Humans and Other Animals

Clarendon Press (2006)
John Dupré explores the ways in which we categorize animals, including humans, and comes to surprisingly radical conclusions. He opposes the idea that there is only one legitimate way of classifying things in the natural world, the 'scientific' way. The lesson we should learn from Darwin is to reject the idea that each organism has an essence that determines its necessary place in the unique hierarchy of things. Nature is not like that: it is not organized in a single system. There is no universal principle by which organisms can be sorted into species; still less is there any unique way of classifying kinds of humans. We are obliged to accept that different classificatory schemes are valid for different purposes, and therefore to take a pluralistic view of biology and the human sciences. These provocative and readable essays move on to discuss a set of contentious topics relating to human nature. To start with, Dupré argues that the concept of a universal human nature should be rejected. He questions the relevance of evolution to explanation of human behaviour, and casts doubt on the concept of normality in human behaviour. He shows that misunderstanding of biology and evolution has led to widespread misconceptions about human sex and gender - in particular, about sexual behaviour and gender roles. The book concludes with a pair of essays about the differences between humans and animals - which may not be quite so clear-cut as we think.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 9780199247103  
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 12,047
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Oscar Horta (2010). What is Speciesism? Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 23 (3):243-266.

View all 14 citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

3 ( #307,641 of 1,101,646 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #191,839 of 1,101,646 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.