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Stephen Downes

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Human Nature

Grant Ramsey, Cambridge, Dec 15, 2023

I haven't had time to read this (I found it at 4:05 on Friday) but the topic is some interest. From the summary in Philosophical Progress: "the author develops a trait cluster account of human nature, which holds that human nature is based on the distribution of our traits over our (actual and possible) life histories." It's an interesting way to get around the problem of essentialism. Some say "since human nature is deeply normative: human nature is about how we should be, not about how we are." Sure, maybe. "We may even hold that we ought to strive in this way. But if human nature is an ideal of this kind, it is an invention." Personally, I think that what is, just is - there's no inherent good or bad about it. What makes it good or bad is how it relates to who we are and what we want to do. It's an open access book (66 page PDF) so enjoy it.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
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