On Human Nature

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Author: Edward O. Wilson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674076559

Category: Science

Page: 284

View: 9424

In his new preface E. O. Wilson reflects on how he came to write this book: how The Insect Societies led him to write Sociobiology, and how the political and religious uproar that engulfed that book persuaded him to write another book that would better explain the relevance of biology to the understanding of human behavior.

On Human Nature

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Author: Edward O. Wilson

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674076540

Category: Science

Page: 260

View: 5041

In his new preface E. O. Wilson reflects on how he came to write this book: how The Insect Societies led him to write Sociobiology, and how the political and religious uproar that engulfed that book persuaded him to write another book that would better explain the relevance of biology to the understanding of human behavior.

On Human Nature

Essays (partly Posthumous) in Ethics and Politics

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Author: Arthur Schopenhauer

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Ethics

Page: 132

View: 5244

On Human Nature

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Author: Roger Scruton

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400884667

Category: Philosophy

Page: 160

View: 4963

A brief, radical defense of human uniqueness from acclaimed philosopher Roger Scruton In this short book, acclaimed writer and philosopher Roger Scruton presents an original and radical defense of human uniqueness. Confronting the views of evolutionary psychologists, utilitarian moralists, and philosophical materialists such as Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett, Scruton argues that human beings cannot be understood simply as biological objects. We are not only human animals; we are also persons, in essential relation with other persons, and bound to them by obligations and rights. Our world is a shared world, exhibiting freedom, value, and accountability, and to understand it we must address other people face to face and I to I. Scruton develops and defends his account of human nature by ranging widely across intellectual history, from Plato and Averroës to Darwin and Wittgenstein. The book begins with Kant's suggestion that we are distinguished by our ability to say "I"—by our sense of ourselves as the centers of self-conscious reflection. This fact is manifested in our emotions, interests, and relations. It is the foundation of the moral sense, as well as of the aesthetic and religious conceptions through which we shape the human world and endow it with meaning. And it lies outside the scope of modern materialist philosophy, even though it is a natural and not a supernatural fact. Ultimately, Scruton offers a new way of understanding how self-consciousness affects the question of how we should live. The result is a rich view of human nature that challenges some of today's most fashionable ideas about our species.

On Human Nature

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Author: Thomas Aquinas,Saint Thomas (Aquinas)

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

ISBN: 9780872204546

Category: Philosophy

Page: 274

View: 3097

This volume begins with excerpts from Aquinas' commentary on De Anima, excerpts that proceed from a general consideration of soul as common to all living things to a consideration of the animal soul and, finally, to what is peculiar to the human soul. These are followed by the Treatise on Man, Aquinas' most famous discussion of human nature, but one whose organization is dictated by theological concerns and whose philosophical importance is thus best appreciated when seen as presented here: within the historical philosophical framework of which it constitutes a development. Aquinas' discussions of the will and the passions follow, providing fruitful points of comparison with other philosophers.

The Origins of Creativity

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Author: Edward O. Wilson

Publisher: Liveright Publishing

ISBN: 1631493191

Category: Science

Page: 256

View: 2003

An eloquent exploration of creativity, The Origins of Creativity grapples with the question of how this uniquely human expression—so central to our identity as individuals and, collectively, as a species—came about and how it has manifested itself throughout the history of our species. In this profound and lyrical book, one of our most celebrated biologists offers a sweeping examination of the relationship between the humanities and the sciences: what they offer to each other, how they can be united, and where they still fall short. Both endeavours, Edward O. Wilson reveals, have their roots in human creativity—the defining trait of our species. Reflecting on the deepest origins of language, storytelling, and art, Wilson demonstrates how creativity began not ten thousand years ago, as we have long assumed, but over one hundred thousand years ago in the Paleolithic age. Chronicling this evolution of creativity from primate ancestors to humans, The Origins of Creativity shows how the humanities, spurred on by the invention of language, have played a largely unexamined role in defining our species. And in doing so, Wilson explores what we can learn about human nature from a surprising range of creative endeavors—the instinct to create gardens, the use of metaphors and irony in speech, and the power of music and song. Our achievements in science and the humanities, Wilson notes, make us uniquely advanced as a species, but also give us the potential to be supremely dangerous, most worryingly in our abuse of the planet. The humanities in particular suffer from a kind of anthropomorphism, encumbered by a belief that we are the only species among millions that seem to matter, yet Wilson optimistically reveals how researchers will have to address this parlous situation by pushing further into the realm of science, especially fields such as evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and anthropology. With eloquence and humanity, Wilson calls for a transformational "Third Enlightenment," in which the blending of these endeavors will give us a deeper understanding of the human condition and our crucial relationship with the natural world.

