The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture

The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture

The Mirage of a Space between Nature and Nurture

In this powerful critique, the esteemed historian and philosopher of science Evelyn Fox Keller addresses the nature-nurture debates, including the persistent disputes regarding the roles played by genes and the environment in determining individual traits and behavior. Keller is interested in both how an oppositional “versus” came to be inserted between nature and nurture, and how the distinction on which that opposition depends, the idea that nature and nurture are separable, came to be taken for granted. How, she asks, did the illusion of a space between nature and nurture become entrenched in our thinking, and why is it so tenacious? Keller reveals that the assumption that the influences of nature and nurture can be separated is neither timeless nor universal, but rather a notion that emerged in Anglo-American culture in the late nineteenth century. She shows that the seemingly clear-cut nature-nurture debate is riddled with incoherence. It encompasses many disparate questions knitted together into an indissoluble tangle, and it is marked by a chronic ambiguity in language. There is little consensus about the meanings of terms such as nature, nurture, gene, and environment. Keller suggests that contemporary genetics can provide a more appropriate, precise, and useful vocabulary, one that might help put an end to the confusion surrounding the nature-nurture controversy.

Ingenious

Ingenious

Ingenious

The trouble with innovation is that it can seldom be undone. We invent technologies to modify our environments in immediately beneficial ways, but the long-term consequences can be costly. From obesity to antibiotic resistance, we pay for our successes. Peter Gluckman and Mark Hanson explore what happens when our creations lead nature to bite back.

Lovescapes Mapping the Geography of Love

Lovescapes  Mapping the Geography of Love

Lovescapes Mapping the Geography of Love

Lovescapes introduces the reader to the various meanings and manifestations of love and its many cognates such as compassion, caring, altruism, empathy, and forgiveness. It addresses how love and compassion have been understood in history and the religions of the world. It goes on to explore the ways that our environments and heredity influence our capacity to love and suggests ways to cultivate love and compassion in one's life. The book shows how the values of love and compassion are integral to finding humane solutions to the daunting problems we face as individuals, as a human family, and as an earth community--a world in crisis. Lovescapes has the following features: -Describing how love is the essence of the divine, and therefore the ground of reality -Understanding the meaning of love and its place in our lives -Learning how love and compassion have been understood across history, culture, and tradition -Gaining insight about how to increase our capacity to love and show compassion -Discerning how love and compassion can be applied in all aspects of our lives, in the regions where we live, and in our global setting.

Historians Without Borders

Historians Without Borders

Historians Without Borders

This text explores a variety of themes developed from successive years of the University of California, Davis, multidisciplinary graduate conference. It draws out connections on a wide array of topics among the arts, humanities, and sciences in history for multidisciplinary study. This text presents a rare forum for multidisciplinary connections researched and presented by junior specialists in their respective fields. It enables both creativity and flexibility in drawing out connections that are frequently overlooked by more specialized senior scholars. This book is a unique exercise in the promotion of junior scholarly achievement and multidisciplinary research.

What s Left of Human Nature

What s Left of Human Nature

What s Left of Human Nature

A philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against dehumanization, Darwinian, and developmentalist challenges. Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What's Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social misuse of the concept that dehumanizes those regarded as lacking human nature (the dehumanization challenge); the conflict between Darwinian thinking and essentialist concepts of human nature (the Darwinian challenge); and the consensus that evolution, heredity, and ontogenetic development result from nurture and nature. After answering each of these challenges, Kronfeldner presents a revisionist account of human nature that minimizes dehumanization and does not fall back on outdated biological ideas. Her account is post-essentialist because it eliminates the concept of an essence of being human; pluralist in that it argues that there are different things in the world that correspond to three different post-essentialist concepts of human nature; and interactive because it understands nature and nurture as interacting at the developmental, epigenetic, and evolutionary levels. On the basis of this, she introduces a dialectical concept of an ever-changing and “looping” human nature. Finally, noting the essentially contested character of the concept and the ambiguity and redundancy of the terminology, she wonders if we should simply eliminate the term “human nature” altogether.

