College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mark Sagoff

Mark Sagoff

Mark Sagoff


Environmental Ethics, philosophy of economics, philosophy of ecology, aesthetics

Mark Sagoff has published widely in journals of law, philosophy, and the environment. His most recent books are The Economy of the Earth, 2nd Edition (Cambridge University Press, 2008) and Price, Principle, and the Environment (Cambridge University Press, 2004). He was named a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment in 1991 and awarded a Fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in 1998. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the Hastings Center. The Breakthrough Institute named Sagoff as one of its six Senior Fellows of 2012, calling him, "America's most trenchant environmental philosopher." Sagoff taught at Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin (Madison), Cornell, and the University of Maryland, College Park, before coming to Mason.  He is a past director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy.

Selected Publications

Price, Principle, and the Environment (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2004).

The Economy of the Earth:  Philosophy, Law, and the Environ­ment (New York: Cambridge University Press, Second Edition, 2008).

“Do We Consume Too Much?” The Atlantic Monthly 279 (6) (June 1997): 80-96.

“Data Deluge and the Human Microbiome Project,” Issues in Science and Technology, Summer 2012.  Available at:

“What Does Environmental Protection Protect?” Ethics, Policy & Environment 16, no. 3 (2013), pp.  239-257.

Expanded Publication List

A Transcendental Argument for the Concept of Personhood in Neuroscience,” The American Journal of Bioethics 7(1) (January 2007): 72-73.

“On the Compatibility of a Conservation Ethic with Biological Science," Conservation Biology 21(2) (April 2007), pp. 337-345.

“Are Non-native Species Harmful?” Conservation Magazine 8(2) (April-June 2007), pp. 21-22.

“Further Thoughts about the Human Neuron Mouse,” American Journal of Bioethics 7(5) (May 2007), pp. 51-52.

“On the Economic Value of Ecosystem Services,” Environmental Values 17(2) (2008): 239-257.

"Third-Generation Biotechnology: A First Look,” Issues in Science and Technology 25(1)(November 2008): 70-74.

"Environmental Harm:  Political Not Biological,” Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 22(1)(2009): 81-88.

“The Economic Value of Ecosystem Services,” BioScience 59(6)(2009): 461.

"Who Is the Invader? Alien Species, Property Rights, and the Police Power," Social Philosophy & Policy 26:2 (Summer 2009): 26-52.

The Poverty of Economic Analysis,” in D. Schlosberg, J. Dryzek, and R. Norgaard (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Climate Change and Society. London, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011), pp.  55-66.

“The Rise and Fall of Ecological Economics,” Breakthrough Journal, Fall 2011, pp. 43-56.

“Environmental Economics,” Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics, Ruth Chadwick, ed. (Academic Press; 2 edition: 2012), pp. 97-104.

"ELSI and the Philosophy of Science," Philosophy and Public Policy Quarterly 31(3-4) (2013), pp. 27-35.

"Trust versus Paternalism," The American Journal of Bioethics 13(6) (2013), pp. 20-21.

"The Attributive Logic of 'Human-Like' Characteristics." The American Journal of Bioethics 14 (2) (2014), pp. 15-16.


Harvard University A.B. 1963

University of Rochester Ph.D. 1970