Human Nature

2020-2021 Summer
Natural Sciences

“We struggle to tackle the climate crisis because we evolved to think within our own lifespans”. “When looking at innate capacity for language, we are approaching what some might call human essence”. “Populism taps into ancient tribal sentiments and drives”. “Capitalism aims to take advantage of the self-interest of human nature”. Debates in the studies of humanity have long centred around claiming authoritative knowledge of human nature. Students will learn about categories in which human nature has been described historically. They will examine arguments from the natural and social sciences that appeal to or polemicize about alleged fundamental characteristics of humankind. From biology to anthropology, from psychology to philosophy, students will apply empirical and theoretical ways of inquiry into human behaviour and culture. Student will take a broad look at the human phenomenon, including topics such as behaviour and social norms, gender and sex, rationality and instincts. The module is recommended to students interested in philosophy, theology, anthropology, psychology and biology.

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