Most of the reasons for believing in a clear and coherent idea of human nature are in doubt and under fire. The author here attempts to bring together urgent current issues in a number of fields which bear on the understanding of human nature: psychoanalysis, Darwinism, ideology and postmodernism. He was invited to the University of Manitoba as a 'Distinguished Visitor' to give public lectures across the whole range of his scholarship and clinical work. He has brought these wide-ranging talks together with others originally presented as seminar papers in specialist academic settings. The result is an unusual combination of general and scholarly explorations in a number of disciplines which are relevant to how we think about human nature in a time of deep uncertainty: psychoanalysis, history of ideas, sociology of knowledge, psychology, psychiatry, philosophy of science and cultural studies. His approach is to combat disappointment, despair and pessimism with stoical reasons for hope drawn from the deepest levels of scientific thinking and the understanding of unconscious processes in object relations terms.
Whatever Happened to Human Nature?
Postmodernism and the Subject: Pessimism of the Will
Second Nature: The Historicity of the Unconscious
Is 'Perversion' Obsolete?
New Ideas about the Oedipus Complex
The Cussedness of Psychoanalysis
Science, Ideology and Human Ancestry
We Are All Inescapably Social Darwinists
Publication autumn, 1995 London: Process Press Paperback £15.95
The Human Nature Review © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young - Last updated: 28 May, 2005 02:29 PM