Download e-book for kindle: Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits of by Anthony O'Hear

By Anthony O'Hear

ISBN-10: 0198250045

ISBN-13: 9780198250043

During this arguable publication O'Hear takes a stand opposed to the style for explaining human habit when it comes to evolution. He contends that whereas the idea of evolution is winning in explaining the improvement of the flora and fauna ordinarily, it really is of constrained price while utilized to the human global. due to our reflectiveness and our rationality we tackle pursuits and beliefs which can't be justified by way of survival-promotion or reproductive virtue. O'Hear examines the character of human self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary idea can't provide a passable account of such detailed elements of human lifestyles because the quest for wisdom, conscience, and the appreciation of good looks; in those we go beyond our organic origins. it's our rationality that enables each one people to head past not just our organic but in addition our cultural inheritance: because the writer says within the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the tips we stumble upon as we every one make our own and person means via life"


"O'Hear's wide-ranging dialogue essentially characterizes present struggles in the self-discipline of philosophy and offers, if no longer a compromise, a solution to the main critical debates. hugely recommended."--Choice

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Additional info for Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation

Sample text

In becoming aware that I am a knower or believer, and analogously that I am an agent, I cannot but begin to understand that my beliefs and dispositions are just that—-mine; and that being mine, they are not necessarily in tune with those of others or with the world. In other words, they are not necessarily true or correct; they are but one route through a world apart from me. Once the soul becomes aware of the nature and condition of its own knowledge and dispositions it is led to postulate an absolute standard against which its mental map is to be judged.

We can also speculate that the unavoidability of what Hume refers to as animal belief in body and probability and the rest, and the unthinking and immediate nature of many of our responses to what we perceive as threatening to ourselves or our dependants is due to nature's having done the thinking for us over millennia. These are the beliefs and responses which those who have survived best in the past have possessed. These are the beliefs and responses which have been demanded by and have themselves fostered the flow of human life, expressed and reinforced through a dialectic of instinct and tradition.

In particular, as the arguments of Kant above all have shown, we cannot get to God by means of any form of argumentation which seeks to prove the existence of God by means of discursive argument from empirical or quasi-empirical premisses. In much the same way that a political Utopia is no solution to the dilemma of our consciousness—being itself yet another empirical and hence contingent phenomenon—the end point of any argument from cause or design is itself going to be an entity of which further causal questions can be asked.

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Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation by Anthony O'Hear

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