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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Philosophy » Movements » Humanism

Conversations on Human Nature

By Agustin Fuentes, Aku Visala

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Format: Paperback, 325 pages
Published In: United States, 30 November 2015
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.

Table of Contents

Preface Chapter 1: Introduction: Human Nature as a Contested Concept Innate, Unique and Universal Nature Evolution and Human Nature: basic issues Humans as Biocultural Animals Persons, Minds and Human Nature Theology and Human Nature Chapter 2: Evolution, Brains and Human Nature Francisco Ayala (biology, UCLA, US) Kevin Laland (biology, St. Andrews Univ, UK) Patrick Bateson (biology, Cambridge Univ, UK) Robin Dunbar (evolutionary psychology, Oxford Univ, UK) Eduard Machery (philosophy, Univ Pittsburgh, US) Chapter 3: The Biocultural Animal: Culture and Human Evolution Tim Ingold (anthropology, Aberdeen Univ, UK) Jonathan Marks (anthropology, Univ North-Carolina at Charlotte, US) Robert Sussman (anthropology, Washington Univ, US) Kim Sterelny (philosophy, Australian National Univ, Australia) Warren Brown (psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, US) Barbara King (anthropology, College of William & Mary, US) Chapter 4: Persons and Human Nature Dean Zimmerman (philosophy, Rutgers Univ, US) Richard Swinburne (philosophy, Oxford Univ, UK) Christian Smith (sociology, Univ Notre Dame, US) Carl Gillett (philosophy, Northern Illinois Univ, US) Lynne Rudder Baker (philosophy, Univ Massachusetts Amherst, US) Philip Sloan (history and philosophy of Science, Univ Notre Dame, US) Chapter 5: Human Nature from a Religious Perspective Lluis Oviedo (theology, Antonianum, Italy) J. Wentzel van Huyssteen (theology, Princeton Univ, US) Celia Deane-Drummond (theology, Univ Notre Dame, US) Joel Greene (theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, US) Wesley Wildman (theology/philosophy, Boston Univ, US) Chapter 6: Looking Back and Moving Forward: Summary and Future Possibilities References Index About the Authors About the Interviewees

About the Author

Agustin Fuentes is a professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, USA. His current research focuses on cooperation, community and semiosis in human evolution, ethno-primatology and multispecies anthropology, evolutionary theory, and interdisciplinary approaches to human nature(s). Fuentes's recent books include Evolution of Human Behavior (Oxford, 2008), Biological Anthropology: Concepts and Connections (McGraw-Hill, 2011), and Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You: Busting Myths about Human Nature (University of California, 2012). Aku Visala is a senior researcher in the Centre for Excellence in Reason and Religious Recognition Research at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has previously held research positions in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, USA, the Centre for Anthropology and Mind at the University of Oxford, and the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton. He is the author of Naturalism, Theism, and the Cognitive Study of Religion: Religion Explained? (Ashgate, 2011) and a number of other books in the philosophy of religion. His current research interests include the cognitive and biological bases of recognition and theological and philosophical anthropologies as they relate the cognitive sciences and evolutionary psychology.

EAN: 9781629582276
ISBN: 1629582271
Publisher: Routledge
Dimensions: 22.61 x 15.24 x 2.29 centimetres (0.53 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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