Human Nature and Human Interests

Chandran Kukathas

in The Liberal Archipelago

Published in print June 2003 | ISBN: 9780199257546
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599705 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Political Theory

 Human Nature and Human Interests

Show Summary Details


This chapter argues that while diversity may be a permanent feature of human societies, there is a core of human nature which can account for the patterns of human diversity. It defends a philosophical anthropology which asserts that ‘cultural difference is not an essential but only an incidental and transitional attribute of human beings’. Difference is not essential but circumstantial; when circumstances are similar, people will act and choose similarly. Since culture and the historical forms that human life has taken are of no value in themselves, what matters is man, who creates culture and whom culture serves.

Keywords: human nature; diversity; philosophical anthropology; cultural difference; culture

Chapter.  17659 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.