PDF READ Beyond Human Nature How Culture and Experience Shape Our Lives

Presented with a sort of pantomime nature vs nurture rhetorical style that all but overwhelms the occasional good and thoughtful explorations of eg cross cultural differences in thinking patterns A creative if inaccurate hypothesizing of how the human mind operates Particularly in the realm of language this author clearly lacks knowledge The inborn human grammatical instinct has been proven As anyone who has studied Computer Science knows linguistic logic reuires a permanent grammatical reference residing in be it silicon or carbon based the brain This book serves as a great introductory piece for anyone looking to get into the Nature vs Nurture debate The author starts off with telling the story of what human nature was through the eyes of Hobbes Rousseau and Hume and then launches into the pendulum swing between the arguments for and against naturism and nurturism Where this book stands out at the beginning is when the author makes it clear that the argument is not a dichotomy and the arguments have now taken the form of throughgoing naturismnurturism which the Prinz very briefly defines with the help of examples The book is divided into several smaller areas covering ideas from language and learning to ideas of sexuality rationalism and Empiricism While Trying To Keep while trying to keep neutral stance by providing alternate explanations to certain conjectures made by naturists for innnateness Prinz also uses a good amount of empirical studies performed by well known researchers in their fields and introduces a lot of concepts simplified for a reader who is just looking to get into the debate I found many of the chapters insightful but there were times I did find myself wondering if Prinz was nitpicking at certain theories where some of the arguments have been updated and rectified and built upon My

Other Problem With The 
problem with the is when it cites a research but proceeds to use an example of the research not used in the original study The conclusions drawn from these might not be wrong but it did feel a bit straw man at some points one major example being a study conducted by Leda Cosmides which the book wrongfully cites as Linda Cosmides and John Tooby about an innate logic mechanism to detect cheaters of social rules Overall the studies cited are very interesting but for any scholar looking to use this book as a reference material I strongly suggest that ou do not cite this book word for word and look into the actual published research papers instead Despite that I think Prinz manages to construct a very compelling argument against naturism and I would recommend this book to anyone who does not have much background in socialcognitive psychology or philosophy who intends on finding a place to start To be honest I found it interesting I wholeheartedly agree with the premise but rather repetitive and a tad dire Even the bit about language was just of the same and slightly boring and I am a linguist I enjoyed the bit about gender though His arguments often run counter to the pop science of the age but Prinz is mostly right about important things in this book It s encouraging to see a careful and thoughtful philosop. A timely and uniuely compelling plea for the importance of nurture in the ongoing nature nurture debateIn this era of genome projects and brain scans it is all too easy to overestimate the role of biology in human psychology But in this passionate corrective to the idea that DNA is destiny Jesse Prinz focuses on the most extraordinary aspect of human ,
Beyond Human Nature How Culture and Experience Shape Our LivesHer successfully crafting a work like this for the inuisitive layperson Prinz s Book Is A Meditation is a meditation the way our cultural environment shapes our development as individuals and as a species He takes exception to recent naturist research in the field and challenges many theories about innate characteristics I m guessing that if Five fags a day you re a naturistou ll probably like this book a whole lot less than I "did but I found it gave me much to consider about the way in which humans learn and form societies "but I found it gave me much to consider about the way in which humans learn and form societies counter arguments to Steven Pinker s Blank Slate Counter arguments perhaps too strong Prinz doesn t Pinker s Blank Slate Counter arguments perhaps too strong Prinz doesn t human nature but claims it s cont If Wicked Affairs p 2 you care about human beings and our futureou should hope this book is right Mr Prinz is a philosopher and he believes that the nature nurture debate has swung too far towards nature in this era when molecular biology and neurobiology are ascendant This book was written to try and swing the balance back towards nurtureIf nature is a bigger factor then we are all stuck with what we were given at our conception But if Mr Prinz right and nurture is important then we all have the chance at a good life We just need to figure out how to improve our cultural beliefs and institutions so they nurture everyoneThe book covers these topics traits such as intelligence knowledge thinking feelings and moralityFor each topic Mr Prinz describes the arguments and research that support the nature hypothesis in detail Then he systematically pokes hole in every aspect of the arguments and builds the case for nurture Of course he doesn t argue that nature has no effect he s just providing a correction to the current love affair with the idea that everything is rooted in biologyFor example research has shown that intelligence is variable throughout an individual s lifetime and the environment a person is in has a lot to do with how much of that person s potential is expressed There are a lot of interesting ideas in here such as the concept that human emotions like guilt are actually blends of simpler emotions Perhaps guilt is just a blend of fear and sadness and envy is a blend of anger and desireThis uestion caught my interest Do we think in language or in images I feel strongly that the answer is images but I plan on learning about this debate Prinz is the antidote to contemporary analytic philosophy s agoraphobia He presents a unified empiricist picture of mind and language and morality that matches the ambition of Hume and Russell Though Prinz can t match the literary merit of the great empiricists he successfully carries out the project set out in the subtitle of Hume s Treatise An Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects So ou have perhaps heard of the nature vs nurture debate A while back Steven Pinker wrote The Blank Slate on the topic and early on he shared that several peers had said to him some version of why bother with that topic everyone knows now that it is neither entirely nature nor nurture Pinker s response was that everyone says of course it s both but and then they come down on one side or the other I am simplifying of cou. Ature that nurture can supplement and supplant nature allowing our minds to be profoundly influenced by experience and culture Drawing on cutting edge research in neuroscience psychology and anthropology Prinz shatters the myth of human uniformity and reveals how our differing cultures and life experiences make each of us uniue Along the way he shows ,
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Jesse J. Prinz ☆ 4 Summary

