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Is there a Human Nature?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2012 (English)In: Zygon, ISSN 0591-2385, E-ISSN 1467-9744, Vol. 47, no 4, 890-902 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Both evolutionary theory and Christian faith have a number of things to say about human beings. Evolutionists claim that humans are animals with a bipedal walk, an erect posture, and a large brain, while Christians maintain that, like everything else, human beings are created by God, but that, in contrast to other things on earth, we humans are also created in the image of God. This much is clear, but do either evolutionists or Christians also claim that there is such a thing as a human nature? Or, even if evolutionary theory and Christian faith do not say so explicitly, should we nevertheless assume that they embrace such a view implicitly? In this essay, I argue that we should give an affirmative answer to these questions. I also try to clarify more precisely what it means to say that something has a nature (i.e., what conditions need to be satisfied for something to be regarded as having a nature).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 47, no 4, 890-902 p.
Keyword [en]
human nature, evolution, philosophical anthroplogy, essentialism, antiessentialism, imago Dei
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
Philosophy of Religion
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-185335DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9744.2012.01300.xISI: 000311393400015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-185335DiVA: diva2:571322
Available from: 2012-11-22 Created: 2012-11-22 Last updated: 2013-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Stenmark, Mikael
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