On Human Nature

Biology, Psychology, Ethics, Politics, and Religion

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Author: Michel Tibayrenc,Francisco J. Ayala

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0127999159

Category: Science

Page: 814

View: 5973

On Human Nature: Biology, Psychology, Ethics, Politics, and Religion covers the present state of knowledge on human diversity and its adaptative significance through a broad and eclectic selection of representative chapters. This transdisciplinary work brings together specialists from various fields who rarely interact, including geneticists, evolutionists, physicians, ethologists, psychoanalysts, anthropologists, sociologists, theologians, historians, linguists, and philosophers. Genomic diversity is covered in several chapters dealing with biology, including the differences in men and apes and the genetic diversity of mankind. Top specialists, known for their open mind and broad knowledge have been carefully selected to cover each topic. The book is therefore at the crossroads between biology and human sciences, going beyond classical science in the Popperian sense. The book is accessible not only to specialists, but also to students, professors, and the educated public. Glossaries of specialized terms and general public references help nonspecialists understand complex notions, with contributions avoiding technical jargon. Provides greater understanding of diversity and population structure and history, with crucial foundational knowledge needed to conduct research in a variety of fields, such as genetics and disease Includes three robust sections on biological, psychological, and ethical aspects, with cross-fertilization and reciprocal references between the three sections Contains contributions by leading experts in their respective fields working under the guidance of internationally recognized and highly respected editors

The Treatise on Human Nature

Summa Theologiae 1a, 75-89

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Author: St. Thomas Aquinas,Robert Pasnau

Publisher: Hackett Publishing

ISBN: 9780872206137

Category: Philosophy

Page: 434

View: 6908

This series offers central philosophical treatises of Aquinas in new, state-of-the-art translations distinguished by their accuracy and use of clear and non-technical modern vocabulary. Annotation and commentary accessible to undergraduates make the series an ideal vehicle for the study of Aquinas by readers approaching him from a variety of backgrounds and interests.

Suite for Human Nature

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Author: Diane Charlotte Lampert

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1481463578

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 48

View: 2752

From the legendary songwriter Diane Lampert, based on a musical piece she wrote with Pulitzer Prize and nine-time Grammy–winning jazz musician Wynton Marsalis, comes an exquisitely illustrated folktale about how we humans got some of our…naughtier traits, and what overcomes them all. Mother Nature is a very busy woman. Her job is to tend to the Earth and all the creatures that dwell there—she must wake up the bulbs and warm the land in spring, she must freeze the ponds and create snow in winter. But more than anything, Mother Nature wanted children of her own. So with twigs and things she made five: Fear, Envy, Hate, Greed, and Fickle. She asks the most helpless of creatures—the poor, wingless humans—to watch over them as she works. But then her children’s wild personalities begin to seep into human nature in a way that Mother Nature never intended. A lilting, lyrical ode to all of our human shortcomings and the one trait—love—that can overcome them all.

Readings on Human Nature

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Author: Peter Loptson

Publisher: Broadview Press

ISBN: 9781551111568

Category: Philosophy

Page: 580

View: 1507

This anthology brings together 45 selections by a wide range of philosophers and other thinkers, and provides a representative sampling of the approaches to the study of human nature that have been taken within the western tradition. The selections range in time from the ancient Greeks to the 1990s, and in political orientation from the conservative individualism of Ayn Rand to the liberalism of John Rawls. Classic writings from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries are here (Descartes, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Rousseau, and so on), but so are a wide range of twentieth-century writings, including a number of feminist voices, the biological theory of Edward O. Wilson, and the cultural materialist theory of Marvin Harris. A substantial selection of Christian views of human nature is a central part of the anthology. The anthology is as notable for its depth as it is for its breadth; an important editorial principle has been to include a variety of substantial selections, thus allowing the reader to engage more readily with some of the complexities of each approach.

