An Overarching Framework for Understanding and Explaining Human Nature

Biological Theory 18 (1):63-75 (2023)
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Abstract

This article investigates how we can reconcile conceptions of human nature with biological explanations. Therefore, it discusses essential differences between (neo) Cartesian substance dualism and (neo) Aristotelian substance monism. It argues that only the (neo) Aristotelian conception of the psuchē, as the set of potentialities the exercise of which is characteristic of the organism, is coherent. The question of how we can reconcile this conception with biological explanations is answered by discussing how it can be integrated with Tinbergen’s subdivision of causal explanations into two proximate and two ultimate explanations, and with modern evolutionary theory. The use of the resulting overarching framework is illustrated by discussing its application to empirical phenomena.

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References found in this work

Intentionality.John Searle - 1983 - Philosophy 59 (229):417-418.
The Self and the Body.P. M. S. Hacker - 2007 - In Human Nature: The Categorial Framework. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 257–284.

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