Faculty Book: Jesse Prinz
Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind
(W. W. Norton, 2012)
In this era of genome projects and brain scans, it is all too easy to overestimate the role of biology in human psychology. But in this passionate corrective to the idea that DNA is destiny, the author focuses on the most extraordinary aspect of human nature: that nurture can supplement and supplant nature, allowing our minds to be profoundly influenced by experience and culture. Drawing on cutting-edge research in neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, Prinz shatters the myth of human uniformity and reveals how our differing cultures and life experiences make each of us unique. Along the way he shows that we can’t blame mental illness or addiction on our genes, and that societal factors shape gender differences in cognitive ability and sexual behavior. Jesse Prinz is a distinguished professor of philosophy at the Graduate Center.
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Submitted on: JUN 18, 2013