RseJesse Prinz who mentions Pinker s book in this one btw does something similar Yes of course our biological nature has an impact buthe thinks we "re a blank slate I m sure he would object to this characterization but he would "a blank slate I m sure he would object to this characterization but he would not object to being described as thinking that his peers have gone way to far in ascribing to biology that which is adeuately explained by sociology Prinz thinks
That The Principal Distinguishing 
the principal distinguishing of humans is their flexibility We can vary our diet our behavior our mating habits and many other attributes of fundamental biological importance and we can do this for no other reason than that we were raised that wayIf ou were to put it s all genes at one end of a spectrum and it s all learning at the other then Prinz is about 90% of the way to the right He does of course admit that there are biological limits to what we can and usually do but the list of what he thinks is culturallearned is long He does not seem to believe that I is very well explained by genetics and thinks instead it is almost entirely environmental He argues against the Chomskyan idea that our language abilities are a specialization and says instead that they are one aspect of a general statistical association ability of our brains He seems to believe the Sapir Whorf hypothesis what language we are most comfortable speaking in influences how we think He thinks emotions are not universal and hard wired but learned being substantially different in different cultures He is uite skeptical about the idea of instinctive non learned moral instincts He concludes with a chapter on sex and asserts that what we find attractive age behavior even gender is shaped by the culture we are raised in the implication being that if anything should be hard wired it s our sex DRIVE AND IF THAT IS MALLEABLE THEN ANYTHING ISBY and if that is malleable then anything isBy large I think he goes too far It may be that ideas about how much the ideal woman should weigh change with the culture but I have it on good authority that no amount of socialization can make a gay man not be attracted to other men The Enlightenment to Great War intellectual race between the English French and German speaking worlds did not seem to suggest that one s native language was much of a determining factor hence the Sapir Whorf hypothesis seems weak There may be lots of things that impact I some of them clearly environmental but the idea that our genes play no role seems as plausible as the claim that our muscular strength is unaffected by geneticsStill there is something useful to be gained in reading an argument taken to its logical conclusion and perhaps slightly beyond If Prinz usually goes too far he is nonetheless able en route to point out lots of flaws in widely shared thinking that goes the other way Prinz s book also gives lots of interesting insights and introduces us to many many intriguing experiments done by others he has clearly read widely and thought deeply about the topics he is writing about The best judge of a book on popular science is not how much one agrees with it but whether or not The Piper in the Wind you are better informed after reading it and Prinz s books easily passes that tes. Hat we can t blame mental illness or addiction on our genes and that societal factors shape gender differences in cognitive ability and sexual behavior A much needed contribution to the nature nurture debate Beyond Human Nature shows us that it is only through the lens of nurture that the spectrum of human diversity becomes fully and brilliantly visibl.