Download Human Universals by Donald Brown in PDF Format: A Guide for Anthropology and Psychology Students
Human Universals by Donald Brown: A Book Review and PDF Download
Have you ever wondered what makes us human? What are the common traits and behaviors that we share across cultures, times, and places? How can we understand the diversity and unity of humanity? If you are interested in these questions, you might want to read Human Universals by Donald Brown, a landmark book that explores the concept of human universals and its implications for anthropology and psychology. In this article, we will review the main ideas and arguments of Human Universals, introduce the author Donald Brown and his contribution to the field, and show you how to get a PDF copy of the book for free or at a low cost.
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What are human universals and why are they important?
Human universals are the features that are found in all human societies, regardless of their cultural, historical, or geographical differences. They can be physical, psychological, social, linguistic, or artistic. Some examples of human universals are: facial expressions, emotions, language, kinship, morality, religion, music, art, tools, fire, cooking, etc.
The concept of human universals
The concept of human universals has a long history in philosophy and science. It can be traced back to ancient thinkers like Plato and Aristotle, who proposed that there are universal ideas and forms that underlie the diversity of reality. In modern times, the concept of human universals has been developed by various disciplines such as anthropology, psychology, linguistics, biology, and sociology.
The main challenge for studying human universals is to identify them empirically and systematically. This means that we need to collect data from a wide range of cultures and societies, compare them carefully, and eliminate any possible exceptions or variations. This is not an easy task, as there are many factors that can influence the expression and interpretation of human universals, such as environmental conditions, historical events, cultural influences, individual preferences, etc.
The significance of human universals for anthropology and psychology
The study of human universals has important implications for anthropology and psychology. It can help us to understand the nature and origin of human behavior and cognition. It can also help us to appreciate the similarities and differences among humans. By identifying what we have in common as a species, we can also recognize what makes us unique as individuals and groups.
One of the main goals of anthropology is to describe and explain the diversity of human cultures. By finding out what are the universal features of human culture, we can also discover what are the specific features that vary across cultures. This can help us to avoid ethnocentrism (the tendency to judge other cultures by our own standards) and relativism (the tendency to deny any objective or universal standards for evaluating cultures). Instead, we can adopt a more balanced and nuanced perspective that acknowledges both the commonality and variability of human culture.
One of the main goals of psychology is to understand the mechanisms and functions of human mind and behavior. By finding out what are the universal features of human psychology, we can also explore what are the individual differences that result from genetic or environmental factors. This can help us to avoid determinism (the tendency to attribute human behavior to fixed or predetermined causes) and voluntarism (the tendency to overemphasize the role of free will or choice in human behavior). Instead, we can adopt a more comprehensive and dynamic approach that considers both the innate and acquired aspects of human psychology.
Who is Donald Brown and what is his contribution to the study of human universals?
Donald Brown is an American anthropologist and professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is best known for his book Human Universals, which was published in 1991 and has been translated into several languages. In this book, he presents a list of more than 400 human universals, based on a thorough review of the ethnographic and cross-cultural literature. He also discusses the theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of human universals, and offers some suggestions for future research.
Donald Brown's academic background and career
Donald Brown was born in 1934 in New York City. He received his bachelor's degree in anthropology from Harvard University in 1956, and his master's and doctoral degrees in anthropology from the University of Michigan in 1958 and 1964, respectively. He taught at Cornell University from 1964 to 1979, and at the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1979 to 2002. He retired in 2002 and became a professor emeritus.
Donald Brown's main areas of interest are cultural anthropology, psychological anthropology, cognitive anthropology, and evolutionary anthropology. He has conducted fieldwork in various regions of the world, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Nepal, Mexico, and the United States. He has also written several books and articles on topics such as kinship, language, cognition, emotion, religion, art, morality, evolution, and human nature.
Donald Brown's main arguments and findings in Human Universals
In Human Universals, Donald Brown argues that the concept of human universals is essential for understanding human nature and culture. He claims that human universals are not only empirical facts, but also theoretical constructs that can help us to explain why humans behave and think the way they do. He also challenges some of the common assumptions and misconceptions about human universals, such as:
Human universals are not trivial or obvious. They are often surprising or counterintuitive, and they require careful empirical verification.
Human universals are not static or fixed. They are dynamic and flexible, and they can change or adapt to different contexts and situations.
Human universals are not homogeneous or uniform. They are heterogeneous and diverse, and they can vary in their expression or manifestation across cultures and individuals.
Human universals are not isolated or independent. They are interconnected and interdependent, and they form a complex system of interactions and influences.
Human universals are not deterministic or constraining. They are probabilistic and enabling, and they provide a range of possibilities and opportunities for human behavior and cognition.
