Humans and Other Animals

Humans and Other Animals

3.86 (7 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 to reject 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 way of 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 relating to 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 and evolution 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.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 284 pages
  • 133 x 211 x 16mm | 321g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199247102
  • 9780199247103
  • 1,173,098

Table of contents

I.KINDS OF ANIMALS IN EVERYDAY LIFE; II. KINDS OF ANIMALS IN BIOLOGICAL SCIENCE; III. KINDS OF KINDS; IV. KINDS OF PEOPLE; V. GENDERED PEOPLE; VI. DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HUMANS AND OTHER ANIMALS
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Review quote

REVIEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITION [Dupre's] approach also enables us to say, ina full-blooded way, that sociopolitical concerns affect the content of science and vice versa. Dupre's approach thus seems a promising one towards a rapprochement between factions in the science wars. * Tim Lewens, Mind * REVIEWS FROM PREVIOUS EDITION This is a fine collection of essays: informed, challenging, and provocative. I have certainly been provoked, but there is much to admire in the collection. * Kim Sterelny, Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science *
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About John Dupre

John Dupr� is Professor of Philosophy of Science at the University of Exeter. He was formerly at Stanford University and the University of London.
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Rating details

7 ratings
3.86 out of 5 stars
5 14% (1)
4 57% (4)
3 29% (2)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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