The Human Paradox: Rediscovering the Nature of the Human
Published: October 2022© 2022
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 1020 Pages
Illustrations: 78 b&w figures, 14 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25
1020 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 2.12 in, 78 b&w figures, 14 b&w tables
What is a human being? What does it mean to be human? How can you lead your life in ways that best fulfil your own nature? In The Human Paradox, Ralph Heintzman explores these vital questions and offers an exciting new vision of the nature of the human.
The Human Paradox aims to counter or correct several contemporary assumptions about the nature of the human, especially the tendency of Western culture, since the seventeenth century, to identify the human with rationality and the rational mind. Using the lens of the virtues, The Human Paradox shows how rediscovering the nature of the human can help not just to understand one’s own paradoxical nature but to act in ways that are more consistent with its full reality.
Offering accessible insight from both traditional and contemporary thought, The Human Paradox shows how a fuller, richer vision of the human can help address urgent contemporary problems, including the challenges of cultural and religious diversity, human migration and human rights, the role of the market, artificial intelligence, the future of democracy, and global climate change. This fresh perspective on the Western past will guide readers into what it means to be human and open new possibilities for the future.
Part One: The Human Paradox
1. Where to Begin?
2. Union and Non-Union
3. The Lens of the Virtues
4. The Virtues of Self-Assertion
5. The Virtues of Reverence
6. The Human Paradox
7. Paradox Breeds Paradox
8. The Paradoxes of Self-Assertion
9. The Paradoxes of Reverence
10. Four Families of Virtues
Part Two: The Human Paradox in a Human World
16. Religious Life
"A magnum opus. One of the most original and hopeful contributions to metaphysics in the past few decades and arguably the most sustained argument for humanism ever to come out of Canada. This grand thesis is both up-to-date and enormously inclusive. It aims to improve our world by deepening our confidence in human nature."Jack Mitchell, Dalhousie University, author of The Odyssey of Star Wars: An Epic Poem
"This is an incredibly brave and original contribution, and a first-class example of sophisticated cross-disciplinary synthesis, written in clear, accessible language. The Human Paradox is a modern Guide for the Perplexed, something that is badly needed in a globalized world that has lost its bearings."Merlin Donald, Professor Emeritus, Queen’s University, author of Origins of the Modern Mind
"An imposing work of thought and scholarship … breathtaking in its ambition. It attempts nothing less than to rediscover what it means to be fully human. I believe its impact on those it touches will in some cases be decisive."David R. Cameron, University of Toronto, author of The Social Thought of Burke and Rousseau
"Ralph Heintzman has managed to produce something close to a literary miracle. He has taken the often abstract concepts of difficult but crucial thinkers and transformed them into compellingly approachable prose that is both dramatically eloquent and intellectually reaffirming."John Fraser, Master Emeritus, Massey College, author of The Chinese and Eminent Canadians
"For those uneasy with the Faustian direction of our civilization, this book provides a bracing exploration of how we might re-place ourselves in the world, at once in touch with current evolutionary history and aware that our insights, always partial and subject to correction, depend upon our actual engagement with the world and those with whom we share it."William M. Sullivan, author of Liberal Learning as a Quest for Purpose and co-author of Habits of the Heart
Download the The Human Paradox – Main Works Cited.