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04: Biology and Human Nature

Seminar / Seminar
in englischer Sprache

This series of seminars will discuss the prospects for an evolutionary theory of human nature, drawing on re-cent monographs on this issue by both Dupre and Sterelny. Neither of us are optimistic about the pros-pects of so-called „evolutionary psychology“, a pro-gram recently defended by Stephen Pinker, and origi-nating in the work of John Tooby and Leda Cosmides. In Dupre’s case, this view of evolutionary psychology is part of a broader scepticism about the prospects of a completely science-driven view of human nature. Sterelny, in contrast, has no such reservations about the role of science in general and evolutionary biology in delivering a full theory of human nature. Rather, he defends a view of human cognitive evolution in which cultural evolution, environmental instability and selec-tion for developmental plasticity are of fundamental importance.


Director, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter Chair

Dr. John DUPRE

Director, ESRC Centre for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter

1982-96 Assistant Professor to Professor of Philosophy, Stanford University, CA
1996-2000 Professor of Philosophy, University of London
2000-03 Professor of Philosophy of Science, University of Exeter


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