Conversations on Human Nature

Left Coast Press
Free sample

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; -conc?ludes? 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.
Read more
Collapse

About the author

Agustín Fuentes is a professor and Chair of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. 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. He has previously held research positions in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, 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.
Read more
Collapse
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Left Coast Press
Read more
Collapse
Published on
Nov 30, 2015
Read more
Collapse
Pages
248
Read more
Collapse
ISBN
9781629582290
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Read more
Collapse
Language
English
Read more
Collapse
Genres
Philosophy / General
Religion / General
Social Science / General
Read more
Collapse
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Collapse
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Collapse

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
The last few decades have seen an unprecedented surge of empirical and philosophical research into the evolutionary history of Homo sapiens, the origins of the mind/brain, and human culture. This research and its popular interpretations have sparked heated debates about the nature of human beings and how knowledge about humans from the sciences and humanities should be properly understood. The goal of Verbs, Bones, and Brains: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Human Nature is to engage these themes and present current debates, discussions, and discourse for a range of readers. The contributors bring the discussion to life with key experts outlining major concepts paired with cross-disciplinary commentaries in order to create a novel approach to thinking about, and with, human natures. The intent of the contributors to this volume is not to enter into or adjudicate complex philosophical issues of an epistemological or metaphysical nature. Instead, their common concern is to set aside the rigid distinctions between biology and culture that have made such discussions problematic. First, informing their approach is an acknowledgment of the widespread disagreement about such basic metaphysical and epistemological questions as the existence of God, the nature of scientific knowledge, and the existence of essences, among other topics. Second, they try to identify and explicate the assumptions that enter into their conceptualizations of human nature. Throughout, they emphasize the importance of seeking a convergence in our views on human nature, despite metaphysical disagreements. They caution that if convergence eludes us and a common ground cannot be found, this is itself a relevant result: it would reveal to us how deeply our questions about ourselves are connected to our basic metaphysical assumptions. Instead, their focus is on how the interdisciplinary and possibly transdisciplinary conversation can be enhanced in order to identify and develop a common ground on what constitutes human nature.
A bold new synthesis of paleontology, archaeology, genetics, and anthropology that overturns misconceptions about race, war and peace, and human nature itself, answering an age-old question: What made humans so exceptional among all the species on Earth?
 
Creativity. It is the secret of what makes humans special, hiding in plain sight. Agustín Fuentes argues that your child's finger painting comes essentially from the same place as creativity in hunting and gathering millions of years ago, and throughout history in making war and peace, in intimate relationships, in shaping the planet, in our communities, and in all of art, religion, and even science. It requires imagination and collaboration. Every poet has her muse; every engineer, an architect; every politician, a constituency. The manner of the collaborations varies widely, but successful collaboration is inseparable from imagination, and it brought us everything from knives and hot meals to iPhones and interstellar spacecraft.

Weaving fascinating stories of our ancient ancestors' creativity, Fuentes finds the patterns that match modern behavior in humans and animals. This key quality has propelled the evolutionary development of our bodies, minds, and cultures, both for good and for bad. It's not the drive to reproduce; nor competition for mates, or resources, or power; nor our propensity for caring for one another that have separated us out from all other creatures.

As Fuentes concludes, to make something lasting and useful today you need to understand the nature of your collaboration with others, what imagination can and can't accomplish, and, finally, just how completely our creativity is responsible for the world we live in. Agustín Fuentes's resounding multimillion-year perspective will inspire readers—and spark all kinds of creativity.
©2019 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.