An award-winning cognitive scientist describes how the influence of experience and culture can override DNA in an attempt to shatter the myth that illness and addiction are unavoidable as dictated by genetic composition. 15,000 first printing.
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 How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind
“A loud counterblast to the fashionable faith of our times: that human nature is driven by biology . . . urgent and persuasive.”—Sunday Times (London) In this era of genome projects and brain scans, it is all too easy to overestimate the role of biology in human psychology. But in this passionate corrective to the idea that DNA is destiny, Jesse Prinz focuses on the most extraordinary aspect of human nature: that nurture can supplement and supplant nature, allowing our minds to be profoundly influenced by experience and culture. Drawing on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, Prinz shatters the myth of human uniformity and reveals how our differing cultures and life experiences make each of us unique. Along the way he shows that we can’t blame mental illness or addiction on our genes, and that societal factors shape gender differences in cognitive ability and sexual behavior. A much-needed contribution to the nature-nurture debate, Beyond Human Nature shows us that it is only through the lens of nurture that the spectrum of human diversity becomes fully and brilliantly visible.
Ontology and Closeness in Human Nature Relationships
In Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships, Neil H. Kessler identifies the preconceptions which can keep the modern human mind in the dark about what is happening relationally between humans and the more-than-human world. He has written an accessible work of environmental philosophy, with a focus on the ontology of human-nature relationships. In it, he contends that large-scale environmental problems are intimate and relational in origin. He also challenges the deeply embedded, modernist assumptions about the relational limitations of more-than-human beings, ones which place erroneous limitations on the possibilities for human/more-than-human closeness. Diverging from the posthumanist literature and its frequent reliance on new materialist ontology, the arguments in the book attempt to sweep away what ecofeminists call “human/nature dualisms. In doing so, conceptual avenues open up that have the power to radically alter how we engage in our daily interactions with the more-than-human world all around us. Given the diversity of fields and disciplines focused on the human-nature relationship, the topics of this book vary quite broadly, but always converge at the nexus of what is possible between humans and more-than-human beings. The discussion interweaves the influence of human/nature dualisms with the limitations of Deleuzian becoming and posthumanism’s new materialism and agential realism. It leverages interhuman interdependence theory, Charles Peirce’s synechism of feeling and various treatments of Theory of Mind while exploring the influence of human/nature dualisms on sustainability, place attachment, common worlds pedagogy, emergence, and critical animal studies. It also explores the implications of plant electrical activity, plant intelligence, and plant “neurobiology” for possibilities of relational capacities in plants while even grappling with theories of animism to challenge the animate/inanimate divide. The result is an engaging, novel treatment of human-nature relational ontology that will encourage the reader to look at the world in a whole new way.
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
The second volume in an ongoing series of English translations of de Benoist's works is an examination of the origins of the concept of human rights in European Antiquity, in which rights were defined in terms of the individual's relationship to his community and were understood as being exclusive to that community alone.
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.
This is a fascinating study of Christian Anthropology, grace, and sin and is intended for the educated lay person. This is a challenging and engaging study for all who want to explore these themes more deeply.