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Recreation Theory and Philosophy

Guide created for Recreation Leadership Course with Dan Caston.


The word “biophilia,” first coined by the German psychologist Erich Fromm, is a neologism combining two Greek terms (bio, meaning “life” and philias, meaning “friendly love”); it refers to the natural human inclination to focus on life and lifelike operations. Biophilia became a key concept in environmental studies in 1984 when Harvard entomologist Edward O. Wilson published a book titled Biophilia. In this volume, Wilson argues that human sympathy toward living things can be explained in terms of evolutionary developments in human physiology and psychology.

The biophilia hypothesis may be viewed as a bridge between the sciences and the humanities. It has been employed in the sciences, philosophy, and literature regarding investigations of biodiversity, habitat conservation, and ecosystem studies.

Environmental identity is a useful lens for examining people's movement toward environmental action and behavior. People act in ways that are congruent with not only how they see themselves, but also how they wish to be seen by others.



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