Debate on the threat to humanity posed by the massive and widespread loss of biological diversity has largely emphasized economic and ecological consequences. In The Value of Life, a leading social scientist adds a critical new dimension. Stephen R. Kellert explores the actual and perceived importance of biological diversity for humankind's physical, emotional, intellectual, and even spiritual well-being. 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. Throughout, Kellert argues that the preservation of biodiversity is fundamentally linked to human well-being as he illustrates the importance of biological diversity to the human sociocultural and psychological condition. His discussion provides the reader with a deeper understanding of how humans depend on a vast matrix of affiliations with other living things to achieve lives rich in meaning and value. List of tables and figures -- Acknowledgments -- Prologue -- Part one: universals. Introduction -- Values -- Part two: Variations. American society -- Activities -- Species -- Culture -- Part three: Applications. Endangered species -- Conserving biological diversity -- Education and ethics -- Notes -- Index.