​Conceptual Clarity Concerning Human Nature

  • TWCF Number:


  • Project Duration:

    February 1, 2020 - August 31, 2021

  • Core Funding Area:

    Big Questions

  • Region:


  • Amount Awarded:


Director: Daniel D. De Haan

Institution: The Chancellors Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford

Scholars from multiple academic disciplines tackle big questions about what it means to be human. Biologists, psychologists, cultural anthropologists, ethicists, philosophers, theologians: each use different methodologies, but often work towards the same goal. Their diverse approaches lead to specialized debates and conceptions of human nature, both within and between disciplines. Unfortunately, human nature is complex, and different people use different vocabularies and concepts to study it. Discrepancies among them can lead to confusion, making interdisciplinary research particularly difficult.

This project seeks to improve conceptual clarity and consistency in research projects about human nature. To help researchers, institutions, and funders, it will produce a website-based interdisciplinary questionnaire.

Led by Dr. Daniel D. De Haan, the team will include a cohort of experts on their respective field's conceptions of human nature. The questionnaire they create could help scholars more effectively address a wide range of big questions. It aims to do so in two ways. First, it will disclose to researchers an array of conceptions of human nature which they need to address or which might impact their research. Second, it will enable clarity and consistency across research activities on human nature.


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