23 Apr 2009

Abstract, "Human Nature: An Oxymoron?" Heyd

David Heyd

Human Nature: An Oxymoron?


For Aristotle, the notion of human nature helped distinguish us from animals. And it established what was normal for humanity. However, modern thought (especially with Kant) took a positivistic turn. It conceived nature more scientifically, and it denatured human reason. Thus humans can no longer consider our thinking as what is natural to us. Now we consider human nature as more of a «power of self-shaping or transcendence of one's nature.» Humanity and nature have been torn asunder. Yet, we often use this concept of human nature in moral debates regarding genetic technologies. Heyd will examine such arguments.

Heyd, David. "Human Nature: An Oxymoron?" Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 2003 28(2):151-16.

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