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Human Nature, Anthropology, and the Problem of Variation

Odenbaugh, Jay (2015) Human Nature, Anthropology, and the Problem of Variation. In: UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

In this essay, I begin with an overview of a traditional account of natural kinds, and then consider David Hull's (1986) critique of species as natural kinds and the associated notion of human nature. Second, I explore recent "liberal" accounts of human nature provided by Edouard Machery (2008) and Grant Ramsey (2013) and criticized by Tim Lewens (2012). They attempt to avoid the criticisms of- fered by Hull. After examining those views, I turn to Richard Boyd's (1988; 1999) Homeostatic Property Cluster account of natural kinds which is flexible but detailed enough to avoid Hull's criticisms but also those affecting the more recent views. We then consider what I call the "problem of variation." Fourth, I consider two case studies -- the basic emotions and facial expressions and inbreeding avoidance and incest taboos. I argue that the former is a component of a Boydian human nature but the latter is not. The conclusion is that if there is a human nature, it must be argued for on a case-by-case basis. And, one of most discussed cases thought to be part of our nature is simply not.


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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Odenbaugh, Jay jay@lclark.edu
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Depositing User: jay odenbaugh
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2015 13:01
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2015 13:01
Item ID: 11552
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Anthropology and Archaeology
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Date: 2015
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11552

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