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The Study of Human Nature: A Reader

Leslie Stevenson, ed. (Oxford University Press: November 1999), 336 pages.

This unique anthology provides an introduction to a wide variety of views on human nature. Drawing from diverse cultures over three millennia, Leslie Stevenson has chosen selections ranging from ancient religious texts up to contemporary theories based on evolutionary science. The second edition of The Study of Human Nature offers substantial selections illustrating the perspectives discussed in Ten Theories of Human Nature, — the Bible, Hinduism, Confucianism, Plato, Kant, Marx, Freud, Sartre, B.F. Skinner’s behaviorism, and Konrad Lorenz’s ethnological diagnosis of human aggression. The Islamic tradition and 17th-18th century philosophers Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, and Rousseau are also represented. Selections from Rousseau, J.S. Mill, and Nancy Holmstrom raise feminist issues, and Henry Bracken’s paper deals with racial issues. Examples from E.O. Wilson’s sociobiology and his critics are also included, together with Chomsky and recent examples from evolutionary psychology. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Preface
    • THE HEBREW BIBLE (the Old Testament) Genesis 1-3, Psalms
    • HINDUISM: Brihad Aranyaka Upanishad, Katha Upanishad
    • CONFUCIANISM: Mencius, "Human Nature is Good", Hsun-tzu, "Human Nature is Evil"
    • PLATO: Republic
    • CHRISTIANITY (the New Testament)
    • St. Paul, Letter to the Romans
    • St. Paul, First Letter to the Corinthians
    • ISLAM: Ayatullah Murtaza Mutahhari, "Man and Faith"
    • RENÉ DESCARTES: Discourse on Method
    • THOMAS HOBBES: Leviathan
    • DAVID HUME: Treatise of Human Nature
    • IMMANUEL KANT: Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason
    • KARL MARX: The Materialist Theory of History, Consciousness and the Division of Labour
    • JOHN STUART MILL: The Subjection of Women
    • CHARLES DARWIN: The Descent of Man
    • SIGMUND FREUD B.A. Farrell, "A Reconstruction of Freud’s Mature Theory"
    • JEAN-PAUL SARTRE: Existentialism and Humanism
    • B.F. SKINNER: About Behaviorism
    • KONRAD LORENZ: On Aggression
    • NOAM CHOMSKY: "Language and the Human Mind"
    • HENRY M. BRACKEN: "Essence, Accident and Race"
    • EDWARD D. WILSON: On Human Nature
    • NANCY HOLMSTROM: "Do Women Have a Distinct Nature?"
    • STEVEN ROSE, RICHARD LEWONTIN, AND LEON J. KAMIN: Not in our Genes: Biology, Ideology and Human Nature
    • MATT RIDLEY: The Origins of Virtue