Posts Tagged ‘Human Nature’

Image credit Tom Morgan Jones


Are humans inherently generous and sympathetic to others?

Is there such a thing as an “instinct for truth” ?

How do people around the world express their emotions?

All these questions are discussed in Darwin’s correspondence. Darwin also writes about the continuity in moral behaviour between humans and animals, evoked  the religious implications of his theory, and the wider significance of human progress in light of the eventual extinction of life on earth …

We have selected 10 letters,  written between 1830 and 1871, to give you a glimpse  of Darwin’s wide-ranging reflections on human nature

Discover what Darwin thought about animal behavior, the evolution of aesthetic taste and moral sensibility, the origin of the human races, and the implications of evolution for human progress … and let us know what your favourite letter is!


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Dr Sophie Defrance has been appointed research associate for the ‘Human Nature’ stream of the Darwin CorrespondenceProject.


Among the areas of interest for the ‘Darwin and Human Nature’ project are:

* The development of Darwin’s theory of human origins
* Ideas about human evolution during the second half of the nineteenth-century
* The relevance of Darwin with respect to racial theory, Empire, gender, and human biology
* The relationship between evolutionary theory, ethics and religion
* The concept of “human progress”
* The role of religion and culture in the foundations of moral behaviour

In extending his theory of evolution to humans, Darwin greatly expanded his network of correspondents, using letters to pursue a wide range of researches.  This blog offers the exciting chance to share in comments and observations made by Darwin and his many and varied correspondents.

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