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Encyclopedia > Human nature

For other uses, see Human nature (disambiguation). Human nature has a number of difference meanings: Human nature Human Nature (film) Human Nature (Michael Jackson song) Human Nature (Madonna song) Human Nature (Australian band) This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated with the same title. ...


Human nature is the fundamental nature and substance of humans, as well as the range of human behavior that is, believed to be invariant over long periods of time and across very different cultural contexts. Look up substance in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) in the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... Human behavior is the collection of activities performed by human beings and influenced by culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, authority, rapport, hypnosis, persuasion, coercion and/or genetics. ... Universals (used as a noun) are either properties, relations, or types, but not classes. ... Culture (Culture from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate,) generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ...

Contents

Brief history of the concept

In pre-modern and non-scientific understandings of nature, human nature is understood with reference to final and formal causes. Such understandings imply the existence of a divine interest in human nature, and/or the existence of an ideal, "idea," or "form" of a human which exists independently of individual humans. Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena and acquiring new knowledge, as well as for correcting and integrating previous knowledge. ... “Natural” redirects here. ... Purpose is deliberately thought-through goal-directedness. ... The Formal Cause, that according to which the statue is made, is the idea existing in the first place as exemplar in the mind of the sculptor, and in the second place as intrinsic, determining cause, embodied in the matter. ... iDEAL is an Internet payment method in The Netherlands, based on online banking. ... Theory of Forms typically refers to Platos belief that the material world as it seems to us is not the real world, but only a shadow of the real world. ...


According to the accepted modern scientific understanding, human nature is the range of human behavior that is believed to be normal and/or invariant over long periods of time and across very different cultural contexts. For the scientific journal named Science, see Science (journal). ... Human behavior is the collection of activities performed by human beings and influenced by culture, attitudes, emotions, values, ethics, authority, rapport, hypnosis, persuasion, coercion and/or genetics. ... In behavior, normal refers to a lack of significant deviation from the average. ... Universals (used as a noun) are either properties, relations, or types, but not classes. ... Culture (Culture from the Latin cultura stemming from colere, meaning to cultivate,) generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ...


The existence of an invariable human nature is a subject of much historical debate, particularly in modern times. Most famously, Darwin gave a widely accepted scientific argument that humans and other animal species have no truly fixed nature. Before him, the malleability of man had been asserted by Jean Jacques Rousseau. For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 - July 2, 1778) was a Swiss-French philosopher, writer, political theorist, and self-taught composer of The Age of Enlightenment Biography of Rousseau The tomb of Rousseau in the crypt of the Panthéon, Paris Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland...


Since the mid-19th century, the concept of human nature has been called into question by thinkers such as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, a number of structuralists and postmodernists. The concept has also been challenged by views such as behaviorism, determinism, and the chemical model within modern psychiatry and psychology, which have tended to emphasize the idea that human beings might conceivably be explained as "matter in motion" in a way that is similar to the rest of nature. Recently the biologist E. O. Wilson formulated a scientific definition. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Marxs theory of human nature occupies an important place in his critique of capitalism, his conception of communism, and his materialist conception of history. Marx, however, does not refer to human nature as such, but to Gattungswesen, which is generally translated as species-being or species-essence. What Marx... Friedrich Nietzsche, 1882 Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 - August 25, 1900) was a highly influential German philosopher. ... Jean Paul Sartre Jean-Paul Sartre (June 21, 1905–April 15, 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, novelist and critic. ... Structuralism as a term refers to various theories across the humanities, social sciences and economics many of which share the assumption that structural relationships between concepts vary between different cultures/languages and that these relationships can be usefully exposed and explored. ... Postmodernism (sometimes abbreviated pomo) is a term applied to a wide-ranging set of developments in critical theory, philosophy, architecture, art, literature, and culture, which are generally characterized as either emerging from, in reaction to, or superseding, modernism. ... Behaviorism (also called learning perspective) is a philosophy of psychology based on the proposition that all things which organisms do—including acting, thinking and feeling—can and should be regarded as behaviors. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... Psychiatry is a branch of medicine dealing with the prevention, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of the mind and mental illness. ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhÄ“, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... Edward Osborne Wilson (b. ...


