Neither Gods Nor Beasts: How Science is Changing who We Think We are

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CSHL Press, 2008 - Philosophy - 179 pages
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"Being full human requires the union of values and a science-baed awareness of who we are. Human nature is not just words and ideas debated back and forth by theologians and philosophers who lived centuries or millennia ago. Human nature is the realization that humans have evolved a self-awareness, a use of reason to survive, an imagination that gives us values allowing us to live together, an empathy to understand the triumphs and tragedies others experience, and the potential to be creative. We maintain our dreams and ideals while we raise our families and invest hopes in our future as an ever-vulnerable species, stumbling over our errors, ignorance, and prejudices, but enjoying our capability to visit the moon and neighboring planets, describe the double helix of DNA, produce theories of relativity and the quantum atom, and compose Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Dostoevsky's Crothers Karamazov, Van Gogh's Starry Night, Michelangelo's David, and Plato's Apology" -- Reverso de cubierta.
 

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Contents

Ch 1 Introduction
1
Part 1 Humanity in a Prescientific Universe
9
Ch 2 Living on Automatic Pilot
11
Ch 3 Between Gods and Beasts
17
Ch 4 Our Negative Image of Our Animal Self
21
Ch 5 Mind Soul Ideals and the Ephemeral
27
Part 2 Confronting and Recognizing Our Biology
35
Ch 6 Biology Becomes Mechanistic and Emerges as a Science
37
Ch 11 Neurobiology Reveals How the Brain Works
97
Part 3 How Should We Perceive Humanity in the Third Millennium
105
Ch 12 The Blank Slate the Human Nature and the Biological Determinism Fallacies
107
Ch 13 Human Nature as Potential for Forming Communities
127
Ch 14 Science Enriches Our Appreciation of the Arts and Humanities
133
Ch 15 Moral Values Bind a Community
139
Ch 16 The Human Condition and Our World Views Change Every Generation
145
Ch 17 Rethinking Science Teaching
159

Ch 7 The Human Body Is Composed of Cells
47
Ch 8 The Body Evolves
53
Ch 9 Most Human Traits Are Determined by Genes Which Are Composed of DNA
65
Ch 10 We Have a Life Cycle and Sexuality That is Genetically Programmed
83
Ch 18 A Human Outlook for the Third Millennium
167
Index
175
Back coverinside jacket
180
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