a1 The Ohio State University firstname.lastname@example.org
There is a puzzling tension in contemporary scientific attitudes towards human nature. On the one hand, evolutionary biologists correctly maintain that the traditional essentialist conception of human nature is untenable; and moreover that this is obviously so in the light of quite general and exceedingly well-known evolutionary considerations. On this view, talk of human nature is just an expression of pre-Darwinian superstition. On the other hand, talk of human nature abounds in certain regions of the sciences, especially in linguistics, psychology and cognitive science. Further, it is very frequently most common amongst those cognitive-behavioral scientists who should be most familiar with the sorts of facts that putatively undermine the very notion of human nature: sociobiologists, evolutionary psychologists, and more generally, theorists working on the evolution of mind and culture.
Richard Samuels Professor of Philosophy at the Ohio State University. His research focuses primarily on topics in the philosophy of mind and foundations of cognitive science.