Metaphysics and ethics

There are a number of perspectives regarding the fundamental nature and substance of humans. These are by no means mutually exclusive, and the following list is by no means exhaustive:

  • Philosophical naturalism (which includes materialism and rationalism) encompasses a set of views that humans are purely natural phenomena; sophisticated beings that evolved to our present state through natural mechanisms such as evolution. Humanist philosophers determine good and evil by appeal to universal human qualities, but other naturalists regard these terms as mere labels placed on how well individual behaviour conforms to societal expectations, and is the result of our psychology and socialization.
  • Abrahamic religion holds that a human is a spiritual being which was deliberately created (ex nihilo) by a single God in his image, and exists in continued relationship with God. Good and evil are defined in terms of how well human beings conform to God's character or God's law.
  • Polytheistic or animistic notions vary, but generally regard human beings as citizens in a world populated by other intelligent spiritual or mythological beings, such as gods, demons, ghosts, etc. In these cases, human evil is often regarded as the result of supernatural influences or mischief (although may have many other causes as well).

Naturalism is any of several philosophical stances, typically those descended from materialism and pragmatism, that do not distinguish the supernatural (including strange entities like non-natural values, and universals as they are commonly conceived) from nature. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification (Lacey 286). ... In ontology, a being is anything that can be said to be, either transcendantly or immanently. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Humanism[1] is a broad category of ethical philosophies that affirm the dignity and worth of all people, based on the ability to determine right and wrong by appeal to universal human qualities—particularly rationality. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In religion, evil refers to anything against the will or law of the god(s). ... Psychology (from Greek: ψυχή, psukhÄ“, spirit, soul; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is both an academic and applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes and behavior. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Ex nihilo is a Latin term meaning out of nothing. It is often used in conjunction with the term creation, as in creatio ex nihilo, meaning creation out of nothing. Due to the nature of this, the term is often used in philosophical or creationistic arguments, as a number of... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... This article is in need of attention. ... This article is about a system of myths. ... Look up deity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The demon Satan In folklore, mythology, and religion, a demon is a supernatural being that is generally described as an evil spirit, but is also depicted to be good in some instances. ... This article is about the paranormal. ... Holism (from holon, a Greek word meaning entity) is the idea that the properties of a system cannot be determined or explained by the sum of its components alone. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Panentheism (from Greek: πάν (‘pan’ ) = all, en = in, and theos = God; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... The image above is proposed for deletion. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... A silhouette of Buddha at Ayutthaya, Thailand. ... Taoism (Daoism) is the English name referring to a variety of related Chinese philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... Western philosophy is a modern claim that there is a line of related philosophical thinking, beginning in ancient Greece (Greek philosophy) and the ancient Near East (the Abrahamic religions), that continues to this day. ... A restored Stoa in Athens. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Baruch Spinoza Benedictus de Spinoza (November 24, 1632 - February 21, 1677), named Baruch Spinoza by his synagogue elders and known as Bento de Spinoza or Bento dEspiñoza in the community in which he grew up. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... For other uses, see Monist (disambiguation). ...

Free will and determinism

The issue of free will and determinism underlies much of the debate about human nature. Free will, or agency, refers to the ability of humans to make genuinely free choices (in some sense). As it relates to humans, the thesis of determinism implies that human choices are fully caused by internal and external forces. Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ...

