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Video Spotlight on Stephen Stich - Human Nature and Human Diversity

(originally posted on the Rutgers YouTube Channel on Jan 15, 2013)

In an era of globalization everybody talks about diversity, but how much do you actually know about human nature and human diversity? 

Why is there so much diversity in sex and gender, race, diet, morality and norms, political views, religious beliefs, and cognition, perceptions, and emotions? Is this just human nature? Are there any universals in human nature? What explanations are offered by evolutionary psychology; environmental variability and cultural materialism; gene-culture co-evolution and the tribal instincts hypothesis; and social construction theories? Do cognitive and perceptual diversity create impenetrable barriers between people?

How should we respond to human diversity and the moral controversies that specific diversities generate? Should we respond from a position of moral objectivity, cultural relativism, or moral skepticism? What is the role of reason, emotion, and intuition in moral judgment?

This course is particularly recommended for students who intend to pursue majors or minors in area studies, languages, Anthropology, Art History, Biological Sciences, Cognitive Science, Communication, Comparative Literature, Criminal Justice, English, History, Philosophy Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and Women's and Gender Studies. This course carries credit toward the major and minor in Philosophy.

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