Rethinking Human Nature  -     By: Kevin J. Corcoran
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Rethinking Human Nature

Baker / 2006 / Paperback

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Product Description

What is human nature? is a question of perennial interest, one with which artists, philosophers, theologians, and social scientists continue to wrestle. Augustine and Descartes are classic examples of proponents of body-soul dualism; they contend that human persons are immaterial souls. Today, however, the dominant position among philosophers and scientists views human persons as identical with human animals, that is, humans are nothing more than "biological computers."

As an alternative to dualism or a reductionistic version of materialism, Kevin Corcoran proposes a position known as the Constitution View, which suggests humans are constituted by their bodies without being identical to the bodies that constitute them. Although this view can be traced back to Aristotle, it wasn't applied to persons and bodies until the twentieth century. Corcoran situates the Constitution View theologically and philosophically, arguing for the view's moral relevance by developing an ethic of compassion and care---exemplified in discussion of implications for genetic and reproductive technologies---and demonstrating the theological superiority of the Constitution View over dualism by showing its connection to the Christian doctrine of the resurrection.

This book will be useful for provoking class discussion in a fresh way, especially in theological anthropology, philosophy of religion, and ethics courses.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 160
Vendor: Baker
Publication Date: 2006
Dimensions: 8.5 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0801027802
ISBN-13: 9780801027802
Availability: Available to ship on or about 08/23/14.
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Publisher's Description

What are we as human persons? Are we immaterial souls capable of disembodied existence or merely animals destined to dust? For centuries, scholars have debated this issue, and that debate continues today.

But the question of human nature can no longer remain a topic for discussion within the hallowed halls of the academy. End-of-life ethical decisions, human cloning, fetal tissue transplants, and stem cell research all reveal the urgency and the importance of the question for ordinary people.

Rethinking Human Nature offers a fascinating look at what it means to be human by defending the "constitutional view"--which suggests we are constituted by our bodies without being identical to the bodies that constitute us.

Grounded in Scripture, this book connects the theology and philosophy of human nature with the moral conundrums that confront us at the margins of life.

Author Bio

Kevin J. Corcoran (PhD, Purdue University) is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, specializing in philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and philosophy of religion. He is the author of many journal articles and the editor of Soul, Body, and Survival.

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