Die anthropologische Wende

Die anthropologische Wende

Die anthropologische Wende

Naturliche Bestimmung versus Enhancement des Menschen? Paradigmatisch fur die moderne philosophische Anthropologie sind, zumindest im deutschsprachigen Raum, noch immer die Werke von Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner und Arnold Gehlen aus den 1920er Jahren - aber auch die mit ihnen verbundenen Folgelasten: (1) Voraussetzung fur den Versuch einer Wesensbestimmung des Menschen ist die Annahme anthropologischer Konstanten, d.h. die Ansicht, dass sich allgemeine Eigenschaften, Verhaltens- und Erfahrensweisen bestimmen lassen, die allen Menschen als Menschen zukommen. Angesichts der Tatsache, dass der Mensch immer nur in bestimmter historischer und kultureller Gestalt erscheint, selbst schon eine fragwurdige anthropologische These. (2) Auf der einen Seite erhebt die Anthropologie den Anspruch, philosophische Fundamentalwissenschaft schlechthin zu sein (und als solche die Grundlage abzugeben fur alle Wissenschaften vom Menschen), andererseits ist sie auf die Vorgabe einzelwissenschaftlicher Untersuchungen, etwa der Biologie, Ethologie, Psychologie und Soziologie, angewiesen und verhalt sich zu diesen im Grunde nur 'reaktiv' und 'verarbeitend' (Habermas). Je nach Bezugswissenschaft andert sich die Ausrichtung der philosophischen Anthropologie. Doch wie lassen sich ihre Konzeptionen methodisch rechtfertigen? Und inwiefern konnen sie als genuin philosophisch gelten? Im Zuge der gegenwartigen Konjunktur naturalistischer Stromungen stellen sich diese Fragen erneut, verscharft noch durch die Entstehung neuer Disziplinen wie etwa der Philosophie des Geistes, der Neurowissenschaften, der Verhaltensforschung und der Erforschung der Kunstlichen Intelligenz. Die aufkommenden Enhancement-Techniken drohen die individuellen und gattungsspezifischen Grenzen zu sprengen: die menschliche Natur gehort nun selbst zum Bereich des vom Menschen Veranderbaren. Was diese neue Situation fur uns Menschen und unser Selbstverstandnis bedeutet, ist denn auch - neben den unter den neuen Auspizien sich stellenden Fragen nach der naturlichen Bestimmung des Menschen im Lichte heutiger einzelwissenschaftlicher Erkenntnisse und insbesondere im Tier-Mensch-Vergleich - eines der Hauptthemen dieses Bandes. Beitrage Anita Horn: Einleitung Judith Burkart: Beyond Common Descent: The Cooperative Breeding Model of Human Evolution Gianfranco Soldati: Prospects of a Deflationary Theory of Self-Knowledge Andre Wunder: Eine forschungsstrategische Uberlegung zur Erklarung geistiger Fahigkeiten Florian Wustholz: Selbstbewusstsein bei Tieren: empirische und begriffliche Probleme Markus Wild: Der Mensch und andere Tiere - Uberlegungen zu einer umstrittenen Redeweise Julien Deonna: Animal Emotions Sarah Tietz: Sprache und Denken - eine anthropologische Differenz? Astrid Kottmann: Anthropologische Differenz: nur Spezies- Unterschied oder unterschiedliche Lebensformen? Christian Steiner: Vernunft als menschliches Charakteristikum Hans Sluga: Anthropos Physei Politikon Zoon. Zum Thema Politik und Anthropologie Christoph Henning: Vom Essentialismus zum 'Overlapping Consensus' - und zuruck: Anthropologie und Ethik bei Martha Nussbaum und Alasdair MacIntyre Elif Oezmen: Bedeutet das 'Ende des Menschen' auch das 'Ende der Moral'? Zur Renaissance anthropologischer Argumente in der Angewandten Ethik Jan-Christoph Heilinger: Der Zusammenhang von Ethik und Anthropologie am Beispiel von Human Enhancement Maria Kronfeldner: Die epistemische Fragmentierung des Menschen: Wie der Mensch zwischen Natur und Kultur verschwindet Hanno Birken-Bertsch: Zur Kritik anthropologischer Wenden im Ausgang von Joachim Ritter Matthias Wunsch: Anthropologische Wenden - Das Person-Korper-Problem Martin Hoffmann: Menschsein und Personsein. Eine anthropologische Interpretation von Bernard Williams Ratsel Jens Harbecke: Zwei Regularitatstheorien mechanistischer Konstitution

Literary Cultures of Latin America a Comparative History Institutional modes and cultural modalities

Literary Cultures of Latin America   a Comparative History  Institutional modes and cultural modalities

Literary Cultures of Latin America a Comparative History Institutional modes and cultural modalities

In three volumes of expert, innovative scholarship, Literary Cultures of Latin America offers a multidisciplinary reference on one of the most distinctive literary cultures in the world. In topically arranged articles written by a team of international scholars, Literary Cultures of Latin America explores the shifting problems that have arisen across national borders, geographic regions, time periods, linguistic systems, and cultural traditions in literary history. Bucking the tradition of focusing almost exclusively on the great canons of literature, this unique reference work casts its net wider, exploring pop culture, sermons, scientific essays, and more. While collaborators are careful to note that these volumes offer only a snapshot of the diverse body of Latin American literature, Literary Cultures of Latin America highlights unique cultural perspectives that have never before received academic attention. Comprised of signed articles each with complete bibliographies, this unique reference also takes into account relevant political, anthropological, economic, geographic, historical, demographic, and sociological research in order to understand the full context of each community's literature.