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.
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. 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
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: Kenneth Burke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2003-08-06
Genre: Literary Criticism
On Human Nature: A Gathering While Everything Flows brings together the late essays, autobiographical reflections, an interview, and a poem by the eminent literary theorist and cultural critic Kenneth Burke (1897-1993). Burke, author of Language as Symbolic Action, A Grammar of Motives, and Rhetoric of Motives, among other works, was an innovative and original thinker who worked at the intersection of sociology, psychology, literary theory, and semiotics. This book, a selection of fourteen representative pieces of his productive later years, addresses many important themes Burke tackled throughout his career such as logology (his attempt to find a universal language theory and methodology), technology, and ecology. The essays also elaborate Burke's notions about creativity and its relation to stress, language and its literary uses, the relation of mind and body, and more. Provocative, idiosyncratic, and erudite, On Human Nature makes a significant statement about cultural linguistics and is an important rounding-out of the Burkean corpus.
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.
Drawn from Parerga and posthumously published works, these six essays offer an accessible approach to the author's philosophy. Topics include government, free will and fatalism, character, moral instinct, and ethics.
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: John Cartwright
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2000
The book covers fundamental issues such as the origins and function of sexual reproduction, mating behavior, human mate choice, patterns of violence in families, altruistic behavior, the evolution of brain size and the origins of language, the modular mind, and the relationship between genes and culture.
Author: Norman Geras
Release Date: 1983
'Marx did not reject the idea of 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 These on Feuerbach under rigorous scrutiny. He argues that this ambiguous statement - widely cited as evidence that Marx broke with all concepts of human nature in 1845 - must be read in the context of Marx's work as a whole. His later writings are formed by an idea of a specifically human nature that fulfils 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 - combing the strengths of analytical philosophy and classical Marxism - rediscovers a central part of his heritage.
Author: Noam Chomsky
Publisher: South End Press
Release Date: 1996
Chomsky brings together his thoughts on topics ranging from language and human nature to the Middle East settlement and the place of East Timor in the New World Order. A must read for anyone interested in Chomsky.
Author: Paul Cornell
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2015
Hulton College in Norfolk is a school dedicated to producing military officers. With the First World War about to start, the boys of the school will soon be on the front line. But no one expects a war - not even Dr John Smith, the college's new house master. The Doctor's friend Benny is enjoying her holiday in the same town. But then she meets a future version of the Doctor, and things start to get dangerous very quickly. With the Doctor she knows gone, and only a suffragette and an elderly rake for company, can Benny fight off a vicious alien attack? And will Dr Smith be able to save the day? This is an adventure set in Britain on the eve of the First World War, featuring the Seventh Doctor as played by Sylvester McCoy and his companion Bernice Summerfield. This book was the basis for the Tenth Doctor television story Human Nature/The Family of Blood starring David Tennant.