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Human Nature

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Descartes was wrong: ‘a person is a person through other persons’ Detail from Young Moe (1938) by Paul Klee.

Descartes was wrong: ‘a person is a person through other persons’

Courtesy Phillips collection/Wikipedia According to Ubuntu philosophy, which has its origins in ancient Africa, a newborn baby is not a person. People are born without ‘ena’, or selfhood, and instead must acquire it through interactions and experiences over time. So the ‘self’/‘other’ distinction that’s axiomatic in Western philosophy is much blurrier in Ubuntu thought. As the Kenyan-born philosopher John Mbiti put it in African Religions and Philosophy (1975): ‘I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am.’ We know from everyday experience that a person is partly forged in the crucible of community. Yet the notion of a fluctuating and ambiguous self can be disconcerting. Get Aeon straight to your inbox Descartes had set himself a very particular puzzle to solve. Few respected philosophers and psychologists would identify as strict Cartesian dualists, in the sense of believing that mind and matter are completely separate.

Before European Christians Forced Gender Roles, Native Americans Acknowledged 5 Genders – The Indigenous American. It wasn’t until Europeans took over North America that natives adopted the ideas of gender roles.

Before European Christians Forced Gender Roles, Native Americans Acknowledged 5 Genders – The Indigenous American

For Native Americans, there was no set of rules that men and women had to abide by in order to be considered a “normal” member of their tribe. In fact, people who had both female and male characteristics were viewed as gifted by nature, and therefore, able to see both sides of everything. According to Indian Country Today, all native communities acknowledged the following gender roles: “Female, male, Two Spirit female, Two Spirit male and Transgendered.” “Each tribe has their own specific term, but there was a need for a universal term that the general population could understand. The Navajo refer to Two Spirits as Nádleehí (one who is transformed), among the Lakota is Winkté (indicative of a male who has a compulsion to behave as a female), Niizh Manidoowag (two spirit) in Ojibwe, Hemaneh (half man, half woman) in Cheyenne, to name a few.

Society

Human Motivation. Consciousness. Humans as Superorganisms. How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes, and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior Abstract Psychologists and psychiatrists tend to be little aware that (a) microbes in our brains and guts are capable of altering our behavior; (b) viral DNA that was incorporated into our DNA millions of years ago is implicated in mental disorders; (c) many of us carry the cells of another human in our brains; and (d) under the regulation of viruslike elements, the paternally inherited and maternally inherited copies of some genes compete for domination in the offspring, on whom they have opposite physical and behavioral effects.

Humans as Superorganisms

This article provides a broad overview, aimed at a wide readership, of the consequences of our coexistence with these selfish entities. The overarching message is that we are not unitary individuals but superorganisms, built out of both human and nonhuman elements; it is their interaction that determines who we are. Article Notes © The Author(s) 2015. We Are Not Human Individuals. This Video Dispels Every "Nature VS Nurture" Myth You've Ever Heard. The Implications are Profound. Early Bird or Night Owl? It May Be in Your Genes.

If no amount of coffee seems to help you feel fresh and alert in the morning, you may be able to blame your genes.

Early Bird or Night Owl? It May Be in Your Genes

According to a new study by the genetics company 23andMe, the preference for being a "morning person" — someone who enjoys waking up early and going to bed early — rather than being an "evening person," who tends to stay up late at night and desperately reaches for the snooze button when the alarm goes off in the morning, is at least partially written in your genes. Researchers at the company found 15 regions of the human genome that are linked to being a morning person, including seven regions associated with genes regulating circadian rhythm — the body's internal clock. "I find it interesting to see how genetics influences our preferences and behaviors," said study co-author David Hinds, a statistical geneticist at 23andMe, a privately held genetic testing company headquartered in Mountain View, California. [7 Diseases You Can Learn About from a Genetic Test]

Engagement

Emotions. Perception. Social Behaviour. Stereotypes.