Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2012-11-01
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.
Author: Roger Scruton
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2017-02-14
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.
Author: Saint Thomas (Aquinas)
Publisher: Hackett Publishing
Release Date: 1999
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.
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
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.
Author: Armin Grunwald
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-04-17
Modern molecular technology in the so-called life sciences (biology as weil as medicine) allows today to approach and manipulate living beings in ways and to an extent wh ich not too long aga seemed Utopian. The empirical progress promises further and even more radical developments in the future, and it is at least often claimed that this kind of research will have tremendeous etfects on and for all of humanity, for example in the areas of food production, transplantation medicine (including stem cell research and xenotransplantation), (therapeutic) genetic manipulation and (cell-line) cloning (of cell lines or tissues), and of biodiversity conservation-strategies. At least in Western, industrialized countries the development of modern sciences led to a steady increase of human health, well-being and quality of life. However, with the move to make the human body itself an object of scientific research interests, the respective scientific descriptions resulted in changes in the image that human beings have of themselves. Scientific progress has led to a startling loss of traditional human self-understanding. This development is in contrast to an under standing according to which the question what it means to be "human" is treated in the realm of philosophy. And indeed, a closer look reveals that - without denying the value of scientitic progress - science cannot replace the philosophical approach to anthropological questions.
Author: Howard P. Kainz
Publisher: Open Court
Release Date: 2015-11-05
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.
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.
Author: Kevin J. Corcoran
Publisher: Baker Academic
Release Date: 2006-06-01
What are we as human persons? Are we immaterial souls capable of disembodied existence or merely animals destined to dust? For centuries, scholars have debated this issue, and that debate continues today. But the question of human nature can no longer remain a topic for discussion within the hallowed halls of the academy. End-of-life ethical decisions, human cloning, fetal tissue transplants, and stem cell research all reveal the urgency and the importance of the question for ordinary people. Rethinking Human Nature offers a fascinating look at what it means to be human by defending the "constitutional view"--which suggests we are constituted by our bodies without being identical to the bodies that constitute us. Grounded in Scripture, this book connects the theology and philosophy of human nature with the moral conundrums that confront us at the margins of life.
Available for the first time in the United States, this international bestseller reveals the secrets of nonverbal communication to give you confidence and control in any face-to-face encounter–from making a great first impression and acing a job interview to finding the right partner. It is a scientific fact that people’s gestures give away their true intentions. Yet most of us don’t know how to read body language–and don’t realize how our own physical movements speak to others. Now the world’s foremost experts on the subject share their techniques for reading body language signals to achieve success in every area of life. Drawing upon more than thirty years in the field, as well as cutting-edge research from evolutionary biology, psychology, and medical technologies that demonstrate what happens in the brain, the authors examine each component of body language and give you the basic vocabulary to read attitudes and emotions through behavior. Discover: • How palms and handshakes are used to gain control • The most common gestures of liars • How the legs reveal what the mind wants to do • The most common male and female courtship gestures and signals • The secret signals of cigarettes, glasses, and makeup • The magic of smiles–including smiling advice for women • How to use nonverbal cues and signals to communicate more effectively and get the reactions you want Filled with fascinating insights, humorous observations, and simple strategies that you can apply to any situation, this intriguing book will enrich your communication with and understanding of others–as well as yourself. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: P. M. S. Hacker
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-07-22
This major new study by one of the most penetrating and persistent critics of philosophical and scientific orthodoxy, returns to Aristotle in order to examine the salient categories in terms of which we think about ourselves and our nature, and the distinctive forms of explanation we invoke to render ourselves intelligible to ourselves. The culmination of 40 years of thought on the philosophy of mind and the nature of the mankind Written by one of the world’s leading philosophers, the co-author of the monumental 4 volume Analytical Commentary on the Philosophical Investigations (Blackwell Publishing, 1980-2004) Uses broad categories, such as substance, causation, agency and power to examine how we think about ourselves and our nature Platonic and Aristotelian conceptions of human nature are sketched and contrasted Individual chapters clarify and provide an historical overview of a specific concept, then link the concept to ideas contained in other chapters
Author: Edward O. Wilson
Publisher: Liveright Publishing
Release Date: 2017-10-03
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.
Author: Norman Geras
Publisher: Verso Books
Release Date: 2016-02-23
“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.