The Blank Slate

The Modern Denial of Human Nature

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Author: Steven Pinker

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781101200322

Category: Psychology

Page: 528

View: 4391

A brilliant inquiry into the origins of human nature. "Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read..also highly persuasive." -Time Now updated with a new afterword One of the world's leading experts on language and the mind explores the idea of human nature and its moral, emotional, and political colorings. With characteristic wit, lucidity, and insight, Pinker argues that the dogma that the mind has no innate traits-a doctrine held by many intellectuals during the past century-denies our common humanity and our individual preferences, replaces objective analyses of social problems with feel-good slogans, and distorts our understanding of politics, violence, parenting, and the arts. Injecting calm and rationality into debates that are notorious for ax-grinding and mud-slinging, Pinker shows the importance of an honest acknowledgment of human nature based on science and common sense.

The Philosophy of Human Nature

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Author: Howard P. Kainz

Publisher: Open Court

ISBN: 0812699343

Category: Philosophy

Page: 192

View: 6149

What, exactly, is human nature? What makes humans different from animals (if there is any difference)? In this book, Howard Kainz presents a philosophical analysis of the various concepts of human nature and the many controversies that have surrounded them for centuries. He explores issues such as whether human beings are truly free, whether human instincts differ from animal instincts, and the realities of human maturity.

The Meaning of Human Existence

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Author: Edward O. Wilson

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 087140480X

Category: Science

Page: 192

View: 5400

National Book Award Finalist. How did humanity originate and why does a species like ours exist on this planet? Do we have a special place, even a destiny in the universe? Where are we going, and perhaps, the most difficult question of all, "Why?" In The Meaning of Human Existence, his most philosophical work to date, Pulitzer Prize–winning biologist Edward O. Wilson grapples with these and other existential questions, examining what makes human beings supremely different from all other species. Searching for meaning in what Nietzsche once called "the rainbow colors" around the outer edges of knowledge and imagination, Wilson takes his readers on a journey, in the process bridging science and philosophy to create a twenty-first-century treatise on human existence—from our earliest inception to a provocative look at what the future of mankind portends. Continuing his groundbreaking examination of our "Anthropocene Epoch," which he began with The Social Conquest of Earth, described by the New York Times as "a sweeping account of the human rise to domination of the biosphere," here Wilson posits that we, as a species, now know enough about the universe and ourselves that we can begin to approach questions about our place in the cosmos and the meaning of intelligent life in a systematic, indeed, in a testable way. Once criticized for a purely mechanistic view of human life and an overreliance on genetic predetermination, Wilson presents in The Meaning of Human Existence his most expansive and advanced theories on the sovereignty of human life, recognizing that, even though the human and the spider evolved similarly, the poet's sonnet is wholly different from the spider's web. Whether attempting to explicate "The Riddle of the Human Species," "Free Will," or "Religion"; warning of "The Collapse of Biodiversity"; or even creating a plausible "Portrait of E.T.," Wilson does indeed believe that humanity holds a special position in the known universe. The human epoch that began in biological evolution and passed into pre-, then recorded, history is now more than ever before in our hands. Yet alarmed that we are about to abandon natural selection by redesigning biology and human nature as we wish them, Wilson soberly concludes that advances in science and technology bring us our greatest moral dilemma since God stayed the hand of Abraham.

The Laws of Human Nature

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Author: Robert Greene

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698184548

Category: Self-Help

Page: 624

View: 4559

From the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power comes the definitive new book on decoding the behavior of the people around you Robert Greene is a master guide for millions of readers, distilling ancient wisdom and philosophy into essential texts for seekers of power, understanding and mastery. Now he turns to the most important subject of all - understanding people's drives and motivations, even when they are unconscious of them themselves. We are social animals. Our very lives depend on our relationships with people. Knowing why people do what they do is the most important tool we can possess, without which our other talents can only take us so far. Drawing from the ideas and examples of Pericles, Queen Elizabeth I, Martin Luther King Jr, and many others, Greene teaches us how to detach ourselves from our own emotions and master self-control, how to develop the empathy that leads to insight, how to look behind people's masks, and how to resist conformity to develop your singular sense of purpose. Whether at work, in relationships, or in shaping the world around you, The Laws of Human Nature offers brilliant tactics for success, self-improvement, and self-defense.

