Theories of Human Nature


262 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-55111-061-X
DDC 128





Reviewed by James S. Frideres

James S. Frideres is associate dean (research) in the Faculty of Social
Sciences at the University of Calgary and the author of A World of
Communities: Participatory Research.


This book examines 11 theories of human nature, including Darwinism,
feminism, liberalism, individualism, and Marxism, that attempt to
explain why we behave the way we do. Less-modern theories are not dealt
with in detail but are acknowledged, referenced, and placed in proper
historical context. An introductory chapter on essentialism,
materialism, and idealism sets the stage for later chapters. Most of the
concepts and much of the terminology are carefully explained, and there
is extensive cross-referencing throughout the text.

Theories of Human Nature is a refreshing, easy-to-read primer about
human nature and should be required reading for all first-year students,
regardless of their discipline.


Loptson, Peter., “Theories of Human Nature,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 24, 2024,