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Download Beyond Evolution : Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation eBook

by Anthony O'Hear

Download Beyond Evolution : Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation eBook
ISBN:
0198242549
Author:
Anthony O'Hear
Category:
Philosophy
Language:
English
Publisher:
Clarendon Press; 1 edition (November 6, 1997)
Pages:
232 pages
EPUB book:
1703 kb
FB2 book:
1815 kb
DJVU:
1301 kb
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Rating:
4.9
Votes:
590


In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of. .

In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general. Anthony O'Hear is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bradford, and Director of the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Beyond Evolution book. Details (if other): Cancel. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation.

Home Browse Books Book details, Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits .

Home Browse Books Book details, Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits o.in examining this question, I focus on human knowledge, on morality, and on our sense of beauty.

Автор: O& Anthony Название: Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the . Thagard develops cognitive perspectives on the nature of explanation, mental models, theory choice, and resistance to scientific change, considering disbelief in climate change as a case study.

Thagard develops cognitive perspectives on the nature of explanation, mental models, theory choice, and resistance to scientific change, considering disbelief in climate change as a case study.

Academic & Professional Books Evolutionary Biology Human Evolution & Anthropology. Beyond Evolution Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation. 230 pages, no illustrations. 1. Mind and Nature; 2. Immanent and Transcendent Dimensions of Reason; 3. Self-Conscious Belief; 4. Evolutionary Epistemology; 5. Evolution and Epistemological Pessimism; 6. Morality and Politics; 7. Beauty and the Theory of Evolution; 8. Conclusions; Bibliography; Index. Publisher: Oxford University Press.

Anthony O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behaviour in terms of evolution. He maintains, controversially, that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the humanworld.

Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated. All pages and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages include notes and/or highlighting. O'Hear, Anthony is the author of 'Beyond Evolution Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation' with ISBN 9780198250043 and ISBN 0198250045. Acceptable (readable condition). Pages include considerable notes in pen or highlighter, but the text is not obscured. How do rentals work? Rent textbooks. Save up to 90% on the largest selection of textbook rentals in the business.

Anthony O'Hear Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limitation of Evolutionary Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 3. 0 Hbk. MIKAEL STENMARK (a1). University of Uppsala. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 December 1999.

Philosophy of mind Philosophical anthropology Evolution Evolution (Biology) Philosophy Human evolution. On this site it is impossible to download the book, read the book online or get the contents of a book. ISBN: 0763613231 Author: Browne, Anthony, 1946- Publication & Distribution: Cambridge, Mass. Candlewick Press, (c)2000. The administration of the site is not responsible for the content of the site. The data of catalog based on open source database.

In this controversial new book O'Hear takes a stand against the fashion for explaining human behavior in terms of evolution. He contends that while the theory of evolution is successful in explaining the development of the natural world in general, it is of limited value when applied to the human world. Because of our reflectiveness and our rationality we take on goals and ideals which cannot be justified in terms of survival-promotion or reproductive advantage. O'Hear examines the nature of human self-consciousness, and argues that evolutionary theory cannot give a satisfactory account of such distinctive facets of human life as the quest for knowledge, moral sense, and the appreciation of beauty; in these we transcend our biological origins. It is our rationality that allows each of us to go beyond not only our biological but also our cultural inheritance: as the author says in the Preface, "we are prisoners neither of our genes nor of the ideas we encounter as we each make our personal and individual way through life."
  • Hilarious Kangaroo
Science explains more things every day. This fact gives many people the courage to say that everything that is capable of explanation, is capable of scientific explanation, and every mystery is either an ultimately inpenetrable mystery on one that will, at the appropriate future time, be explained scientifically.

Human beings are a species, and hence like all other creatures, a product of Darwinian evolution. This fact has emboldened many to claim that all that is human can be explained by the evolutionary principles of reproduction with mutation, selection, and adaptation. Of course, it is far from true that scientists have succeeded in explaining all human characteristics and behaviors. We do not understand why we have self-reflective consciousness or language, whereas other creatures do not. We do not understand why we can produce science, mathematics, music, art, poetry, and a host of other human achievements that appear to lie so far beyond the requirements of evolutionary success, as exhibited by the rest of the natural order.

Many scientists claim that, although we do not have explanation of such phenomena at the present time, since we are the products of evolutionary adaptation, all these myriad human capacities are necessarily adaptations. And this is the case, whether we eventually succeed in explaining them or not.

