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The Cultural AnimalHuman Nature, Meaning, and Social Life$
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Roy F. Baumeister

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167030.001.0001

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Beasts for Culture

Beasts for Culture

(p.3) 1 Beasts for Culture
The Cultural Animal

Roy F. Baumeister

Oxford University Press

This book seeks to give a comprehensive overview of human psychological functioning — desire, thought, emotion, action, and interactions — as well as how these facets affect each other. In order to understand how the human psyche is put together, we need to understand its functions, which is to say, what it was designed to do. This chapter begins by describing the three different worlds in which we live: the physical environment, the social world, and culture. It then discusses: the essence of culture; evolution and culture; the relationship between the individual human being and culture; the biological advantages of culture; and the changes that rendered human nature capable of participating in a cultural society. An overview of the subsequent chapters is presented.

Keywords:   human psyche, culture, human beings, cultural society

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