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tsuomela : human-nature   11

A Thousand Kinds of Life: Culture, Nature, and Anthropology | Dissent Magazine
"In the latest twist in an unusually public academic dispute, one of the world’s most influential and highly regarded anthropologists resigned in protest from the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in late February. In quitting the academy, Marshall Sahlins took aim in part at the work of fellow anthropologist Napoleon Chagnon, whose contentious memoir, Noble Savages: My Life Among Two Dangerous Tribes—The Yanamamö and the Anthropologists, was recently published by Simon & Schuster. But his action is also a skirmish in a much longer and very important debate over what it means to be human—a debate with consequences for the broader public discussion."
anthropology  controversy  human-nature  definition  ethnography 
april 2013 by tsuomela
Government Violence, Human Nature, and The Hunger Games | openDemocracy
"Battle Royale and The Hunger Games are young adult novels in which governments force teenagers to kill each other. Comparing these books to classic works by William Golding and Robert Sheckley suggests that, while becoming more skeptical about governments, we've become more trusting about our own nature."
literature  sf  fiction  human-nature  government  fear  culture  violence 
may 2012 by tsuomela
What explains the ascendance of Homo sapiens? Start by looking at our pets - The Boston Globe
Shipman, a professor of biological anthropology at Pennsylvania State University, draws together the scattered strands of a growing field of research on the long and complex relationship between human and nonhuman animals, a topic that hasn’t traditionally warranted much scholarly discussion but is now enjoying a surge of interest. The field of so-called human-animal studies is broad enough to include doctors researching why visits by dogs seem to make people in hospitals healthier, art historians looking at medieval depictions of wildlife, and anthropologists like Shipman exploring the evolution and variation of animal domestication. What they all share is an interest in understanding why we are so vulnerable to the charms of other animals — and so good at exploiting them for our own gain.
animals  human-nature  history  evolution  psychology  anthropology  dogs  pets 
september 2010 by tsuomela
The Scope of Human Thought | Forum
It is a spectacular scientific puzzle that human beings are the sole species that seems to be able to think and feel beyond the limits of the scale for their species.
human-nature  human-scale  human  mental  mind  cognition  scale  network  thinking  species  animals 
august 2009 by tsuomela
Stumbling and Mumbling: Being on the left
This optimism about human nature, however, seems to coexist with a pessimism about the scope for institutional change....This “human nature-optimism, institution-pessimism” is, if anything (and to simplify), the mirror image of my view.
leftism  future  institutions  human-nature  change  possibility 
july 2009 by tsuomela

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