The Value of Life: Biological Diversity and Human Society / Edition 1

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<p>The Value of Life is an exploration of the actual and perceived importance of biological diversity for human beings and society. Stephen R. Kellert identifies ten basic values, which he describes as biologically based inherent human tendencies that are greatly influenced and moderated by culture, learning, and experience. Drawing on twenty years of original research, he considers: <ul> <li>the universal basis for how humans value nature <li>differences in those values by gender, age, ethnicity, occupation, and geographic location <li>how environment-related activities affect values <li>variation in values relating to different species <li>how vlaues vary across cultures <li>policy and management implications </ul> Throughout the book, Kellert argues that the preservation of biodiversity is fundamentally linked to human well-being in the largest sense as he illustrates the importance of biological diversity to the human sociocultural and psychological condition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A comparative study of the way different cultures learn (or fail to learn) about their natural environments. (Apr.)
Library Journal
The literature is rife with books on the ecological and economic consequences of the loss of biological diversity (E.O. Wilson's The Diversity of Life, LJ 3/1/93,). Kellert, a Yale professor and coeditor of The Biophilia Hypothesis (LJ 11/1/93), takes a different approach by investigating how a diminution of our natural resources will effect the human psyche. His conclusion is that the well-being of the human spirit is dependent upon a strong relationship with nature and living diversity. Kellert devotes a large part of the text to a study on the ways in which our species values animals and nature and how these values are influenced by learning, culture, and experience (for example, the higher a person's education, the more likely a person is to express concern, affection, interest, and knowledge about animals and the natural world). The final section considers the link between values of nature and management, conservation, and restoration of biodiversity. Although clearly and beautifully written, the text may be a bit dry for most lay readers. Highly recommended for all academic libraries and for large environmental collections.-Lynn C. Badger, Univ. of Florida Lib., Gainesville
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559633185
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen R. Kellert is the Tweedy Ordway Professor of Social Ecology at the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, author of The Good in Nature and Humanity (Island Press, 2002) and Kinship to Mastery (Island Press, 1997), and coeditor, with Edward O. Wilson, of The Biophilia Hypothesis (Island Press, 1993).

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Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures
Ch. 1 Introduction 3
Ch. 2 Values 9
Ch. 3 American Society 37
Ch. 4 Activities 64
Ch. 5 Species 99
Ch. 6 Culture 131
Ch. 7 Endangered Species 155
Ch. 8 Conserving Biological Diversity 185
Ch. 9 Education and Ethics 209
Notes 219
Index 249
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