Ten Theories of Human Nature

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ISBN:
9780195120417
Author: Leslie Stevenson; David L. Haberman
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With over a quarter of a million copies sold since 1974, Seven Theories of Human Nature was a remarkably popular introduction to key points of Western thought. Now completely revised, Ten Theories of Human Nature extends and deepens the discussion of the original seven theories, taking intoaccount the most recent scholarship and addressing issues of feminism, relativism, and the limits of the scientific understanding of human nature. In addition, it broadens the cultural and historical range by adding chapters on Hinduism and Confucianism, as well as a new chapter on Kant.As its previous edition, this admirably lucid volume compresses into a small space the essence of such thinkers as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean Paul Sartre, B.F. Skinner, and Konrad Lorenz. Moreover, the authors juxtapose the ideas of these and other thinkers in a way that helps us tounderstand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. We see, for instance, how Skinner's theories, which assert the primacy of learned behavior, are undercut by Lorenz's studies of animals, which suggest that complex behavior can occur prior to learning. To bring these comparisons intosharp relief, the book examines each theorist on four points--on the nature of the universe, on the nature of humanity, on the ills of the world, and on the proposed cure for these ills. And at the same time, we are treated to fascinating analyses of some of the most influential books ever written,from Sartre's Being and Nothingness and Konrad Lorenz's On Aggression, to Plato's Republic and The Bible.Ideal for courses in introduction to philosophy, introduction to philosophical thought, human nature, and Western intellectual history, Ten Theories of Human Nature will engage and motivate students to consider who humans are, what motivates us, and how we can understand and improve theworld.

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