The term "biophilia" literally means "love of life or living systems." It was first used by to describe a of being attracted to all that is alive and vital. Wilson uses the term in the same sense when he suggests that biophilia describes "the connections that human beings subconsciously seek with the rest of life.” He proposed the possibility that the deep affiliations humans have with other life forms and nature as a whole are rooted in our biology. Unlike , which are the aversions and fears that people have of things in the natural world, are the attractions and positive feelings that people have toward organisms, species, habitats, processes and objects in their natural surroundings. Although named by Fromm, the concept of biophillia has been proposed and defined many times over. Aristotle was one of many to put forward a concept that could be summarized as "love of life". Diving into the term , or friendship, Aristotle evokes the idea of reciprocity and how friendships are beneficial to both parties in more than just one way, but especially in the way of happiness.
Human preferences toward things in , while refined through experience and culture, are hypothetically the product of biological evolution. For example, adult mammals (especially ) are generally attracted to mammal faces and find them across species. The large eyes and small features of any young mammal face are far more appealing than those of the mature adults. The biophilia hypothesis suggests that the positive emotional response that adult mammals have toward baby mammals across species helps increase the survival rates of all mammals.
In his landmark book Biophilia, he examined how our tendency to focus on life and lifelike processes might be a biologically based need, integral to our development as individuals and as a species.
Numerous examples illustrate the idea that biophilia and its converse, biophobia, have a genetic component: * fear, and even full-blown phobias of snakes and spiders are quick to develop with very little negative reinforcement, while more threatening modern artifacts - knives, guns, automobiles - rarely elicit such a response * people find trees that are climbable and have a broad, umbrella-like canopy more attractive than trees without these characteristics * people would rather look at water, green vegetation, or flowers than built structures of glass and concrete The biophilia hypothesis, if substantiated, provides a powerful argument for the conservation of biological diversity.
In his book, Biophilia, Edward O. Wilson put forth the hypothesis that there is an instinctive bond between people and other living things. Building upon that idea, it’s logical that the natural environment can be a therapeutic place for healing and rehabilitation. Historically speaking, the use of gardens as places for healing and rejuvenation is nothing new.
People are drawn to natural settings, such as gardens and forests, and offers many benefits for children and adults alike. More than a century ago, American naturalist John Muir noted, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
Edward O. Wilson, a biologist, put forth his in 1984 addressing the innate relationship humans share with other living systems, which Harvey said is a relatively new area of science that shows promise.
The full moon shines brightly through the trees. Rustling noises in the duff of the forest floor remind me of all the little creatures going about their nightly business. If I’m lucky, I can spot the great horned owl whose call I just heard. It’s dark and I’m alone on a trail far from home, but feel at peace and truly at home, the darkness like a soft blanket wrapping around me.
Biologist E. O. Wilson introduced a hypothesis back in 1984 that he called the biophilia hypothesis, which means love of life. He proposed, somewhat based on the works of philosopher Erich Fromm, that humans have an innate connection to nature and other life forms. While some scientists and psychologists refute the biophilia hypothesis, I think it makes quite a bit of sense. A deep connection to nature is in our genetic memory.
Canadian author explicitly adapted 's concept of biophilia for her Ecogothic novel, . In the novel, Perdita (meaning "the lost one") is a who brings humankind biophilia as one of the four loves of ancient Greek cosmology. She is an illicit child born to and and is hidden away among the Three Fates where she gathers up the "extra threads of life." Perdita is eventually given to who promises to conceal her among humankind. (Perdita carries the four loves in her bundle of "lost threads.") Along with Prometheus' gift of fire, they are given to humankind: friendship (philia), erotic love (eros), unselfish love (agape), and biophilia, the love between humans and the natural world. In the mythological version, humans seize upon fire and begin to use it‚ but they forget about Perdita and eventually abandon her. The fourth love of biophilia is thus lost to the western tradition, but is rediscovered and rescued in the present.
The hypothesis has since been developed as part of theories of in the book edited by Stephen R. Kellert and Edward O. Wilson and by . Also, Stephen Kellert's work seeks to determine common human responses to perceptions of, and ideas about, plants and animals, and to explain them in terms of the conditions of human evolution.
Environmental psychologists suggest that biophilic tendencies in people are evident when they experience real benefits from natural settings. Research has shown that hospital environments that include plants and natural settings are therapeutic and aid recovery times, and benefits are also seen in the work place as well as school rooms when natural elements are added. Urban design that brings nature into the plans with trees, parks, greenways, and wilderness areas promotes calmer, healthier environments for the residents.
Because of our technological advancements and more time spent inside buildings and cars, it is argued that the lack of biophilic activities and time spent in nature may be strengthening the disconnect of humans from nature. Although, it also has shown strong urges among people to reconnect with nature. The concern for a lack of connection with the rest of nature outside of us, is that a stronger disregard for other plants, animals and less appealing wild areas could lead to further ecosystem degradation and species loss. Therefore reestablishing a connection with nature has become more important in the field of conservation. Examples would be more available green spaces in and around cities, more classes that revolve around nature and implementing smart design for greener cities that integrate ecosystems into them such as [biophilic cities]. These Cities can also become part of wildlife corridors to help with migrational and territorial needs of other animals.