Mark Sagoff PhD

Professor (ret.), George Mason University  

Distinguished Senior Fellow, Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy

Senior Fellow, The Breakthrough Institute

Affiliate Faculty, Schar School for Policy and Government


Mark Sagoff has worked with the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy since 1979 and was appointed as Professor of Philosophy at George Mason University in 2010. He has published widely in journals of law, philosophy, and the environment. His most recent books are The Economy of the Earth, 2nd Edition (2008) and Price, Principle, and the Environment(2004). Sagoff 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 and a Senior Fellow at the Breakthrough Institute. Sagoff has an A.B. from Harvard and a Ph.D. (Philosophy) from Rochester. He has taught at Princeton, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin (Madison),  Cornell, and the University of Maryland (College Park).


Sagoff was most recently Principal Investigator of the projects “Ecological Concepts of Human Identity in Microbiome and Metagenomic Research” (funded by NIH) and “Harms to Nature: A Normative and Conceptual Analysis” (funded by NSF).


Sagoff, M. “Conservation Biology,” International Encyclopedia of Ethics, Hugh LaFollette, editor (Wiley Blackwell; 2013),  DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee125

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

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

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

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

Sagoff, M. "Art and Authenticity: A Reply to Jaworski," Journal of Value Inquiry 48(2014), pp. 503–515.

Sagoff, M. "Agriculture and Biotechnology,"  Bioethics, 4th Edition. Edited by Bruce Jennings. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 132-137. 

Sagoff, M. "Environmental Policy and Law,"  Bioethics, 4th Edition. Bruce Jennings, ed.  Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2014, pp. 1023-1030.

Sagoff, M. "Schumpeter's Revolution: The Creative Destruction of Economics," The Breakthrough Journal (4) (Summer 2014), pp. 55-61.  Available online at:

Sagoff, M. "Environmental Economics," Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering: A Global Resource. Ed. J. Britt Holbrook. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Farmington Hills, MI: Macmillan Reference USA, 2015. 104-108. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.

Sagoff, M.  “Ethical and Economic Principles of Environmental Law,” pp. 141-223 in Scott Schang, Donald Stever, and Stanley Abramson, editors, The Law of Environmental Protection,volume 1, issued April 2015.  Environmental Law Institute-Thompson Reuters.

Sagoff, M. "Social Cost-Benefits." Wiley Encyclopedia of Management, Published Online: 21 Jan. 2015, DOI: 10.1002/9781118785317.weom020177; 2pp.

Sagoff, M. “A Theology for Ecomodernism:  What Is the Nature We Seek to Save?”The Breakthrough Journal, published by the Breakthrough Institute, July 2015; available online

Sagoff, M. “Are There General Causal Forces in Ecology?” Synthese 193, no. 9 (2016): 3003-3024.

Sagoff, M. “A Critical Perspective.” Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services, Potschin, M., Haines-Young, R., Fish, R. and Turner, R.K. (eds). Routledge, London and New York (2016), pp 112-114.

Sagoff, M. “Are Ecosystems Self-Organizing?" PERC Report PERC, Volume 35, No.1, Summer 2016 Property and Environment Research Center, Bozman, Montana.  Online at

Sagoff, M. “Do We Consume Too Much?” Chapter 10 in David M. Kaplan, ed., Philosophy, Technology, and the Environment MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2017, pp. 173-190.

"Theoretical Ecology Has Never Been Etiological: A Reply to Donhauser." Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 63 (2017): 64-69.

Sagoff, M. "On the Definition of Ecology."Biological Theory 12, pp. 85–98(2017).

Sagoff, M. "Art and Identity: A Reply to Stopford." British Journal of Aesthetics 57, no. 3 (2017): 319-329.

Sagoff, M. "Models or Muddles? Property Rights and the Endangered Species Act." In John A. Baden and Pete Geddes,eds. Saving a Place: Endangered Species in the 21st Century, Routledge (2018), pp. 72-101.

Sagoff, M. “Ecomodernism and the Anthropocene.” Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, from Encyclopedia of the Anthropocene, Volume 4, 2018, Pages 61-66.

Sagoff, M. "Invasive Species Denialism: A Reply to Ricciardi and Ryan." Biological Invasions (2018): Online First, May:

Sagoff, M. “Welcome to the Narcisscene: Returning Humans to the Center of the Cosmos.” Breakthrough Journal 9 (Summer 2018).  Online at:

Sagoff, M. "What Is Invasion Biology? Ecological Economics 154 (December 2018), pp. 22-30