A Developmental Systems Account of Human Nature

In Tim Lewens & Elizabeth Hannon (eds.), Why we disagree about human nature. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 00-00 (2018)

Authors
Karola Stotz
Macquarie University
Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Abstract
It is now widely accepted that a scientifically credible conception of human nature must reject the folkbiological idea of a fixed, inner essence that makes us human. We argue here that to understand human nature is to understand the plastic process of human development and the diversity it produces. Drawing on the framework of developmental systems theory and the idea of developmental niche construction we argue that human nature is not embodied in only one input to development, such as the genome, and that it should not be confined to universal or typical human characteristics. Both similarities and certain classes of differences are explained by a human developmental system that reaches well out into the 'environment'. We point to a significant overlap between our account and the ‘Life History Trait Cluster’ account of Grant Ramsey, and defend the developmental systems account against the accusation that trying to encompass developmental plasticity and human diversity leads to an unmanageably complex account of human nature.
Keywords human nature  developmental systems theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
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

Genetics and Philosophy : An Introduction.Paul Griffiths & Karola Stotz - 2013 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

View all 31 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Our Plastic Nature.Paul E. Griffiths - 2011 - In Snait Gissis & Eva Jablonka (eds.), Transformations of Lamarckism: From Subtle Fluids to Molecular Biology. MIT Press. pp. 319--330.
Developmental Systems Theory as a Process Theory.Paul Edmund Griffiths & Karola Stotz - forthcoming - In Daniel J. Nicholson & John Dupre (eds.), Everything Flows: Towards a Processual Philosophy of Biology. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 00-00.
A Systems View on Revenge and Forgiveness Systems.Tyler J. Wereha & Timothy P. Racine - 2013 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):39-39.
Human Nature and Cognitive–Developmental Niche Construction.Karola Stotz - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.
Introduction: What is Developmental Systems Theory?Susan Oyama, Paul Griffiths, Gray E. & D. Russell - 2001 - In Susan Oyama, Paul Griffiths, Gray E., D. Russell, Kim Sterelny, Robert Wilson & A. (eds.), Cycle of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution. MIT Press.
Natural Moral Process.Paul Joseph Ranucci - 1994 - Dissertation, The Union Institute
DDS: Dynamics of Developmental Systems. [REVIEW]Evelyn Fox Keller - 2005 - Biology and Philosophy 20 (2-3):409-416.
The Nature of Evolution.Alexander Laszlo - 2009 - World Futures 65 (3):204 – 221.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-05-19

Total views
156 ( #44,944 of 2,242,404 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
69 ( #7,882 of 2,242,404 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature