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date: 09 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter asks what the absence of scholarly consensus on the human essence, as illustrated by the many different contributions to this volume, can tell us about the state of psychology and about psychologists in general. Furthermore, it asks how we may be able to move toward such a consensus. It first reviews the different essences (and thus theoretical lenses) in the contributions to each section of this volume, which revolve around the themes of individuality, sociality, and cultural embeddedness. The chapter then outlines what the state of the field signals about the value of broader theorizing, and what changes would be needed in the broader system in order to move from the current fragmented view of human essence toward a truly integrated view. Finally, it considers the question of whether one existing broad and potentially integrative theory—Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution—can serve to connect views of the human essence in terms of individuality, sociality, and cultural embeddedness.

Keywords: individuality, sociality, cultural embeddedness, evolution, existentialism, motivation, self, theory, human essence, morality

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