What are we made of? In an age obsessed with material interests, it’s not surprising that biologists-not to mention chemists and physicists- have looked to material explanations in their efforts to capture the essence of life. Most of our philosophers, till late, have been no less unequivocal in their belief that our essential nature is materialist to the core. To wit: Every individual seeks to secure his or her material well-being and to incorporate the world into themselves.
If human nature is materialist to the core-self serving, utilitarian, and pleasure -seeking- then there is little hope of restoring the health of the biosphere and resolving the empathy/entropy paradox. But if human nature is, rather, at a more basic level, predisposed to affection, companionship, sociability, and empathic extension, then there is the possibility, at least, that we might yet escape the empathy/entropy dilemma and find an accommodation that will allow us to restore a sustainable balance with the biosphere.
A radical new view of human nature has been slowly emerging and gaining momentum, with revolutionary implications for the way we understand and organize our economic, social and environmental relations in the centuries to come. We have discovered Homo Empathicus.