PHIL-519 Human Nature
Fall for 2017-2018
What kinds of things are human beings? Are they competitive or cooperative by nature? Are they naturally disposed toward hatred and violence, love and compassion, or do they simply strive to increase their power? What roles do ‘biological’ and ‘cultural’ factors play in the production of constraints on human excellence and human well-being? These types of questions have long been the bread-and-butter of philosophy, and they are once again coming to prominence in philosophical and scientific contexts. In this course we will examine the extent to which investigations in the cognitive and biological sciences can tell us something interesting about human nature; we will also consider the possibility that such investigations are hopelessly misguided.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor and department chair.
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