Marx and Human Nature

Refutation of a Legend

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Author: Norman Geras

Publisher: Verso Books

ISBN: 1784782378

Category: Philosophy

Page: 144

View: 3625

“Marx did not reject the idea of a human nature. He was right not to do so.” That is the conclusion of this passionate and polemical new work by Norman Geras. In it, he places the sixth of Marx’s Theses on Feuerbach under rigorous scrutiny. He argues that this ambiguous statement—widely cited as evidence that Marx broke with all conceptions of human nature in 1845—must be read in the context of Marx’s work as a whole. His later writings are informed by an idea of a specifically human nature that fulfills both explanatory and normative functions. The belief that Marx’s historical materialism entailed a denial of the conception of human nature is, Geras writes, “an old fixation, which the Althusserian influence in this matter has fed upon … Because this fixation still exists and is misguided, it is still necessary to challenge it.” One hundred years after Marx’s death, this timely essay—combining the strengths of analytical philosophy and classical Marxism—rediscovers a central part of his heritage.

Arguing about Human Nature

Contemporary Debates

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Author: Stephen M. Downes,Edouard Machery

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780415894401

Category: Philosophy

Page: 596

View: 8219

"This text is a collection of recent research in the philosophy of human nature. It includes research in Anthropology, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and other areas where there are fertile discussions about human nature"--

Feral Children and Clever Animals

Reflections on Human Nature

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Author: Douglas K. Candland

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 0195102843

Category: History

Page: 411

View: 2987

A comparison of accounts of attempts to civilize feral children with studies of the exploits of apes who communicate in sign language offers insights into the essence of human nature and attempts to communicate with other members of the animal kingdom.

Conversations on Human Nature

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Author: Agustín Fuentes,Aku Visala

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1315431521

Category: Social Science

Page: 325

View: 6856

Recent empirical and philosophical research into the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens, the origins of the mind/brain, and the development of human culture has sparked heated debates about what it means to be human and how knowledge about humans from the sciences and humanities should be understood. Conversations on Human Nature, featuring 20 interviews with leading scholars in biology, psychology, anthropology, philosophy, and theology, brings these debates to life for teachers, students, and general readers. The book-outlines the basic scientific, philosophical and theological issues involved in understanding human nature;-organizes material from the various disciplines under four broad headings: (1) evolution, brains and human nature; (2) biocultural human nature; (3) persons, minds and human nature, (4) religion, theology and human nature; -concludes with Fuentes and Visala's discussion of what researchers into human nature agree on, what they disagree on, and what we need to learn to resolve those differences.

Why We Disagree About Human Nature

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Author: Elizabeth Hannon,Tim Lewens

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0192556797

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 1873

Is human nature something that the natural and social sciences aim to describe, or is it a pernicious fiction? What role, if any, does 'human nature' play in directing and informing scientific work? Can we talk about human nature without invoking-either implicitly or explicitly-a contrast with human culture? It might be tempting to think that the respectability of 'human nature' is an issue that divides natural and social scientists along disciplinary boundaries, but the truth is more complex. The contributors to this collection take very different stances with regard to the idea of human nature. They come from the fields of psychology, the philosophy of science, social and biological anthropology, evolutionary theory, and the study of animal cognition. Some of them are 'human nature' enthusiasts, some are sceptics, and some say that human nature is a concept with many faces, each of which plays a role in its own investigative niche. Some want to eliminate the notion altogether, some think it unproblematic, others want to retain it with reforming modifications. Some say that human nature is a target for investigation that the human sciences cannot do without, others argue that the term does far more harm than good. The diverse perspectives articulated in this book help to explain why we disagree about human nature, and what, if anything, might resolve that disagreement.