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Biophilia

  • By: John O'Sullivan
  • In: Green Politics: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: Dustin Mulvaney & Paul Robbins
  • Subject:Environmental Sociology, Environmental Technology, Policy & Management, Environmental Policy & Law (general)

Biophilia is the natural tendency to focus on living things and lifelike processes. It is a theory developed by Edward O. Wilson in his book by the same name. Wilson argues that there is an instinctive bond that humans feel for living things, suggesting that biophilia is genetic in origin, a result of evolution, and enables greater survivability. This innate intelligence shapes cognition, emotions, values, and culture. Biophilia fosters a conservation ethic, and elements of modern society that alienate people from the natural world may frustrate innate intelligence and threaten continued evolution.

Relating to life is a biological need—an innate process—and is deeply connected to our mental and physical development. Humans are instinctually drawn to living things, processes, and such, which are aligned with our cognitive ...

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