Why We Disagree About Human Nature

ISBN : 9780198823650

Elizabeth Hannon; Tim Lewens
272 ページ
156 x 234 mm

This interdisciplinary collection of new essays from leading researchers offers an overview of the current state of the debate on human nature, and develops new positions and discussions in that debate. It features contributions from leading figures in the life sciences, philosophy, psychology, and anthropology. Is human nature something that the natural and social sciences aim to describe, or is it a pernicious fiction? What role, if any, does human nature play in directing and informing scientific work? Can we talk about human nature without invoking-either implicitly or explicitly-a contrast with human culture? What is the historical context of this debate and is resolution likely or even possible?


Introduction: The Faces of Human Nature
1 Edouard Machery: Doubling Down on the Nomological Notion of Human Nature
2 Grant Ramsey: Trait Bin and Trait Cluster Accounts of Human Nature
3 Karola Stotz and Paul Griffiths: A Developmental Systems Account of Human Nature
4 Cecilia Heyes: Human Nature and Natural Pedagogy
5 John Dupre: Human Nature: A Process Perspective
6 Kim Sterelny: Sceptical Reflections on Human Nature
7 Kevin N. Laland and Gillian R. Brown: The Social Construction of Human Nature
8 Peter J. Richerson: The Use and Non-use of the Human Nature Concept by Evolutionary Biologists
9 Christina Toren: Human Ontogenies as Historical Processes: An Anthropological Perspective
10 Maria Kronfeldner: Divide and Conquer: The Authority of Nature and Why We Disagree about Human Nature


Elizabeth Hannon is Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Forum, LSE, and the Assistant Editor for the British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. She has taught in Durham University, the University of Leeds, and the University of Cambridge. Her primary research interests lie within the philosophy of biology and she also edits the popular philosophy essay series, theEssays. ; Tim Lewens is a Professor of Philosophy of Science in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Clare College. From 2014 to 2017 he was Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, University of Cambridge. His primary research interests include the philosophy of biology, biomedical ethics, and general philosophy of science. His publications include Darwin (Routledge 2007), Biological Foundations of Bioethics (OUP 2015), Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges (OUP 2015), and The Meaning of Science (Penguin 2015). He was a member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics from 2009 to 2015.