Beyond Human Nature

How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind

Jesse J. Prinz (Author, City University of New York)

Overview | Formats

“A loud counterblast to the fashionable faith of our times: that human nature is driven by biology . . . urgent and persuasive.”—Sunday Times (London)

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, Jesse Prinz 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. A much-needed contribution to the nature-nurture debate, Beyond Human Nature shows us that it is only through the lens of nurture that the spectrum of human diversity becomes fully and brilliantly visible.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • March 2014
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34789-0
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 416 pages
  • Sales Territory: USA and Dependencies and the Philippines.

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverBeyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind


Endorsements & Reviews

“From start to finish this book is a fine, balanced, enormously learned and informative blast on the trumpet of common sense and humane understanding.” — New Statesman

“Challenges the tenets of modern evolutionary psychology.” — Wall Street Journal

“Science writing done right.” — Daily Beast

“Sophisticated but accessible reading for the Pinker/Damasio/Dennett set.” — Library Journal

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