Book Review: Is There a Human Nature? by Leroy S. Rouner (ed.)

The contributors to this book explore the subjects of what it means to be human (the first part) and what it means to be humane (the second part) from a variety of perspectives. Each has the goal of discerning whether there is indeed a human nature and, if so, what that human nature consists of. The end result is a fascinating study in the variety and complexity of human existence.

Among the themes explored are the nature of humanity, a primarily Western question, from the perspective of the religions and philosophies of the Orient; the questions of human equality and dignity in relation to race and gender; what uniting factors exist among all human beings; and whether there is some defect inherent in human beings. Each subject is explored in relationship with others and from an unique standpoint.

While I disagree with much of the analysis, all of it makes for fascinating reading and each essay provides some insight one of the most important questions a person can ask: what is a human being?

I recommend this book for anyone interested in philosophy and/or anthropology.