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Fundación Santillana Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes


The Human Nature

Jesús Mosterín

What does it mean to be human? According to Kant, all philosophical issues can be reduced to this one question. However philosophical anthropology wasn't able to take flight, lacking any type of information on human nature. Now the situation has changed and in recent years we have discovered many things about evolution, the genome and the brain. For the first time in history we are in a position to start to give a reliable answer to the question of what we are. That is what this ambitious book tries to do, offering a unique synthesis of the most recent science, together with a profound and rigorous reflection.

In The Human Nature, a view of human beings that is coherent, rational, systematic and compatible with the most solid research results is presented, and the author does so brilliantly, lucidly, with good humor. The discussion of human nature has ethical and political implications, making it a highly topical issue which this book takes on serenely with neither subterfuge nor taboos.

Book Details

La naturaleza humana (2007)
Jesús Mosterín
Espasa Calpe

Authors > Jesús Mosterín

Jesús Mosterín
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Jesús Mosterín

(Bilbao, Spain, 1941). He graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid, after which he studied under Hans Hermes at the Institut für mathematische Logik und Grundlagenforschung at the University of Münster.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Barcelona, where he has held the chair of Logic and Philosophy of Science. He is considered to have introduced analytical philosophy into Spain and has contributed decisively to the development of logic and philosophy of science in Spain and Latin America. He is currently a research professor at the CSIC Institute of Philosophy, a member of the Pittsburgh Center for Philosophy of Science, the Institut International de Philosophie in Paris, and the International Academy of Philosophy of Science. He has published books including Lógica de primer orden (1970), Conceptos y teorías en la ciencia (2000) and Diccionario de Lógica y Filosofía de la Ciencia (2010), which he co-wrote with the Chilean philosopher Roberto Torretti. He crosses the boundaries between science and philosophy with ease and has collaborated with philosophers and scientists like John Earman, with whom he analyzed inflationary cosmology models in "A critical look at inflationary cosmology"(1999). Together with Thomas Bonk, from Germany, he discovered and edited the only original unpublished work of Rudolf Carnap, Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik (2000).

He has written a global series called Historia del pensamiento, of which nine volumes have been published so far, as well as Aristóteles (2006), Los judíos (2006), China (2007), India (2007) and Los cristianos (2010). He has also worked in the fields of anthropology, philosophy of culture and the theory of rationality with works like Teoría de la escritura (1993), La naturaleza humana (2006), Lo mejor posible: Racionalidad y acción humana (2008) and La cultura humana (2009). As a result of his long-lasting collaboration with naturalist Félix Rodríguez de la Fuente, he has devoted intense efforts to defend the environment and denounce the mistreatment of animals in books like Los derechos de los animales (1995), ¡Vivan los animales!  (2003) and A favor de los toros (2010). These works have led to widespread recognition outside the academic arena. In addition to his research and technical publications, he also works with the media, including the Spanish newspaper El País.


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