  • Incompatibilism holds that determinism and free will are contradictory (i.e. both cannot be true). Incompatibilist views can either deny or accept will.
    • Incompatibilist views holding to free will include:
      • Libertarianism holds that the human perception of free choice in action is genuine, rather than seemingly genuine, so that some of our actions are performed without there being any compulsion by internal or external forces to do so (i.e., indeterminism).
      • Thomism holds that humans have a genuine experience of free will, and this experience of free will is evidence of a soul that transcends the mere physical components of the human being.
    • Incompatibilist views that deny free will include:
      • Determinism refers to the logic that humans, like all physical phenomena, are subject to cause and effect. Determinism also holds that our actions stem from environmental, biological, or theological factors. A common misconception is that all determinists are fatalists, who believe that deliberation is pointless as the future is already caused; when in fact most determinists hold the idea that we should deliberate on our actions and that deliberating on our actions is part of the complex interplay between cause and effect.
      • Predestination is the position that God orchestrates all the events in the universe, human and otherwise, according to his will; however he does it in a way that includes the free choices of humans.
      • Biological determinism and social determinism are the views that human actions are determined by their biology and social interaction, respectively. The debate between these two positions is known as nature versus nurture.
  • Compatibilism is the view that free will and determinism coexist. Compatibilist views include:
    • Human compatibilitism is the view that they are compatible because free will is merely the hypothetical ability to choose differently if one were differently disposed according to the physical factors of determinism.
    • Molinism is the view that God is able to predestine all events on Earth because he knows in advance what people will freely choose.
    • Contemporary compatibilists seek definitions of free will that permit determinism.

Compatibilism, also known as soft determinism and most famously championed by Hume, is a theory which holds that free will and determinism are compatible. ... Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ... In philosophical debates about free will and determinism, libertarianism is generally held to be the combination of the following beliefs: that free will is incompatible with determinism that human beings do possess free will, and that determinism is false All libertarians subscribe to the philosophy of incompatibilism which states that... Indeterminism is the philosophical belief contradictory to determinism: that there are events which do not correspond with determinism (and therefore have no cause). ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... Determinism is the philosophical proposition that every event, including human cognition and behavior, decision and action, is causally determined by an unbroken chain of prior occurrences. ... The social environment is the direct influence of a group of individuals and their contributions to this environment, as both groups and individuals who are in frequent communication with each other within their cultural or socio-economical strata, which create role identity(-ies) and guide the individuals self (sociology... A biological process is a process of a living organism. ... Theology is literally rational discourse concerning God (Greek θεος, theos, God, + λογος, logos, rational discourse). By extension, it also refers to the study of other religious topics. ... Predestination and foreordination are religious concepts, under which the relationship between the beginning of things and the destiny of things is discussed. ... Categories: Biology stubs ... Social determinism is the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone determine individual behavior (as opposed to biological or objective factors). ... The nature versus nurture debates concern the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. ... Compatibilism, also known as soft determinism and most famously championed by Hume, is a theory which holds that free will and determinism are compatible. ... David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776)[1] was a Scottish philosopher, economist, and historian. ... Molinism, named after 16th Century Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, is a religious doctrine which attempts to reconcile the omniscience of God with human free will. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ...

Spiritual versus natural

Another often-discussed aspect of human nature is the existence and relationship of the physical body with a spirit or soul that transcends the human's physical attributes, as well as the existence of any transcendent purpose. In this area, there are three dominant views: The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus (breath). // The English word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus, meaning breath (compare spiritus asper), but also soul, courage, vigor, ultimately from a PIE root *(s)peis- (to blow). In the Vulgate, the Latin word translates Greek (πνευμα), pneuma (Hebrew (רוח) ruah), as... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ...