In Human Universals, Donald Brown also presents a list of more than 400 human universals, organized into 14 categories: language; cognition; society; culture; subsistence; sex; life cycle; emotions; personality; morality; aesthetics; religion; status; violence. He provides examples and references for each universal, as well as some notes on their variations or exceptions. He also indicates whether the universal is derived from biological or cultural sources, or both.
Some examples of human universals from Donald Brown's list are:
All languages have nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, questions, negations, etc.
All humans have the ability to classify objects into categories, infer causal relations between events, use analogies and metaphors to reason about abstract concepts, etc.
All humans live in groups that have kinship systems, social norms, leadership roles, division of labor by gender or age, etc.
All humans have culture that consists of shared symbols, values, beliefs, customs, rituals, myths, legends, etc.
All humans engage in subsistence activities that involve hunting or gathering food resources from nature or producing them through agriculture or animal husbandry.
All humans have sex that involves sexual attraction between males and females (or sometimes between same-sex partners), sexual intercourse for reproduction or pleasure (or sometimes for other purposes), sexual jealousy or rivalry among potential mates (or sometimes among actual mates), etc.
transition to adulthood (with some form of initiation or rite of passage), adulthood (with some form of marriage or mating, parenthood or child-rearing, work or occupation, etc.), old age (with some form of retirement or leisure, respect or honor, etc.), and death (with some form of mourning or burial).
All humans experience emotions that involve physiological reactions, cognitive appraisals, behavioral expressions, and social functions. Some examples of universal emotions are: happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise, etc.
All humans have personality that involves individual differences in traits, motives, attitudes, values, interests, etc. Some examples of universal personality dimensions are: extraversion-introversion, agreeableness-antagonism, conscientiousness-impulsiveness, openness-closedness, etc.
All humans have morality that involves judgments of right and wrong, good and bad, fair and unfair, etc. Some examples of universal moral principles are: reciprocity (treat others as you want to be treated), justice (reward the good and punish the bad), harm (avoid causing pain or suffering to others), etc.
All humans have aesthetics that involve preferences for beauty and ugliness, harmony and discord, order and chaos, etc. Some examples of universal aesthetic domains are: music (with elements such as melody, rhythm, harmony, etc.), art (with elements such as color, shape, texture, etc.), literature (with elements such as plot, character, theme, etc.), etc.
All humans have religion that involves beliefs in supernatural agents or forces, rituals to communicate or influence them, myths to explain their origin and actions, symbols to represent them, etc. Some examples of universal religious phenomena are: gods (powerful beings that control nature or human affairs), spirits (less powerful beings that inhabit natural objects or animals), ancestors (deceased relatives that influence the living), magic (the manipulation of supernatural forces by human actions), etc.
All humans have status that involves differences in power, prestige, wealth, influence, etc. among individuals or groups. Some examples of universal status markers are: age (older people tend to have higher status than younger people), gender (men tend to have higher status than women in most societies), kinship (relatives tend to have higher status than strangers), occupation (some jobs tend to have higher status than others), etc.
All humans have violence that involves physical aggression or harm against oneself or others. Some examples of universal forms of violence are: homicide (killing another human being), suicide (killing oneself), war (organized violence between groups), crime (violating social norms or laws), etc.
In conclusion, Human Universals by Donald Brown is a fascinating and informative book that explores the concept of human universals and its implications for anthropology and psychology. It provides a comprehensive list of more than 400 human universals that cover various aspects of human life and culture. It also discusses the theoretical and methodological issues involved in the study of human universals and offers some suggestions for future research.
If you are interested in learning more about human universals and what makes us human, you might want to read Human Universals by Donald Brown. You can get a PDF copy of the book for free or at a low cost from various sources online. However, you should also be aware of the legal and ethical issues of downloading books in PDF format without the author's permission or payment. You should respect the intellectual property rights of the author and the publisher and support their work by buying a legitimate copy of the book if you can afford it.
Q: What is the main purpose of Human Universals by Donald Brown?
A: The main purpose of Human Universals by Donald Brown is to present a list of more than 400 human universals that are found in all human societies and to discuss their significance for anthropology and psychology.
Q: How did Donald Brown compile his list of human universals?
A: Donald Brown compiled his list of human universals by reviewing the ethnographic and cross-cultural literature on various aspects of human life and culture.
Q: What are some examples of human universals from Donald Brown's list?
A: Some examples of human universals from Donald Brown's list are: language; emotions; morality; religion; violence; etc.
Q: What are some challenges for studying human universals?
A: Some challenges for studying human universals are: identifying them empirically and systematically; eliminating any possible exceptions or variations; accounting for their sources and functions; explaining their diversity and unity; etc.
Q: What are some benefits of reading Human Universals in PDF format?
A: Some benefits of reading Human Universals in PDF format are: saving money and time; accessing the book anytime and anywhere; adjusting the font size and color; searching for keywords and phrases; etc.