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Biophilia

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  758 ratings  ·  54 reviews
The eminent biologist reflects on his own response to nature and the aesthetic aspects of his exploration of natural systems in an intensely personal essay that examines the essential links between mankind and the rest of the living world.
Paperback, 176 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by Harvard University Press (first published 1984)
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Ted
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: rii biodiversity/ecology
Recommended to Ted by: Melissa
I will be so bold as to define biophilia as the innate tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes.
from the Prologue





E.O. Wilson, September 2009 (Wiki, Acghost)

Edward Osborne Wilson (born June 10, 1929) is an American biologist, researcher (sociobiology, biodiversity, island biogeography), theorist (consilience, biophilia), naturalist (conservationist) and author. (Wiki)

When I started reading Biophilia I was wary of the possibility that it might be dated. He addresses the question of
...more
Brittany
Feb 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Do you suppose, if I admit that I find it a bit difficult to hold my attention to an E.O. Wilson book for long periods of time, that they will take away my science writing license?

I sure hope not, because I'm about to do just that.

This is not, however, I think Wilson's fault. Wilson is a god, a Titan, among science communications and general scientists, and I adore him as a human being and a leader. I've heard him speak, and it was wonderful. I think, for me, his books suffer from being almost
...more
Dave Angelini
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This a book about an important idea. So before giving that away, I want to add a disclaimer. I am not trained as a philosopher or historian of science, but I am a academic biologists and a "concerned citizen" when it comes to ideas. My impression looking back at the 20th century is that is was characterized by the use of science as a justification to divorce humanity from the natural world. Wilson argues in Biophilia that this is a misappropriation of science, particularly biology. He argues ...more
Nuno R.
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful essay in humanism that sugests we search for a new ethic confirming an afinity with all life. A work that asserts science as a precious tool to observe and apreciate the natural world.

Very inspiring these days when misantrophy is almost the obvious partner of ecological despair. And many fantasize about how better off the biosphere would be without humans.

Wonderful writting, mixing the love of science and a passion for human culture. Its descriptions of nature, both in its intrinsic
...more
Barrett Doherty
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
E.O. Wilson, one of the preeminent naturalists of our time, proposed the idea of biophilia in this landmark book in 1984. Wilson defines biophilia "as the urge to associate with other forms of life." In the last 30 years, the idea of Biophilia has become common place in design and other creative fields, approaching the level of a meme. The book is a collection of short essays reflecting on his experiences and observations over his long and distinguished career studying social insects, ...more
Betsy
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Written for a wide audience, Wilson describes his provocative (and political) concept of biophilia through a series of anecdotes and stunning examples from the creatural world. What I love about biologists: they seldom forget that humans are creatures. Whether or not you agree wholeheartedly with Wilson's dedicated evolutionary stance, this exploration/reverie on the interconnection of all things living (an evolving category) has some really lovely moments.
Louisa
Mar 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The truth is that we never conquered the world, never understood it; we only think we have control. We do not even know why we respond a certain way to other organisms, and need them in diverse ways, so deeply. The prevailing myths concerning our predatory actions toward each other and the environment are obsolete, unreliable, and destructive. The more the mind is fathomed in its own right, as an organ of survival, the greater will be the reverence for life for purely rational reasons.

In
...more
Jenni
Jan 03, 2008 rated it liked it
If you like biological philosophy books, then this book is for you!

The first few chapters of this book were amazing to me. I've always thought that my interest and love of nature is inherent to my humanity, as this book focuses on convincing readers.

Towards the end of the book, it became apparent how dated some of the information is. Because science is always evoloving, this couldn't be helped. Unfortunately, it made my attention wane.

The first chapters were so strong that I expected to be
...more
Melissa
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This skinny little book is a thought-provoking exercise in seeing the world in different ways. It is beautifully written, scientifically engaging, and politically inspiring. Wilson's glimpse into the hidden world of ants and disappearing mosses should give us all pause. Extinction could be significantly slowed by humans who have until now instead tended to act as though we exist outside of nature rather than within it. He reminds us all that we are very much a part of the natural world and could ...more
Matt Vickers
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A series of personal essays from one of America's foremost entomologists and naturalists. The book is now twenty years old and a contemporary reading reveals a great deal of prescience: things that Wilson was regarding as urgent and important in the 80s (saving rain forests, reducing greenhouse gas emissions) are only now becoming culturally fashionable. It's just a shame it took so long. He also describes some fascinating imaginative tools for comprehending the vast range and mass of our ...more
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Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist, researcher, theorist, and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, a branch of entomology. A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, Wilson is known for his career as a scientist, his advocacy for environmentalism, and his secular-humanist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. He is Pellegrino University ...more
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“To explore and affiliate with life is a deep and complicated process in mental development. To an extent still undervalued in philosophy and religion, our existence depends on this propensity, our spirit is woven from it hope rises on its currents.” 16 likes
“Humanity is exalted not because we are so far above other living creatures, but because knowing them well elevates the very concept of life.” 7 likes
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