Human nature in a post-essentialist world

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Ramsey, Grant
conference paper description
In this paper I examine a well-known articulation of the skeptical view of human nature, a paper by Hull (1986). I then review a recent reply to Hull by Machery (2008). I show that Machery’s account of human nature is not very useful and is scientifically suspect. Finally, I introduce an alternative account of human nature—the “life-history trait cluster” conception of human nature—which I hold is scientifically sound, pragmatically useful, and makes sense of (at least some of) our intuitions about human (or, more generally, species) nature.