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Forum Philosophicum

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2011

Truth, Reality and Religion New Perspectives In Metaphysics

Eric Charmetant, S.J.
Pages 59-72

Contemporary Naturalism and Human Ontology
Towards a Different Essentialism

Contemporary naturalism, especially through ethology, neuroscience and cognitive science, challenges the traditional ontological points of reference for determining the specificity of human beings. After illustrating the full measure of this upheaval, I will show the inadequacy of a return to traditional essentialism and will then defend the relevance of a different type of essentialism: an approach to human specificity in terms of a homeostatic property cluster.