Biophilia is the theory that humans have a genetic predisposition towards natural environments. Over the past three decades, a growing body of scholars have responded to the global decline in biodiversity (resulting from human activities, e.g., land clearing for agriculture, pollution, etc.) by searching for evidence of such a trait. Scholars from diverse disciplines such as psychology, biology, geography, philosophy, planning, and economics have advanced an argument that humans are inherently “ecocentric” or biophilic animals—that is we are drawn to natural environments.

The Meaning(s) of Biophilia

Biophilia is a term that refers to a purportedly instinctive drive that impels humans to favor certain aspects of natural environments. While the term has been attributed to psychologist and philosopher Erich Fromm—who referred to “a psychological affinity for life”—it was ...

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