The Philosophy of Human Nature

By Howard P. Kainz | Go to book overview

1
The [Difference Question]

In the great majority of animals there are traces of psychical qual-
ities which are more markedly differentiated in the case of human
beings. For just as we pointed out resemblances in the physical
organs, so in a number of animals we observe gentleness or fierce-
ness, mildness or cross temper, courage or timidity, fear or confi-
dence, high spirit or low cunning, and, with regard to intelligence,
something equivalent to sagacity. Some of these qualities in man,
as compared with the corresponding qualities in animals, differ
only quantitatively: that is to say, a man has more of this quality,
and an animal has more of some other; other qualities in man are
represented by analogous qualities: for instance, just as in man we
find knowledge, wisdom, and sagacity, so in certain animals there
exists some other natural capacity akin to these.

—ARISTOTLE, History of Animals

Of course, if apes could speak our special place in the universe
would be imperiled, but the cardinal de Polignac [1661–1742],
for one, felt no real danger to his faith when he approached the
chimpanzee in the glass cage at the Jardin du roi and proclaimed
[Parle, et je te baptise] [[Speak, and I will baptize you]].

—ROBERT WOKLER, The Ape Debates in Enlightenment
Anthropology

-1-

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The Philosophy of Human Nature
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword ix
  • Introduction xiii
  • 1: The [Difference Question] 1
  • 2: Are There Any Distinctively Human Instincts? 15
  • 3: Can Personality Traits and Intelligence Be Inherited? 27
  • 4: Are There Any Significant Sex-Related Personality Charactersitics? 47
  • 5: The Future of Human Evolution 65
  • 6: Is Human Nature a Unity or a Duality? 81
  • 7: Human Freedom 93
  • 8: Human Development 105
  • 9: Maturity 117
  • 10: The Nature of Love 127
  • 11: Philosophy and the Paranormal 137
  • 12: Survival After Death 151
  • Epilogue - Solutions Fitting Problems 167
  • Selected Bibliography 171
  • Index 179
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