Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

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Introduction: The Many Faces of Human Nature

Agustín Fuentes and Aku Visala

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pp. 1-26

The past few decades have seen an unprecedented surge of empirical and philosophical research on 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...

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1. Off Human Nature

Jonathan Marks

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pp. 27-40

What I would like to do is articulate an anthropological position on human nature that is not official—there’s no statement on human nature by the American Anthropological Association—but that I think is the most consistent with modern understandings derived from contemporary...

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Response I. On Your Marks ... Get Set, We’re Off Human Nature

James M. Calcagno

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pp. 41-48

I have long admired the extraordinary ability of Jonathan Marks to convey ideas in ways that can turn an initially astonishing comment into something so logical and unsurprising. Although I have given numerous classroom lectures on some of the key issues covered in his essay, his comments...

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Response II. Rethinking Human Nature: Comments on Jonathan Marks’s Anti-Essentialism

Phillip R. Sloan

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pp. 49-57

Jonathan Marks has given us a provocative and controversial discussion of a concept that has played, and continues to play, a major role in post-seventeenth- century science, philosophy, politics, and theology. Generally, he is concerned with the question of whether it is meaningful to...

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Response III. Off Human Nature and On Human Culture: The Importance of the Concept of Culture to Science and Society

Robert Sussman and Linda Sussman

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pp. 58-70

In the early 1900s, the eugenics movement in the United States and Western Europe had divided the world into fit and unfit individuals. Western Europeans and those Europeans who had first migrated to the United States were the most fit. The unfit were peoples from other countries, as...

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2. “To Human” Is a Verb

Tim Ingold

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pp. 71-87

The time is July 1885, the place Mount McGregor, to which the eighteenth president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, has retired to write his memoirs. On his deathbed, unable to speak because of the throat cancer that was killing him, Grant penciled the following note to his doctor...

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Response I. Free and Easy Wandering: Humans, Humane Education, and Designing in Harmony with the Nature of the Way

Susan D. Blum

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pp. 88-95

Almost thirty years ago I wrote a master’s thesis in Chinese literature titled “Of Motion and Metaphor: The Theme of Kinesis in Zhuangzi.” Somewhere in the many boxes that a packrat academic has accumulated is a copy of that thesis. I did find the penultimate version in WordStar on...

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Response II. On Human Natures: Anthropological and Jewish Musings

Richard Sosis

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pp. 96-103

My family loves word games. There is one game, however, that while always enjoyed nevertheless promises to provoke an argument. And it is always the same argument: what is a noun? Duple, as the game is known, requires players to form words that include the specific letters that they...

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Response III. The Humanifying Adventure: A Response to Tim Ingold

Markus Mühling

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pp. 104-113

From a theological perspective, there are at least five decisive points in Tim Ingold’s essay that should be regarded as a common basis of departure for interdisciplinary anthropological research.
1. Persons are relational entities. Human personality is shaped in reciprocally constitutive...

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Response IV. The Ontogenesis of Human Moral Becoming

Darcia Narvaez

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pp. 114-122

“Human beings do not create societies but, living socially, create themselves and one another,” Ingold writes. Indeed, converging empirical evidence from across the neurobiological and developmental sciences indicates that humans are dynamic systems whose initial beginnings influence...

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3. Recognizing the Complexity of Personhood: Complex Emergent Developmental Linguistic Relational Neurophysiologicalism

Warren Brown and Brad D. Strawn

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pp. 123-139

In philosophical and theological anthropology (as in other fields), theoretical positions are typically expressed by short descriptive labels.1 For example, theories about the nature of persons with reference to embodiment are designated by labels such as body-mind dualism (or body-soul...

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Response I. “Self-Organizing Personhood” and Many Loose Ends

Lluis Oviedo

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pp. 140-147

Developing models of human nature is not an easy task. It is easy to fall into reductive positions, which are unable to account for complex processes, or to get lost amid a broad set of variables of unpredictable outline. With great skill Warren Brown and Brad Strawn avoid both dangers and...

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Response II. A Last Hurrah for Dualism?

Kelly James Clark

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pp. 148-154

I would like to focus on just two paragraphs in the first section of Brown and Strawn’s essay, where the authors make a number of claims about human nature. The remainder of their essay is a complex and learned defense of a kind of nonreductive materialism (which may actually be a...

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Response III. Why the Foundational Question about Human Nature Is Open and Empirical

Carl Gillett

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pp. 155-164

Philosophers have long debated what I term the “Foundational Question” about human nature: What deeper kind of thing are we? Or, put another way, what kind of individual is a human? Recently, scientific and wider debates over human nature have flared to life. One might expect these...

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4. Human Origins and the Emergence of a Distinctively Human Imagination: Theology and the Archaeology of Personhood

J. Wentzel van Huyssteen

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pp. 165-189

For a philosophical theologian deeply committed to interdisciplinary dialogue with the sciences, the privilege of being directly involved with the intriguing issue of human origins for the past few years has been both enriching and an extraordinary challenge. Most important, I have learned...

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Response I. Constructing the Face, Creating the Collective: Neolithic Mediation of Personhood

Ian Kuijt

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pp. 190-198

There is nothing more visual, recognizable, powerful, indeed even individual and personal than the human face. With only a few exceptions, such as identical twins, each human face is unique, serves as a visual signature to others, and exists as a material manifestation of individuality...

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Response II. Imago Dei and the Glabrous Ape

Douglas Hedley

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pp. 199-216

C. S. Lewis declares, “Man’s conquest of Nature [one might say in this context, human nature] turns out, in the moment of its consummation, to be Nature’s conquest of Man.” What is a human being? We are rational animals and as such exceptional: we seem a species apart, uniquely one...

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5. What Is Human Nature For?

Grant Ramsey

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pp. 217-230

During the battle of Iwo Jima in June 1944, Private First Class Jackylin Harold Lucas and three other U.S. Marines came under attack while making their way along a ravine. Upon seeing two grenades thrown near the soldiers, Lucas dove onto one grenade and pulled the other under his...

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Response I. The Difficulties of Forsaking Normativity

Neil Arner

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pp. 231-239

I applaud Grant Ramsey’s affirmation that human nature is both a valid subject of scientific investigation and a relevant consideration in the process of making sound ethical judgments. His own conception of human nature as the pattern of clustered antecedent-consequent traits across...

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Response II. Some Remarks on Human Nature and Naturalism

Aku Visala

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pp. 240-247

First, I would like to thank Grant Ramsey for his highly interesting and original view on what human nature might mean. In what follows, I briefly comment on some aspects of Ramsey’s view that I find persuasive and useful. As will soon become clear, I am sympathetic to Ramsey’s view...

Epilogues

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Putting Evolutionary Theory to Work in Investigating Human Nature(s)

Agustín Fuentes

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pp. 248-259

One of the main roadblocks to getting a full suite of disciplines to effectively engage on the topic of human nature(s) is the failure to sincerely read across areas and reasoning strategies. A substantial percentage of the researchers thinking about the human and issues of human nature(s) do...

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Moving Us Forward?

Celia Deane-Drummond

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pp. 260-272

Why should we consider a forward movement when considering human natures? The term implies that once we consider the variety of perspectives as outlined in this volume there may be some tentative conclusions that can be reached about where intellectual discourse needs to go next...

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List of Contributors

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pp. 273-279

n is Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the integration of natural law and divine command forms of Christian ethics, the contemporary theological relevance of early modern thought, the prospects for a Protestant recovery of natural...

Index

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pp. 280-293