Mark H. Sagoff, Ph.D.

George Mason University
Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy
City, State, Zip
4400 University Drive, 3A3, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Award Year


Project Details

Sagoff used his fellowship to research and write about the moral, aesthetic and cultural rationale for preserving biodiversity and protecting the world's ecological and evolutionary heritage. In collaboration with colleagues at the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, he conducted interdisciplinary research addressing the role of humanities in international management of natural resources in order to articulate necessary moral and cultural commitments required to protect biological diversity and environmental quality. Sagoff wrote numerous journal articles and book chapters on environmental ethics and biodiversity, and he lectured on these topics throughout Australia, the UK and the United States.


Mark Sagoff focuses on biodiversity in its connection to our experience and sense of place. He is interested in the protection of environments, not just as resources to be used, but as places with intrinsic value. He is also interested in what happens to our experience of nature as the objects of that experience increasingly become the products of technology.

Sagoff's 1988 book, The Economy of the Earth, was well-received even in journals of economics, although it criticizes economists who would base policy on satisfying the preferences individuals reveal in markets as distinct from values that emerge from social, cultural and political deliberation. Sagoff believes that the benefits of biodiversity are compelling, but that the theme of nature as a shared and inherited tradition, as our common evolutionary memory, must come first.



Ph.D., University of Rochester
1970: Philosophy, New York, USA

Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University
1963: History and Literature, Massachusetts, USA


National Research Council
1996: Member, Commission of Life Science Committee


1999: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Marine Fellow
1991: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment


  • Sagoff, M. 1995. Animal liberation and environmental ethics: Bad marriage, quick divorce. In: Earth Ethics: Environmental Ethics, Animal Rights and Practical Applications (J.P. Sterba ed.). Prentice Hall, Englwood Cliffs, New Jersey, p. 166-17
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. At the shrine of Our Lady Fatima or why all political questions are not economic. In: Environmental Ethics: Readings in Theory and Applications (L.P. Pojman ed.). James and Bartlett, Boston, MA, p. 443-450
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. Chosing sides on pesticides. Should environmentalists give up the Delaney Clause? The Amicus Journal 15(4): 10-11
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. Four dogmas of environmental economics. Environmental Values 3:285-310
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. Population, nature, and the environment. In: Beyond the Numbers (L.A. Mazur ed.). Island Press, Washington, D.C., p. 33-39
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. Should preferences count? Land Economics 70(2): 127-144
  • Sagoff, M. 1994. Two cheers for community. Hastings Center Report 24(3): 33-34
  • Sagoff, M. 1993. Biodiversity and the culture of ecology. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 74(4): 374-381
  • Sagoff, M. 1993. Ethical aspects of consumption and stewardship. Orion 49-54
  • Sagoff, M. 1993. Free-market versus libertarian environmentalism. Critical Review 6(2): 211-230
  • Safoff, M. 1988. The Economy of the Earth: Philosophy, Law, and the Environment. Cambridge Community Press, New York, NY