With over a quarter of a million copies sold since 1974, Seven Theories of Human Nature was a remarkably popular introduction to key points of Western thought. Now completely revised, taking into account the most recent scholarship, and expanded to include Eastern thinkers, Ten Theories of Human Nature is more appealing than ever, with added chapters on Hinduism and Confucianism as well as a new chapter on Kant.
The virtues of the book remain the same, compressing into a small space the essence of such thinkers as Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Jean Paul Sartre, B.F. Skinner, and Konrad Lorenz. Moreover, the authors juxtapose the ideas of these and other thinkers in a way that helps us to understand how humanity has struggled to comprehend its nature. We see, for instance, how Skinner's theories, which assert the primacy of learned behavior, are undercut by Lorenz's studies of animals, which suggest that complex behavior can occur prior to learning. To bring these comparisons into sharp relief, the book examines each theorist on four points on the nature of the universe, on the nature of humanity, on the ills of the world, and on the proposed cure for these ills. And at the same time, we are treated to fascinating analyses of some of the most influential books ever written, from Sartre's Being and Nothingness and Konrad Lorenz's On Aggression, to Plato's Republic and The Bible.
Ten Theories of Human Nature will engage anyone curious about who we are, what motivates us, and how we can understand and improve the world.