5 thoughts on “Want to know about being a person? Or being a human?

  1. Yet, they started off with “The question of the nature of the human individual in her relation to the physical world and other people is one of the perennial problems of philosophy.” I got yer “perennial problems of philosophy” right here, menz.

  2. I just came here from the Leiter blog where I saw a book advertised titled “Arguing about Human Nature,” with this list of authors. Hmm, it looks like there’s no scarcity of women writing in this field. From the Routledge blurb:

    Arguing About Human Nature covers recent debates–arising from biology, philosophy, psychology, and physical anthropology–that together systematically examine what it means to be human. Thirty-five essays–several of them appearing here for the first time in print–were carefully selected to offer competing perspectives on 12 different topics related to human nature. The context and main threads of the debates are highlighted and explained by the editors in a short, clear introduction to each of the 12 topics. Authors include Louise Anthony, Patrick Bateson, David Buller, John Dupre, Paul Griffiths, Sally Haslanger, Richard Lewontin, Ron Mallon, and E.O. Wilson. Contributors Rachel Cooper, Nancy Holmstrom, Kim Sterelny, and Elizabeth Cashdan provide brand new chapters in these debates.

  3. Cynthia: I happen to know several people there – they have often collaborated in the past and invite each other frequently for various events in Oxford and elsewhere. This again highlights the fact how networks can unintentionally exclude women. For it is not the case that these men are women-unfriendly or unaware of women who would be suitable keynote speakers. Rather, by inviting friends or people from your network only, women and other minorities fail to get included because they are often not members of such established informal networks. If the organizers had just looked for suitable keynotes, rather than use the strategy they apparently did, they may have ended up with a more diverse line-up. Unfortunately, this heuristic of choosing people (who do we know PERSONALLY who works in this field?) is not very conducive to a diverse and welcoming climate. I would welcome an increased use of the heuristic: Who do we know (from published research etc., regardless of personal encounters) who would be an interesting keynote for this event?

  4. Exercising the principle of charity, I imagine that “these men” is referring to the earlier phrase in the comment above: “I happen to know several people there.” “These” men are the people that the commenter happens to know, if I’m guessing rightly, and not the organizers.

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