Human Nature by Grant Ramsey
Discuss Grant Ramsey’s new book titled “Human Nature”. What do you think of his trait cluster theory?
Hi all! I am going to begin to read Human Nature by Grant Ramsey and share my thoughts as I read. Please feel free to join along! I would like to create a discussion about it weekly!
I read through the introduction. Here are a few things that stood out to me.
-Ramsey addresses the concept of essentialism in human nature (the idea that there are core or essential traits that all humans have that define us, that we have an essence). He notes that this way of thinking has been widely rejected.
-He refers to a “trait bin” approach that sounds a little like nature/nurture or traits that come from within vs traits that are created by environment/culture.
-He introduces the concept of “trait clusters” as a “distribution of traits over life history”
-He sets us up for section 2 which is expected to validate the concept of human nature and outlines the other sections of the book.
-Other notes that I had regarded “What is interesting and important about our nature?” and the concept of “Enlightening generalizations about our species from popular culture”.
These last two ideas interest me a lot. In my ongoing discussions with my uncle the idea that we are flawed creatures that have self destructive tendencies comes up alot as an important insight into why we have difficulty getting along. My side of that conversation emphasizes the social structures that we put in place so that we can get along on the basis of principles rather than based purely on power.
Applying “enlightening generalizations about our species” is very tempting such as noting the tendency of people to try to gain power over others and to use what ever tactics we can to establish control over our surroundings.
I am curious what you responded to in the introduction as well.