On Human Nature

PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:3-13 (1986)
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Abstract

If species are the things that evolve at least in large part through the action of natural selection, then both genetic and phenotypic variability are essential to biological species. If all species are variable, then Homo sapiens must be variable. Hence, it is very unlikely that the human species as a biological species can be characterized by a set of invariable traits. It might be the case that at this moment in evolutionary history, all human beings happen to possess a particular set of traits, but if so, this will be in large part an evolutionary accident. As a result, anyone who proposes to base anything, including ethics, on human nature is basing it on historical happenstance.

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Citations of this work

Against Normal Function.Ron Amundson - 2000 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 31 (1):33-53.
Crossing Species Boundaries.Jason Scott Robert & Françoise Baylis - 2003 - American Journal of Bioethics 3 (3):1 – 13.
Human Nature: The Very Idea.Tim Lewens - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):459-474.

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