O'Hear argues the contrary with respect to three aspects of human achievement: epistemology, morality, and beauty. His epistemological argument is the most cogent, I believe. Why do human being seek truth? The evolutionary epistemologist will say that truth-seeking is adaptive. But, no other species seeks truth. Why is truth-seeking adaptive for us alone? An evolutionary approach to knowledge suggests that an organism will seek truth only insofar as the fitness gains outweigh the search costs. Humans, on the other hand, appear to have an incessant, unquenchable, insistent, drive to understand the world around them. This drive cannot be deduced from evolutionary theory. Indeed, evolutionary theory shows that very often being deluded has a fitness advantage over knowing the truth. For instance, avoided all prey with certain coloring may be fitness enhancing because some such prey is poisonous. But one is deluded concerning the non-poisonous prey with this coloring. The predator species may well remain deluded in this respect during its whole existence, since its inquisitive members have died off it the search for truth. Evolutionists may tell many just-so stories to convince themselves that the drive for truth is an adaptation. But they don't convince beyond their own little circle, I believe.

Turning to morality, O'Hear correctly characterizes Twentieth Century evolutionary biology as holding that humans are selfish, and that morality is either a justification of pursuing selfish ends, or is an artificial overlay on basic human nature, required to keep us civil to one another in complex, modern societies. This opinion follows from the general rejection of group selection by biologists over the past fifty years. O'Hear argues that humans have a distinctive, relatively altruistic, morality stemming from the nature of human consciousness, and that this is therefore not given by the conditions of human selection and evolutionary adaptation.

His argument is that "Self-consciousness looks for recognition and validation by other self-consciousnesses." For this reason, we have empathy for others, and we act in healthy prosocial manners. That this argument is incorrect can be inferred from the existence of sociopathic individuals, who possess all their cognitive faculties, have a sense of self, recognize that others have minds and selves, but care not one whit whether they are recognized positively by others, and care not one whit whether others live or die, so long as they, the sociopaths, get what they want in the world.

The fact is that empathy, sympathy, shame, guilt, and other prosocial traits most humans share are in fact the product of our evolutionary history. This means that the Twentieth century biology to the contrary is incorrect. This is the conclusion of much research that has been carried out over the past fifteen years. It is summarized in a forthcoming book from MIT Press, Moral Sentiments and Material Interests, and there are many relevant articles that people can find reference to on my personal web site.

O'Hear's approach to beauty is to note that once we have a degree of freedom from immediate want, non-utilitarian motivations can affect our behavior and development. O'Hear's argument is cogent, but I was surprised to find the sensory exploitation theory of Ryan and others is missing from his account. The sensory exploitation theory is a quite compelling explanation of why we find beautiful some of the same things that attract birds, bees, and other creatures, and shows that there is a biological continuity in the appreciation of sensory input across the species spectrum. The Ryan thesis may also explain the absolutely stunning fact that there is close agreement on what is an is not beautiful that overrides cultural differences. I remember personally the first time I saw African wood sculptures and Oceanic statues. I was totally transfixed, despite the fact that I had never seen anything like either (they are very, very different, of course) before.

Despite the fact that O'Hear could have made a better argument for beauty had he dealt with the sensory exploitation of neural circuitry, I found myself in basic agreement with his thesis that the sense of beauty goes immeasurably beyond the survival requirements of our species, and obeys a natural dynamic that cannot be captured by survival of the fittest.

I am pretty convinced that evolutionary explanations of human behavior are absolutely central to our understanding. I am also convinced that humans have capacities that cannot now, and most likely never will, succumb to the models of evolutionary theorists, although they may be explained in other ways, both secular and transcendant. O'Hear's book is useful in freeing us to speculate about this "higher" dynamic.
  • Gamba
Anthony O'Hear goes to work with the idea that human beings has a nature, but that they also, to a certain extent, can act unrestricted of this biological nature. But like so many with the same starting-point he fails to show what he means by both the biological restraint and the moral freedom. His examples of instinct in people designed to prove our biological background are nothing but silly. A man responding to insult is one example. But everybody knows that there are many different ways of reacting to insults, from turning the other cheek to killing. So where is the instinct? The other examples are equally silly (A man responding to invasion of his territory and a mother - why leave out the father? - defending her child). ....