What is the human essence? Although typically viewed as one of the big questions in philosophy, exploring the human essence requires a deep and comprehensive understanding of the human condition and thus social psychological perspectives are pivotal. Advances in social-psychological theorizing and research suggest that humans can be viewed as biological beings as well as cultural creatures, rational reasoners as well as emotional enigmas, moral minds as well as amoral agents.
In this volume, talented scholars come together to present a fascinating array of insight into such topics ranging from evolutionary approaches to social constructivist accounts that essentially deny the existence of a human essence altogether. As such, this volume showcases the various shades of human essence that social psychology has discovered.
Through these novel chapters, edited by Martijn van Zomeren and John F. Dovidio, The Oxford Handbook of the Human Essence expertly articulates both what social psychology can tell us about the human essence, and the astonishing range of perspectives reflected within this field. Consequently, this volume also raises important questions about the future of social psychology and the role of the notion of the human essence.