Human nature

Justin Schwartz jschwart at
Mon Apr 10 11:54:40 MDT 1995

On Mon, 10 Apr 1995, Lisa Rogers wrote:

> What is Bhaskar's (or anybody else's) view of "a core universal human
> nature" ?

Can't speak to Bhaskar, but anyone on this list who hasn't already should
read Norman Geras' Marx and Human Nature--short, sweet, to the point, and
like everything B writes, very sensible. An older book on the subject with
some virtues is by Vernon Venable, Human Nature, the Marxian View.

A logical point about human natures or any other kind. Just because
something has a nature doesn't mean its characteristics are always
manifested no matter whjat the circumstances. Water ia a liquid, but only
between O and 100 C at sea level. People are selfish, but only in
competitive societies or circumstances of shortage. Etc. I m,ention this
because it's commonly forgotton, and forgetting it leads to a notion of
human nature which is either reactionary or a target for post-modern
attacks on "essentialism."

--Justin Schwartz

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