In this provocative, revelatory tour de force, Jesse Prinz reveals how the cultures we live in - not biology - determine how we think and feel. He examines all aspects of our behaviour, looking at everything from our intellects and emotions, to love and sex, morality and even madness. This book seeks to go beyond traditional debates of nature and nurture. He is not interested in finding universal laws but, rather, in understanding, explaining and celebrating our differences. Why do people raised in Western countries tend to see the trees before the forest, while people from East Asia see the forest before the trees? Why, in South East Asia, is there a common form of mental illness, unheard of in the West, in which people go into a trancelike state after being startled? Compared to Northerners, why are people in the American South more than twice as likely to kill someone over an argument? And, above all, just how malleable are we? Prinz shows that the vast diversity of our behaviour is not engrained. He picks up where biological explanations leave off. He tells us the human story.
Beyond Human Nature
Author: Louis C. Midgley
Publisher: Provo, Utah : Brigham Young University Press
This book explores both the possibilities and limits of arguments from human nature in the context of human rights. Can the concept of human nature provide a basis for understanding fundamental rights? Is it plausible to justify the claim to universal validity of human rights by reference to human nature? Or does the idea of human rights in its modern, post-1945 manifestation go, in essence, beyond human nature? The essays in this volume introduce naturalistic positions and their concomitant critiques. They address the role that human nature both actually does and potentially may play in forming a foundation for and acting as an exemplification of fundamental rights. Beyond that, they give attention to the challenges caused by Life Sciences. Human nature itself is subject to transformation and transgression in an unprecedented manner. The essays reflect on issues such as reproduction, species manipulation, corporeal autonomy and enhancement. Contributors are jurists, philosophers and political scientists from Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, Poland and Japan.
For more than a decade developments in science have prompted wide-ranging discussions about human nature. Gone are the days when this subject was the preserve of theologians and philosophers; today the fields of genetics and neuroscience are shifting attention to the "biological basis of human nature. This engaging book takes readers straight to the intersection of religion and science, exploring what new scientific knowledge does and does not say about religious views on personhood. Written by an international, interdisciplinary team of scholars sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, "From Cells to Souls -- and Beyond examines such questions as personal identity, the meaning of "human," the mind-body relationship, and subjective spiritual experience. Each topic is discussed against the backdrop of biblical theology with the relevant science made clear. The result is a fresh interpretation of the Christian doctrine of humankind true to both science and Scripture. Contributors: Diogenes Allen Warren S. Brown Gaius Davies Lindon Eaves Joel B. Green Malcolm Jeeves D. Gareth Jones David Parkes C. Michael Steel Alan J. Torrance Glenn Weaver Michael Welker Philip H. Wiebe
Are we "hard-wired" for disaster? Or do new findings in evolution, development, and behavior show that human beings can adapt positively to adverse circumstances and realize a more just and inclusive society?
Ian Barbour offers analyses of the shape and import of evolutionary theory, indeterminacy, neuroscience, information theory, and artificial intelligence. He also addresses deeper philosophical issues and the idea of nature itself. Then Barbour advances to the interconnected religious questions at the core of contemporary debate: Are humans free? Does religion itself evolve? Are we immortal? Is God omnipotent? How does God act in nature? Barbour's work offers hope that newer religious insights and imperatives occasioned by deep interaction with science can address the environmental and global challenges posed by the relentless advance of science.