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AbstractRecent developments in cognitive neuroscience radically changed the perspective on understanding human nature. For the first time in history many philosophical questions can be placed on scientific, rather than on philosophical grounds. These questions include understanding of the mind, self, free will, religious and cultural beliefs, morality, politics and social organization. Scientific consensus based on these discoveries is slowly being developed and will have far reaching consequences. Evolutionary perspective explains how homo sapiens has evolved, why do we have specific structures of the body, brain, sensory abilities, and how the mind emerges from embodiment and social in teractions. Social neuroscience shows that there is emergent causality: biology determines affective and cognitive abilities, preferences and beliefs, personality, but it is itself influenced by the environment that changes our brains and bodies. All these mechanisms are deeply hidden from ordinary introspection, creating a wrong perception of human nature. Traditional views on human nature are briefly summa rized and radical reductionist inerpretations of neurobiologists presented, comparing humans to a bag of chemicals. Scientific discoveries cannot be ignored, but their interpretation is not so obvious. Problems with describing our mental states and knowing ourselves are analyzed. Treating brains as a substrate that enables partially autonomic mental processes, and identifying oneself with the whole organims rather than some abstract model of self, allows for more optimistic interpretation of
World Without Borders - Science Without Borders. Ed. B. Buszewski, M. Jaskuła, 2012, pp. 181-208.