Who are We?: Theories of Human Nature

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - Philosophy - 301 pages
3 Reviews
What is our nature? What is this enigma that we call human? Who are we? Since the dawn of human history, people have exhibited wildly contradictory qualities: good and evil, love and hate, strength and weakness, kindness and cruelty, aggressiveness and pacifism, generosity and greed, courage and cowardice. Experiencing a sense of eternity in our hearts--but at the same time confined to temporal and spatial constraints--we seek to understand ourselves, both individually and as a species.
In Who Are We? Theories of Human Nature, esteemed author Louis P. Pojman seeks to find answers to these questions by exploring major theories in Western philosophy and religion, along with several traditions in Eastern thought. The most comprehensive work of its kind, the volume opens with chapters on the Hebrew/Christian view of human nature and the contrasting classical Greek theories, outlining a dichotomy between faith and reason that loosely frames the rest of the book. The following chapters cover the medieval view, Hindu and Buddhist perspectives, conservative and liberal theories, Kant's Copernican revolution, Schopenhauer's pessimistic idealism, and Karl Marx's theory. Freud's psychoanalytic view, the existentialist perspective, the Darwinian view, and scientific materialism are also discussed. Pojman concludes with a discussion of the question of free will, ultimately asserting that each one of us must decide for ourselves who and what we are, and, based on that answer, how we shall live.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - DoublePlusGood - LibraryThing

The glaring error of Pojman's book was his leaving out, except for a few pages summarizing Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene" (published in the 70's), the entire field that actually studies the ... Read full review

Review: Who Are We?: Theories of Human Nature

User Review  - Johnesha - Goodreads

Pojman excellently captures the ideas behind several philosophical ideas in this book. It is well written, well structured and easy enough to follow and understand without undermining the philosophers or their theories. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
PLATOS THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE
40
ARISTOTLES THEORY OF HUMAN NATURE
56
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Louis P. Pojman is Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the United States Military Academy.

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