oa Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology - A Book on Human Nature : Does the Author Do Justice to Either the Historical or the Human Dimensions of this Theme?, Ron Dultz : book review

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1445-7377



Many psychologists, philosophers, anthropologists, evolutionary scientists and theologians have had difficulty providing a clear, complete and exhaustive operational definition for human nature. This is a slippery and ubiquitous term and many have attempted to formulate a coherent description of what this term represents. Many avoid an explicit definition; some feel human nature is a self-evident phenomenon requiring no operational definition. The term, or concept, is contentious and its protean faces a product of different worldviews including the Cartesian mind-body split; free will and determinism; nature and nurture; the objective or subjective self. Colloquially, human nature is a blanket description of the basic range of normal human behaviours actualised in our daily lives. Cognizant of this diversity, any attempt to address the concept of human nature in a scholarly manner is a commendable one. However, such an endeavour comes at a high price - the risk of sacrificing conceptual and theoretical clarity.

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