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Human Nature: Fact and Fiction

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Human Nature: Fact and Fiction Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

 

Human Nature: Fact and Fiction brings together a collection of inspiring, thought-provoking and original perspectives on human nature by ten leading writers, scientists and academics.

What do we mean by "human nature"? Is there a genetically determined core of humanity that unites us all as members of a single species? Or is the thing we call human nature a social construct? And how do we explain the mystery of human creativity? Do great writers have an intuitive grasp of what makes human beings tick, or are they merely the mouthpiece of contemporary culture?

It has been claimed that "the greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities" (Edward O. Wilson). This groundbreaking book marks the beginning of a new dialogue between the two. Rather than focusing on the division between them, it shows that the sciences and humanities have much to learn from each other. Points of disagreement remain. Yet there is in this volume a genuine attempt to bridge the gulf that has traditionally separated the sciences and humanities and to reach a better understanding of what it means to be human.

Book News Annotation:

Wells (English literature, U. of Roehampton) and McFadden (molecular genetics, U. of Surrey) and contributors link science and the humanities in this collection of ten essays that address whether human nature is written in our genes or in our books, if science and literature collaborate to define human nature, what biology has to do with imagination, and whether we need a theory of human nature to tell us how to act. Topics of responses include the biology of fiction, literature and evolution, the relevance of the genetic blueprint, the ways the brain can play with truth and survive a predator, the role of culture in biology and imagination, the limits of imagination, human nature and human difference, what science can and cannot tell us about human nature, and the filters imposed by theory.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Wells (English literature, U. of Roehampton) and McFadden (molecular genetics, U. of Surrey) and contributors link science and the humanities in this collection of ten essays that address whether human nature is written in our genes or in our books, if science and literature collaborate to define human nature, what biology has to do with imagination, and whether we need a theory of human nature to tell us how to act. Topics of responses include the biology of fiction, literature and evolution, the relevance of the genetic blueprint, the ways the brain can play with truth and survive a predator, the role of culture in biology and imagination, the limits of imagination, human nature and human difference, what science can and cannot tell us about human nature, and the filters imposed by theory. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

 

Human Nature: Fact and Fiction brings together a collection of inspiring, thought-provoking and original perspectives on human nature by ten leading writers, scientists and academics.

What do we mean by "human nature"? Is there a genetically determined core of humanity that unites us all as members of a single species? Or is the thing we call human nature a social construct? And how do we explain the mystery of human creativity? Do great writers have an intuitive grasp of what makes human beings tick, or are they merely the mouthpiece of contemporary culture?

It has been claimed that "the greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities" (Edward O. Wilson). This groundbreaking book marks the beginning of a new dialogue between the two. Rather than focusing on the division between them, it shows that the sciences and humanities have much to learn from each other. Points of disagreement remain. Yet there is in this volume a genuine attempt to bridge the gulf that has traditionally separated the sciences and humanities and to reach a better understanding of what it means to be human.

Synopsis:

Marrying science and the humanities, this volume brings together a collectionof inspiring, thought-provoking, and original perspectives on human nature byten leading writers, scientists, and academics.

Table of Contents

ContributorsForeword, AC GraylingAcknowledgementsIntroduction, Robin Headlam-Wells and Johnjoe McFadden

Part I:  Is human nature written in our genes or in our books?1. The biology of fiction, Steven Pinker2. Literature, science and human nature, Ian McEwan

Part II:  Can science and literature collaborate to define human nature?3. Literature and evolution, Joseph Carroll4. Human nature: one for all and all for one?, Gabriel Dover

Part III:  What has biology got to do with the imagination?5. The biology of the imagination: how the brain can both play with truth and survive a predator, Simon Baron Cohen6. Biology and imagination: The role of culture, Catherine Belsey7. The limits of imagination, Rita Carter

Part IV: Do we need a theory of human nature to tell us how to act?8. Human nature or human difference?, Ania Loomba9. What science can and cannot tell us about human nature, Kenan Malik10. The cat, the chisel, and the grave, Philip Pullman

Product Details

ISBN:
9780826485465
Subtitle:
Literature, Science and Human Nature
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Editor:
Wells, Robin Headlam
Editor:
McFadden, Johnjoe
Author:
McFadden, Johnjoe
Author:
Wells, Robin Headlam
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Human behavior
Subject:
Movements - Humanism
Subject:
Act (philosophy)
Subject:
Psychology -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Philosophy : General
Subject:
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20060530
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
216
Dimensions:
7.22 x 4.76 x 0.74 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Anthologies
Humanities » Philosophy » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Human Nature: Fact and Fiction
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Product details 216 pages Continuum International Publishing Group - English 9780826485465 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
 

Human Nature: Fact and Fiction brings together a collection of inspiring, thought-provoking and original perspectives on human nature by ten leading writers, scientists and academics.

What do we mean by "human nature"? Is there a genetically determined core of humanity that unites us all as members of a single species? Or is the thing we call human nature a social construct? And how do we explain the mystery of human creativity? Do great writers have an intuitive grasp of what makes human beings tick, or are they merely the mouthpiece of contemporary culture?

It has been claimed that "the greatest enterprise of the mind has always been and always will be the attempted linkage of the sciences and humanities" (Edward O. Wilson). This groundbreaking book marks the beginning of a new dialogue between the two. Rather than focusing on the division between them, it shows that the sciences and humanities have much to learn from each other. Points of disagreement remain. Yet there is in this volume a genuine attempt to bridge the gulf that has traditionally separated the sciences and humanities and to reach a better understanding of what it means to be human.

"Synopsis" by , Marrying science and the humanities, this volume brings together a collectionof inspiring, thought-provoking, and original perspectives on human nature byten leading writers, scientists, and academics.
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