Kinship to Mastery

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  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2003-10-01
  • Publisher: Island Pr

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Kinship to Masteryis a fascinating and accessible exploration of the notion of biophilia -- the idea that humans, having evolved with the rest of creation, possess a biologically based attraction to nature and exhibit an innate affinity for life and lifelike processes. Stephen R. Kellert sets forth the idea that people exhibit different expressions of biophilia in different contexts, and demonstrates how our quality of life in the largest sense is dependent upon the richness of our connections with nature.While the natural world provides us with material necessities -- food, clothing, medicine, clean air, pure water -- it just as importantly plays a key role in other aspects of our lives, including intellectual capacity, emotional bonding, aesthetic attraction, creativity, imagination, and even the recognition of a just and purposeful existence. As Kellert explains, each expression of biophilia shows how our physical, material, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well-being is to a great extent dependent on our relationships with the natural world that surrounds us.Kinship to Masteryis a thought-provoking examination of a concept that, while not widely known, has a significant and direct effect on the lives of people everywhere. Because the full expression of biophilia is integral to our overall health, our ongoing destruction of the environment could have far more serious consequences than many people think. In a readable and compelling style, Kellert describes and explains the concept of biophilia, and demonstrates to a general audience the wide-ranging implications of environmental degradation.Kinship to Masterycontinues the exploration of biophilia begun with Edward O. Wilson's landmark book Biophilia(Harvard University Press, 1984) and followed by The Biophilia Hypothesis(Island Press, 1993), co-edited by Wilson and Kellert, which brought together some of the most creative scientists of our time to explore Wilson's theory in depth.

Author Biography

Stephen R. Kellert is Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Prologue xiii
CHAPTER ONE: The Notion of Biophilia 1(10)
CHAPTER TWO: The Material Basis 11(22)
CHAPTER THREE: The Aesthetic Appeal 33(18)
CHAPTER FOUR: The Measure of Empirical Knowledge 51(18)
CHAPTER FIVE: Nature As Metaphor 69(16)
CHAPTER SIX: The Quest for Exploration and Discovery 85(20)
CHAPTER SEVEN: Yearning for Kinship and Affection 105(16)
CHAPTER EIGHT: The Urge to Master 121(12)
CHAPTER NINE: Seeking Meaning and Transcendence 133(14)
CHAPTER TEN: Of Fear and Loathing 147(16)
CHAPTER ELEVEN: Diminishing Nature, Self, and Society 163(28)
CHAPTER TWELVE: The Pursuit of Self-Interest 191(28)
Notes 219(30)
Index 249

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