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Seven Theories of Human Nature Hardcover – November 5, 1987
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About the Author
About the Author:
Leslie Stevenson is Reader in Logic and Metaphysics at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.
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Top customer reviews
The theories duscussed in the book are those of Plato (The Rule of the Wise), Christianity (God's Salvation), Karl Marx (The Communist Revolution), Sigmund Freud (Psycho-analysis), Sartre (Atheism and Existentialism), B F Skinner (The Conditioning of Behaviour) and Konrad Lorenz (Innate Aggression).
The author did a good job of explaining and stating the seven different theories about human nature. The author methodically gives a background of each theory's view of the universe, then goes on to explain the basic theory of the nature of man, followed by a diagnosis of the human condition and finally a prescripion for the ills diagnosed.
The book is clearly written in plain English which enables any intelligent layman to understand and follow the discussion and arguments.
Stevenson further offers strong arguments in his introduction to why the study of human nature is important knowledge. There are different views of history, conflicting views about the universe, different descriptions of human nature, and different views on what is wrong with society and how to remedy problems within it. As a result, humans conclude with different answers to problems.
Furthermore, philosophical views are embodied in human societies and institutions. Some theories become ideologies when a group adopts a theory as a way of life. Also, philosophical theories often offer hope of solutions to human problems. Therefore, Stevenson's book is very insightful to understanding how philosophers attempt to provide an answer to the question on the meaning of life and the types of models which society uses for its values and belief system.
Presentation of Christianity is difficult due to which confessional's bodies view does one use? Seems to gravitate towards the modernistic one which critiques the historical faith given to the patriarchs and prophets and handed down to the church of the apostles by the Incarnate Word and His appointed apostles. Creation and original sin are put over as unreasonable accounts to be thought of as historical. However, much to the author's credit he admits that essential to this view is the prescription which finds its cure to original sin and the breaking of the relationship between holy God and sinful human to be God's doing--incarnation and atonement. These he scoffs as being unrational, but also outside skepticism since the revelation states them as so. Oh so close!
Freedom of the will is still major stumbling block. Statements that rational people still believe in this despite all its glowing problems as people still like the culture it produces. Fact is, many very rational thinkers believe that God's thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and the way to think is to let God metamorphosize our thinking by His Word.
Arrogantly and presumptively assumes in many places (e.g. in Lorenz' section especially) that the fossil collection in possession is certain factual evidence for evolution. Notice that the years have not been kind to such as these who want to jump to conclusions when all the judging of the evidence is not in.
Enjoyed his analysis overall much. Doesn't profess to even begin to get into the details, just an excellent overall sketch about the diagnosis, prescription for each of the seven. Wish he would have represented historical, orthodox Christianity better. See "Not the Way It's Supposed to Be" by Plantinga as a corrective starting point.