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ISBN 0-8126-9619-0
ISBN-13 978-0-8126-9619-6

$29.95  paper

192 pages


The Philosophy of Human Nature

Howard P. Kainz
  • Are humans unique among animals—and if so, what makes humans human?
  • Is human freedom a delusion?
  • Do people possess paranormal powers?
  • How do the sexes differ?
  • Are personality traits and intelligence inherited?
  • Can we expect to survive bodily death?

Howard Kainz looks for the best available answers to these and other questions, drawing upon classical and recent philosophy as well as the current state of scientific knowledge. His approach is open-minded and adventurous, and yields some surprising insights.

"The Philosophy of Human Nature is a very rich book, covering many fascinating topics and drawing on empirical research as well as philosophical argument. Professor Kainz works towards showing that reflection about human nature often leads to paradoxes, like his statement that 'child development is an impetus by necessity towards freedom'."

—Wilfried Ver Eecke, author of Denial, Negation, and the Forces of the Negative

"Howard Kainz has produced a well-developed account of what we might call 'philosophical anthropology' in its widest sense. Drawing upon many classical and contemporary sources, he brings these many-faceted issues alive for readers coming to these questions for the first time."

—Anthony J. Lisska, author of Aquinas's Theory of Natural Law

"From heredity to instincts, from evolution to freedom, Kainz's highly accessible style reveals for the reader the many ways in which secular and non-secular conceptions of human nature can be understood. Even if one does not entirely agree with his analysis, his distinctive, interdisciplinary viewpoints illuminate the value that philosophies of human nature can bring to bear on some of the difficult problems that philosophers and non-philosophers must wrestle with today."

—Jeffrey J. Maciejewski, Professor of Journalism and Mass Communication, Creighton University

Howard P. Kainz is Professor Emeritus at Marquette University. His books include Natural Law: An Introduction and Re-examination (2006), Politically Incorrect Dialogues (1999), and An Introduction to Hegel (1991).

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