© 2010

Homo Novus – A Human Without Illusions

  • Ulrich J. Frey
  • Charlotte Störmer
  • Kai P. Willführ
  • Reveals the seven greatest errors in the way we view our own species

  • Revisits the Naked Ape employing latest ideas from evolutionary biology, philosophy, and neurobiology

  • Carries implications for a new image of humanity

  • Shines a multidisciplinary spotlight on critical social, political and moral issues

  • Written by leading international experts


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Humans Are Exceptional

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Ulrich J. Frey, Charlotte Störmer, Kai P. Willführ
      Pages 1-4
  3. Humans Are Exceptional

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 5-5
    2. Bernulf Kanitscheider
      Pages 7-18
    3. Volker Sommer, Amy R. Parish
      Pages 19-33
    4. Julia Fischer
      Pages 35-48
  4. We Are Independent of Our Sociobiological Roots

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Christian Vogel†
      Pages 51-63
    3. Robin Dunbar
      Pages 65-77
    4. Julia Pradel, Detlef Fetchenhauer
      Pages 79-92
  5. The Biological Imperative Doesn’t Matter to Us

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 93-93
    2. Charlotte Störmer, Kai P. Willführ
      Pages 95-109
    3. Virpi Lummaa
      Pages 111-126
    4. Rebecca Sear
      Pages 127-143
  6. The Past Doesn’t Echo in Our Heads

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 145-145
    2. Athanasios Chasiotis
      Pages 147-160
    3. Harald A. Euler
      Pages 161-179
  7. Moral, Religion and Culture Are Social Constructions

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 181-181
    2. Kurt Bayertz
      Pages 183-191

About this book


Converging evidence from disciplines including sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and human biology forces us to adopt a new idea of what it means to be a human. As cherished concepts such as free will, naïve realism, humans as creation's crowning glory fall and our moral roots in ape group dynamics become clearer, we have to take leave of many concepts that have been central to defining our humanness. What emerges is a new human, the homo novus, a human being without illusions.

Leading authors from many different fields explore these issues by addressing these illusions and providing evidence for the need to switch to this new idea of man, in spite of understandable reluctance to let go of our most beloved illusions.


Familie Moral behavior biology brain cognitive psychology development ethics evolution evolutionary psychology human evolution idea mind philosophy religion

Editors and affiliations

  • Ulrich J. Frey
    • 1
  • Charlotte Störmer
    • 2
  • Kai P. Willführ
    • 3
  1. 1.Zentrum für Philosophie und, Grundlagen der WissenschaftUniversität GießenGießenGermany
  2. 2.Zentrum für Philosophie und, Grundlagen der WissenschaftUniversität GießenGießenGermany
  3. 3.Zentrum für Philosophie und, Grundlagen der WissenschaftUniversität GießenGießenGermany

About the editors

Ulrich Frey (philosophy), Charlotte Störmer and Kai Willführ (biology) work in an interdisciplinary research group at the University of Giessen, applying evolutionary theory to a broad range of fields. The following authors contributed to the chapters of this book: Kurt Bayertz, Athanasios Chasiotis, Robin Dunbar, Harald A. Euler, Detlef Fetchenhauer, Julia Fischer, Bernulf Kanitscheider, Chris Knight, Virpi Lummaa, Amy R. Parish, Julia Pradel, Gerhard Roth, Wulf Schiefenhövel, Rebecca Sear, Volker Sommer and Gerhard Vollmer.

Bibliographic information