Leiðbeinandi: Sigríður Þorgeirsdóttir
Heiti doktorsverkefnis: [Vantar titil]
My project examines the role anthropological assumptions play in social theories and behavior. I argue that such assumptions can become self-fulfilling prophecies. In my research I do a critical examination of the individualist views of “human nature” that have formed the foundation of numerous philosophical and social theories. I argue that these assumptions are often descriptively wrong and that they are normatively problematic because they can lead to policies which promote the behavior initially assumed to be natural. This is a problem for political theories premised upon assumptions of an immutable human nature as the observed behavior of actual humans might be induced by the theory itself: What is presented as natural behavior becomes a social norm.
Observations of how people actually behave could be assumed to protect against unwarranted assumptions about human nature but there is also the possibility that all we are observing is how people are induced to behave in the given social and ideological structures and then we end up with a theory that merely naturalizes and legitimizes the current state of affairs. There is no “outside” from which we can observe human “nature” separated from our social relations and norms.