Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Why We Disagree About Human Nature$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Elizabeth Hannon and Tim Lewens

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198823650

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198823650.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 September 2021

Sceptical Reflections on Human Nature

Sceptical Reflections on Human Nature

6 Sceptical Reflections on Human Nature
Why We Disagree About Human Nature

Kim Sterelny

Oxford University Press

David Hull famously argued that the very idea of human nature was pre-Darwinian; once we genuinely embrace Darwin’s insights into unbounded variation and plasticity over time, no robust account of human nature can survive. There have been a variety of responses to Hull’s critique, variously showing that some concept of human nature can be rebuilt in ways consistent with contemporary evolutionary biology. In this chapter, I argue that, in one sense, some of these reconstructive attempts succeed. One can develop a concept of human nature consistent with evolutionary insights into variation and potentially unbounded change. But in a deeper sense these reconstructive projects are in trouble: the cost of making a concept of human nature evolutionarily credible is, arguably, to rob that concept of explanatory salience.

Keywords:   Hull, evolutionary biology, explanation, evolutionary explanations, species essentialism, evolution and human nature, human uniqueness

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .