Department     College of Asia Pacific Studies
   Position   Professor
Language English
Publication Date 2012/07
Type Research paper (Academic/Professional Journal)
Title Biophilia for happiness and environmental ethics
Contribution Type Joint Work
Journal Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies
Volume, Issue, Page 31(1),pp.51-55
Author and coauthor Katsui, Yoko
Details The increasing awareness of the public about the role of human activity in environmental problems such as “climate
change”, together with the lack of a firm socio-political response to contain these problems, have created an opportunity to introduce environmental ethics as the forerunner of bioethics. Economic prosperity has a world-wide demand but an understanding of the instinctive bond of human nature with the living systems may improve other
aspects of human wellbeing such as happiness; as such, happiness can be achieved not just by economic development
but also through the enhancement of our innate love for life and living systems. Biophilia may be the missing key of environmental ethics for elaboration on the lifestyle changes needed in the pursuit of happiness. The experience of Bhutan with its innovative measure of “Gross National Happiness” based on human development and environmental conservation provides a good example in the Asia Pacific region. However, as long as environmental conservation is not regarded as a common moral value for all peoples and cultures around the world, the socio-political pressure for change may not be enough to protect our ecosystems and their life support systems.