Ten Theories of Human Nature

Ten Theories of Human Nature

3.55 (125 ratings by Goodreads)
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What is our place in the universe? Why are we here? Ten Theories of Human Nature, Fifth Edition, is an introduction to some of the most influential developments in Western and Eastern thought that attempt to answer these and other existential questions. The book compresses into a small space the essence of such ancient traditions as Confucianism, Hinduism, and the Old and New Testaments, as well as the theories of Plato, Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, and Jean-Paul Sartre, and it does so in a way that helps readers understand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. To underscore the similarities and differences among the many theories, the authors examine each on four points - the nature of the universe, the nature of humanity, the diagnoses of the ills of humanity, and the proposed cure for these problems. Not endorsing any one theory, they include critical discussion throughout to encourage readers to think for themselves, along with suggestions for further reading at the end of each chapter.This fifth edition features a new chapter on Buddhism and includes a completely revised chapter on Darwinian theories - rewritten and reorganized in terms of three main waves of Darwinian theorizing about human nature, uncluding evolutionary psychology. Additional changes for clarity were also made to the Historical Interlude, the chapters on the Bible and on Kant's theories, and the conclusion, which was revised to confront more explicitly the perceived clash between Darwinism and theism, and the controversial issues of progress in history, and evolution and ethics.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 270 pages
  • 138 x 208 x 20mm | 299.37g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 5th Revised edition
  • 0195368258
  • 9780195368253
  • 408,328

Review quote

"Ten Theories of Human Nature, to my delight, seems to be a starting point for class discussions, private reflections, and further examination of the theories in general. The authors have hit the best balance possible between accessibility and fluency in their style. I have asked my students often whether they think the text is one they would like me to assign again next semester and they agree again and again. . . . There really is no other better book."--Patricia Turrisi, University of North Carolina-Wilmington"I cannot think of another philosophy text written for the undergraduate on this topic that is as clear, unpretentious, and informative as this book."--Zachary Ernst, University of Missouri-Columbiashow more

Table of contents

INTRODUCTION: RIVAL THEORIES AND CRITICAL ASSESSMENTS; 1. Confucianism: the Way of the Sages by David Haberman; 2. Upanishadic Hinduism: Quest for Ultimate Knowledge by David Haberman; 3. Buddhism: In the Footsteps of the Buddha by David Haberman; 4. Plato: the Rule of Reason; 5. Aristotle: the Ideal of Human Fulfilment; 6. The Bible: Humanity in relation to God; HISTORICAL INTERLUDE; 7. Kant: Reasons and Causes, History and Religion; 8. Marx: The Economic Basis of Human Nature; 9. Sartre: Atheistic Existentialism; 10. Darwinian Theories of Human Nature; CONCLUSION: TOWARDS A SYNTHESIS OF THE THEORIES?show more

Rating details

125 ratings
3.55 out of 5 stars
5 12% (15)
4 38% (48)
3 43% (54)
2 6% (7)
1 1% (1)
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