Human Uniqueness and the Pursuit of Knowledge: a Naturalistic Account

In Bana Bashour (ed.), Contemporary Philosophical Naturalism. London: Routledge. pp. 139-54 (2014)
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Despite the widespread acceptance of naturalism in many of the human sciences, discussions of the extent to which human beings are ‘unique’ are still common among philosophers and scientists. Cognitive ethologists and comparative psychologists often defend a standard view of this question by quoting Darwin’s famous claims in The Descent of Man that ‘there is no fundamental difference between man and the higher mammals in their mental faculties’ and that all the differences are ‘differences of degree, not of kind’ (Darwin 1871: 35).
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