Review by Choice Review
Malik (formerly, Sussex Univ.) provides a fresh and comprehensive treatment of humanness, interweaving the realms of the science of human nature, evolutionary biology, and the science of the mind into a thorough analysis of this complicated issue. Historical aspects of sociobiology, psychology, and biology and evolution, along with their leading researchers and theorists, are given extensive attention. Scientific investigations and knowledge must be viewed within cultural and social contexts. The relationships between humans, animals, and machines are considered. The author refutes thinkers and researchers who attempt to singularly view humans as sophisticated animals, or as beasts, and human minds as machines, or humans as zombies. As symbolic creatures with language, self-awareness, and social existence, all closely interconnected, the human experience is unlike any other, as is the human mind. Our consciousness and our rationality are vital for the quest for our scientific knowledge and political conduct. The author encourages us to have greater confidence or nerve to see ourselves more as humans than either beasts or zombies. Chapter notes and references (40 pages); 27 pages of bibliography. Appropriate for upper-division undergraduates through faculty. J. N. Muzio emeritus, CUNY Kingsborough Community College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.