Why ‘Homo Janus’?

Why do I use the term “Homo Janus” for this approach to human nature?

It is to contrast this theory of human nature to various others – such as for example the idea of ‘homo economicus’, the rational utility maximising human so beloved by economists. The ‘Janus’ bit is to emphasise the paradoxical, contradictory, nature of human social instincts.

The Roman God Janus is most often depicted as having two faces, but also sometimes as having four (Janus Quadriphons) – see the picture of the four-sided ‘Janus Arch’ in Rome on another page.

As the theories developed here humans have four basic social instincts – H. Janus seems appropriate.

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