That is, are we predisposed to act cooperatively, to help others even when it costs us? Or are we, in our hearts, selfish creatures?
Overview[ edit ] The concept of nature as a standard by which to make judgments is traditionally said to have begun in Greek philosophyat least as regards the Western and Middle Eastern languages and perspectives which are heavily influenced by it.
By this account, human nature really causes humans to become what they become, and so it exists somehow independently of individual humans. This in turn has been understood as also showing a special connection between human nature and divinity.
This approach understands human nature in terms of final and formal causes. In other words, nature itself or a nature-creating divinity has intentions and goals, similar somehow to human intentions and goals, and one of those goals is humanity living naturally.
Such understandings of human nature see this nature as an "idea", or " form " of a human. Against this idea of a fixed human nature, the relative malleability of man has been argued especially strongly in recent centuries—firstly by early modernists such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Charles Darwin 's theory of evolution has changed the nature of the discussion, supporting the proposition that mankind's ancestors were not like mankind today.
Still more recent scientific perspectives—such as behaviorismdeterminismand the chemical model within modern psychiatry and psychology —claim to be neutral regarding human nature. As in much of modern science, such disciplines seek to explain with little or no recourse to metaphysical causation.
Classical Greek philosophy[ edit ] Main article: According to Aristotlethe philosophical study of human nature itself originated with Socrateswho turned philosophy from study of the heavens to study of the human things.
It is clear from the works of his students Plato and Xenophonand also by what was said about him by Aristotle Plato's studentthat Socrates was a rationalist and believed that the best life and the life most suited to human nature involved reasoning.
The Socratic school was the dominant surviving influence in philosophical discussion in the Middle Agesamongst IslamicChristianand Jewish philosophers. The human soul in the works of Plato and Aristotle has a divided nature, divided in a specifically human way.
One part is specifically human and rational, and divided into a part which is rational on its own, and a spirited part which can understand reason. Other parts of the soul are home to desires or passions similar to those found in animals. In both Aristotle and Plato, spiritedness thumos is distinguished from the other passions epithumiai.
By this account, using one's reason is the best way to live, and philosophers are the highest types of humans. Aristotle—Plato's most famous student—made some of the most famous and influential statements about human nature.
In his works, apart from using a similar scheme of a divided human soul, some clear statements about human nature are made: Man is a conjugal animal, meaning an animal which is born to couple when an adult, thus building a household oikos and, in more successful cases, a clan or small village still run upon patriarchal lines.
This type of community is different in kind from a large family, and requires the special use of human reason. Man loves to use his imagination and not only to make laws and run town councils. He says "we enjoy looking at accurate likenesses of things which are themselves painful to see, obscene beasts, for instance, and corpses.
Much of Aristotle's description of human nature is still influential today. However, the particular teleological idea that humans are "meant" or intended to be something has become much less popular in modern times. Aristotle developed the standard presentation of this approach with his theory of four causes.
Every living thing exhibits four aspects or "causes": For example, an oak tree is made of plant cells mattergrew from an acorn effectexhibits the nature of oak trees formand grows into a fully mature oak tree end. Human nature is an example of a formal cause, according to Aristotle.
Likewise, to become a fully actualized human being including fully actualizing the mind is our end.May 23, · Not even those who make a living studying human behavior (psychologists, anthropologists, etc.) can come to a consensus on our inherent nature, but here are 10 facts that suggest we’re naturally a bit more naughty than nice.
A new set of studies provides compelling data allowing us to analyze human nature not through a philosopher’s kaleidoscope or a TV producer’s camera, but through the clear lens of science.
A general answer or suggestion is: all philosophy in a sense concerns human nature, human activities, reasoning, arguments, etc.
But this answer is so general that it is meaningless and pointless. A completely different and irrelevant to this question, is the statement that - all philosophy and all human activities are anthropo-centered.
The science that examines human nature is known as psychology and more recently also neuroscience. The concept of human nature is traditionally contrasted not only with unusual human characteristics, but also with characteristics which are derived from specific cultures, and upbringings.
"Human Nature" is a song performed by American singer Michael Jackson, and the fifth single from his landmark sixth solo album, Thriller. It was originally written by keyboardist Steve Porcaro, based on a conversation he had had with his young daughter Heather after a hard day at school.
By: Brianna Brainard Human Nature & Its Importance to Reading the World Human Nature plays a big and important role in Reading the World. In Chapter 2 from the book “Reading the World” the reading, Mencius: Man’s Nature Is Good brought forth the good things about human nature.