Verbs, Bones, And Brains: Interdisciplinary Perspectives On Human Nature

Hardcover | January 15, 2017

EditorAgustín Fuentes, Aku Visala

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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.

"Editors Fuentes and Visala have led their contributors in producing a benchmark collection of essays on the contemporary understanding of human nature. Their work engages very different fields of study, from biology and anthropology to theology and philosophy, yet the authors clearly convey the idea that they are dealing with a shared set of questions while making the case for this transdisciplinary approach to the problem. Engaging and accessible, the volume opens up many opportunities for further exploration."  —Robin W. Lovin, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics emeritus, Southern Methodist University
 

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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...

Agustín Fuentes is professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. Aku Visala is a university researcher in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Contributors: Neil Arner, Susan Blum, Warren Brown, James Calcagno, Kelly James Clark, Celia Deane-Drummond, Agustín Fuentes, ...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.9 inPublished:January 15, 2017Publisher:University Of Notre Dame PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0268101140

ISBN - 13:9780268101145

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