biophilia; love of life (biophilia)

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Biophilia is the passionate love of life and of all that is alive; it is the wish to further growth, whether in a person, a plant, an idea, or a social group. The biophilous person prefers to construct rather than to retain. He wants to he more rather than to have more. He is capable of wondering, and he prefers to see something new rather than to find confirmation of the old. He loves the adventure of living more than he does certainty. He sees the whole rather than only the parts, structures rather than summations. He wants to mold and to influence by love, reason, and example. ― (1973a: The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, New York (Holt, Rinehart and Winston) 1973, p. 366.)


The tendency to preserve life and to fight against death is the most elementary form of the biophilous orientation, and is common to all living substance. Inasmuch as it is a tendency to preserve life, and to fight death, it represents only one aspect of the drive toward life. The other aspect is a more positive one: living-substance has the tendency to integrate and to unite; it tends to fuse with different and opposite entities, and to grow in a structural way. Unification and integrated growth are characteristic of all life processes, not only as far as cells are concerned, but also with regard to feeling and thinking. ― (1964a: The Heart of Man. Its Genius for Good and Evil, New York (Harper and Row) 1964, pp. 45f.)