Human Nature is a 21st century description of anthropology, neuroscience, philosophy, sociology and psychology - disciplines that need to be integrated as they are in this book. The topics are essential to understanding human nature, its origins and its problems. You could treat each topic as module of a larger system that develops emergent properties as the modules interact. Each reader discovers the features of human nature in himself or herself and then discovers similar features in others. After you understand more about the dynamics of close relationships, you can look at larger groups. You can continue by applying your insights into human dynamics to governments, countries and international affairs. Other Persona Digital books describe the same dynamics but emphasize different vantage points and concerns.
Being a human is challenging. Human life is a journey through time and space with many obstacles: injury, disease, constant uncertainty, and relentlessly difficult interactions with other humans. Each human is the reincarnation of a long lineage of ancestors. Species memory, perceptual skills, needs, drives, feelings, desires and behaviors are built in and begin operating in utero. Humans evolved from primate ancestors and retained features of mind and behavior that have been present in animals for hundreds of millions of years. Urges, desires, designs, feelings cry out from within and often surprise us as if we were the hosts to wild animals and spirits within that refuse to be identified or tamed.
Rather than viewing society and culture as real things, an observer can recognize that humans live in groups that repeat and modify innate behaviors to produce prolific variations on a few underlying themes that are common to all societies. A smart observer will consider the grouping characteristics of humans and discern basic patterns and problems underlying the apparent complexity of modern civilization. The organization of society begins with small local clusters that link family groups into clans that are more or less cooperative units. Clans associate, forming bands that tend to affiliate with other bands forming tribes, looser affiliations that occupy larger geographic areas. The band-tribal structure emerges from ancient animal groupings.
Human behavior can be understood in relation to the whole spectrum of primate behaviors and social organizations. Humans appear to have an eclectic combination of primate tendencies with elaboration of features such as tool making, symbolic reasoning and spoken language. Linda Stone suggested that: “Primates are a natural grouping of mammals that includes prosimians, tree-dwelling animals such as lemurs and tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and humans. Some of the physical characteristics that distinguish primates from other mammals are binocular vision and the grasping hand with mobile digits and flat nails. Evolutionary trends characteristic of the Primate Order are most pronounced in humans and include prolongation of gestation of the fetus, prolongation of the period of infant care, and expansion and elaboration of the brain. An important feature in the social life of many nonhuman primates is dominance and the formation of "dominance hierarchies."… a dominant animal wins aggressive encounters with others and usually has greater access to resources such as food, water, or sexual partners.“
Patterns of organization, rules, and institutions that regulate human behavior are in flux and will continue to be unstable. As human populations expand and interactions become increasingly complex, innate abilities are stretched and distorted. The ability of individuals to relate to other humans remains limited and limits the effective management of enlarging groups. Managers and leaders do not become smarter as the organizations they lead become larger. It is axiomatic that organizations that exceed a threshold number become dysfunctional. It is matter of empirical study to recognize group size thresholds, and too little is known about the cognitive limitations of leaders.
The book Human Nature is available in a print edition for the USA and Canada and an eBook download that is inexpensive, easy to download to any country.