Humans And Other Animals by John Dupre

Humans And Other Animals

byJohn Dupre

Paperback | August 17, 2006

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John Dupre explores the ways in which we categorize animals, including humans, and comes to surprisingly radical conclusions. He opposes the idea that there is only one legitimate way of classifying things in the natural world, the 'scientific' way. The lesson we should learn from Darwin is toreject the idea that each organism has an essence that determines its necessary place in the unique hierarchy of things. Nature is not like that: it is not organized in a single system. There is no universal principle by which organisms can be sorted into species; still less is there any unique wayof classifying kinds of humans. We are obliged to accept that different classificatory schemes are valid for different purposes, and therefore to take a pluralistic view of biology and the human sciences. These provocative and readable essays move on to discuss a set of contentious topics relatingto human nature. To start with, Dupre argues that the concept of a universal human nature should be rejected. He questions the relevance of evolution to explanation of human behaviour, and casts doubt on the concept of normality in human behaviour. He shows that misunderstanding of biology andevolution has led to widespread misconceptions about human sex and gender - in particular, about sexual behaviour and gender roles. The book concludes with a pair of essays about the differences between humans and animals - which may not be quite so clear-cut as we think.

About The Author

John Dupre is a Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Exeter.
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Title:Humans And Other AnimalsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.63 inPublished:August 17, 2006Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199247102

ISBN - 13:9780199247103

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI.Kinds of Animals in Everyday Life1. Natural Kinds and Biological Taxa2. Are Whales Fish?II. Kinds of Animals in Biological Science3. On the Impossibility of a Monistic Account of Species4. In Defence of ClassificationIII. Kinds of Kinds5. Is 'Natural Kind' a Natural Kind Term?IV. Kinds of People6. Human Kinds7. Darwin and Human NatureV. Gendered People8. Sex, Gender, and Essence9. What the Theory of Evolution Can't Tell UsVI. Differences between Humans and Other Animals10. The Mental Lives of Non-Human Animals11. Conversations with Apes