold coined and my friend Arne adopted the expression that human beings must learn “to think like a mountain.” Van Potter, the inventor of the word “bioethics” and a fellow faculty member with Leopold at the University of Wisconsin, devoted his second book entitled Global Bioethics to Leopold. Inspired by land ethics and deep ecology, Potter and I coined the term deep bioethics. Recognizing the emotions are as important to thoughts in ethics the author coined the expression that we much “learn to feel like water. “Water, like emotions, flows and changes from frozen to steamy. The presentation with use stories of these ethicists to create images of sustainable public health.

Learning Objectives:
list the ideas of Aldo Leopold, Van Potter, and Arne Naess that contribute to a deeper bioethics of public health describe the historical and conceptual linkages amongst their philosophies illustrate the power of narrative to create powerful teaching moments and ethics and public health imagine ways of bridging environmental and medical ethics

Keywords: Ethics, Environment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a physician, bioethicist and educator who have published and presented about these topics in many other fora. I was personally friends and collaborators with two of the historical figures I will be discussing. I have a passion for the ethics of water
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.