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–1 vote
While i like non-essentialist approach, i wonder if science can provide a human nature like humans are naturally competitive or collaborative. What would be non-essentialist answer to science's human nature suggestions?
by (910 points)
From the Wikipedia entry on existential anarchism:

Although throughout the 1940s and 1950s existentialism was the dominant European intellectual movement, in the 1960s it was starting to lose its influence in the face of growing negative response. During the 1960s, there would be little or no existentialist movement to speak of, and what popularity it had would become far more overshadowed by structuralism, post-structuralism, and postmodernism, intellectual approaches which are today still widely used in academia. However, existentialism, particularly existential phenomenology, would still remain a significant influence on post-structuralism and postmodernism; one commentator has argued that post-structuralists might just as accurately be called "post-phenomenologists."[29] Like existentialism, these approaches reject essentialist or reductionist notions, and are critical of dominant Western philosophy and culture, rejecting previous systems of knowledge based on the human knower. Since the 1980s, therefore, a growing number of anarchist philosophies, represented by the term "post-anarchism," have used post-structuralist and postmodernist approaches.

Saul Newman has utilized prominently Max Stirner and Friedrich Nietzsche along with such thinkers as Jacques Lacan in his post-anarchist works. Newman criticizes classical anarchists for assuming an objective "human nature" and a natural order, which existentialism also objects to. He argues that from this approach, humans progress and are well-off by nature, with only the Establishment as a limitation that forces behavior otherwise. For Newman, this is a Manichaean worldview, which depicts only the reversal of Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, in which the "good" state is subjugated by the "evil" people. Lewis Call and Michel Onfray have also attempted to develop post-anarchist theory through the work of Friedrich Nietzsche.

However, it is of note that the anarcha-feminist L. Susan Brown has written a work, The Politics of Individualism (1993), that explicitly argues for the continuing relevance of existentialism and its necessary compliment to anarchism. She believes anarchism is a philosophy based on "existential individualism" that emphasizes the freedom of the individual, and defines "existential individualism" as the belief in freedom for freedom's sake, as opposed to "instrumental individualism," which more often exists in liberal works and is defined as freedom to satisfy individual interests without a meaningful belief in freedom. But she argues, like post-anarchists, that classical anarchist theory has asserted human beings as naturally cooperative, and that this fixed human nature presents many problems for anarchism as it contradicts its commitment to free will and the individual. For anarchism to be fundamentally individualist, she argues, it must look to existentialism for a more "fluid conceptualization of human nature."[30] She looks to the works of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir in particular and sees them as being compatible with anarchism.

It is also notable that she argues anarchism does not generally take into account feminist ideas of child-raising. For instance, the idea of raising children existentially free from their parents and educated non-hierarchically by a community, is not often considered by anarchists, and yet radical thinkers from the highly Nietzsche-influenced Otto Gross to existentialist psychiatrists such as R.D. Laing and post-structuralists Gilles Deleuze and FĂ©lix Guattari have argued forcefully that the nuclear family is one of the most oppressive, if not the most, institutions in Western society.

Contemporary anarchist Simon Critchley sees the existential phenomenologist Emmanuel Levinas's self-defined "an-archic" ethics, the infinite ethical demand that is beyond measure and "an-archic" in the sense of having no hierarchical principle or rule to structure it, as important for actual contemporary anarchist social practice. His book Infinitely Demanding: Ethics of Commitment, Politics of Resistance propounds a Levinasian conception of anarchism and an attempt to practice it.[31] The contemporary French anarchist and self-described hedonist philosopher, Michel Onfray, published a book on Albert Camus called The Libertarian Order: The Philosophical Life of Albert Camus (2012).[32]

Maybe do a little research on your own before asking loaded questions? Just a thought.
Also, isn't it possible that science (or Science) is a category that's wholly intertwined with power and those who want to maintain it? Isn't is possible that (especially) well-funded research is used to maintain and extend dominant relationships of economic and political hierarchy? So wouldn't it be rather unsurprising that non-fringe scientists would develop a theory (or set of reproducible experiments) that proved the essential competitive quality of humans (and other animals too)? Just a thought...
First comment is useless since it is not about my question but second comment is a good point since science can easily manipulated. But i don't think possibility of manipulation is enough to counter science's human nature suggestions. I am not asking for a single version of human nature suggested by science that is useful for power, but concept of human nature for science in general.
Personally, I question the whole notion of 'human nature,' as I find it used mostly as a justification and/or the starting point of an ideology someone wishes to push. Apparently, I'm not alone:
My question seems to be different, i asked in terms of genetics etc. But i found an essay named "On the Universality of Human Nature and the Uniqueness of the Individual: The Role of Genetics and Adaptation". I will take a look at it.
I suppose "human nature" is not unlike the rest of "nature" in that it's always changing. Personally, I find myself to be both collaborative and competitive. I had to look up "non-essentialist" just to get an idea of what it means, but it didn't help much.
I just used it for someone who supports this approach:
The wikipedia description was I what looked up, but it doesn't do much for me. I'll stick with my non-answer for now. :)

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