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Species MattersHumane Advocacy and Cultural Theory$
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Michael Lundblad and Marianne DeKoven

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231152839

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231152839.001.0001

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Down with Dualism!

Down with Dualism!

Two Millennia of Debate About Human Goodness

(p.173) 7 Down with Dualism!
Species Matters

Frans de Waal

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the perennial debate about human goodness, addressing questions such as whether human beings are naturally good, where human goodness comes from, whether human goodness is a mere illusion, or whether humans are naturally bad and just pretend to be good. It considers Edward Westermarck's views on human goodness, especially his position concerning incest and sexual aversion, and compares them with those of Sigmund Freud. It also discusses Thomas Henry Huxley's view of the nasty natural world and his attempt to reconcile it with the kindness occasionally encountered in human society, along with the role of morality in the natural inclinations and desires of human beings. It rejects claims that neither human nor nonhuman animals are naturally “good,” suggesting instead that moral behavior is an evolutionary development rather than a human rejection of animal instincts.

Keywords:   human goodness, humans, Edward Westermarck, Sigmund Freud, Thomas Henry Huxley, kindness, morality, nonhuman animals, moral behavior, animal instincts

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