  • The philosophical naturalist position is that humans are entirely natural, with no spiritual component or transcendent purpose. Subsets of the naturalist view include the materialist and physicalist positions, which hold that humans are entirely physical. However, some naturalists are also dualists about mind and body. Naturalism, combined with the natural and social sciences, views humans as the unplanned product of evolution, which operated in part by natural selection on random mutations. Philosophical naturalists do not believe in a supernatural afterlife. While philosophical naturalism is often assailed as an unacceptable view of human nature, it is promoted by many prominent philosophers and thinkers. The philosophical naturalist often will view religious belief as similar to superstition and as the product of unsound or magical thinking.
  • In contrast to materialism, there is the Platonic or idealist position. It can be expressed in many ways, but in essence it is the view that there is a distinction between appearance and reality, and that the world we see around us is simply a reflection of some higher, divine existence, of which the human (and perhaps also the animal) soul/mind or spirit may be part. In his Republic, Book VII, Plato represents humankind as prisoners chained from birth inside an underground cave, unable to move their heads, and therefore able to see only the shadows on the walls created by a fire outside the cave, shadows that, in their ignorance, the cave dwellers mistake for reality. For Plato, therefore, the soul is a spirit that uses the body. It is in a non-natural state of union, and longs to be freed from its bodily prison (cf. Republic, X, 611).
  • Between materialism and idealism lies the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose system of thought is known as Thomism. His thought is, in essence, a synthesis of Christian theology and the philosophy of Aristotle. Aristotle describes man as a "rational animal," i.e., a single, undivided being that is at once animal (material) and rational (intellectual soul). Drawing from Aristotelian hylomorphism, The soul is seen as the substantial form of the body (matter). The soul, as the substantial form, is what is universal, or common, to all humanity, and therefore, is indicative of human nature; that which differentiates one person from another is matter, which Aquinas refers to as the principle of individuation. The human soul is characterized as spiritual, immortal, substantial, and subsistent: it is the spiritual and vital principle of the human being, but is also dependent on the body in a variety of ways in order to possess these characteristics. Thus, no division is made between the "physical" and the "spiritual," though they are in fact distinct. This position differentiates Thomism from both materialism and idealism. Unlike idealism, it holds that the visible universe is not a mere shadow of a transcendent reality, but instead is fully real in and of itself. However, unlike materialism, Thomism holds that empiricism and philosophy, when properly exercised, lead inevitably to reasonable belief in God, the human soul, and moral objectivism. Thus, to a Thomist, it is obvious from the evidence that there is a God and an eternal soul.

Naturalism is any of several philosophical stances, typically those descended from materialism and pragmatism, that do not distinguish the supernatural (including strange entities like non-natural values, and universals as they are commonly conceived) from nature. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... The term physicalism was coined by Otto Neurath, in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical... René Descartes illustration of dualism. ... A Phrenological mapping of the brain. ... The Michelson–Morley experiment was used to disprove that light propagated through a luminiferous aether. ... The social sciences are groups of academic disciplines that study the human aspects of the world. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... It has been suggested that mutant be merged into this article or section. ... The afterlife, or life after death, is a generic term referring to a continuation of existence, typically spiritual, experiential, or ghost-like, beyond this world (eg. ... For other uses, see Superstition (disambiguation). ... In psychology and cognitive science, magical thinking is non-scientific causal reasoning (e. ... Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedias quality standards. ... A phenomenon (Greek: , pl. ... The noumenon (plural: noumena) classically refers to an object of human inquiry, understanding or cognition. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ... PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... Shadows on pavement A shadow is a region of darkness where light is blocked. ... Look up ignorance in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 - March 7, 1274) was a Catholic philosopher and theologian in the scholastic tradition, who gave birth to the Thomistic school of philosophy, which was long the primary philosophical approach of the Roman Catholic Church. ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... Synthesis (from the ancient Greek σύν (with) and θεσις (placing), is commonly understood to be an integration of two or more pre-existing elements which results in a new creation. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Christian theology is reasoned discourse concerning... Aristotle (Greek: AristotélÄ“s) (384 BC – 322 BC) was a Greek philosopher, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... It has been suggested that Moral realism be merged into this article or section. ... This article discusses the term God in the context of monotheism and henotheism. ... Eternal can refer to: The British R&B group Eternal Eternals, the Marvel Comics characters created by Jack Kirby The eternity puzzle The concept of eternity The philosophical notion of the incorporeal, or immaterial realm. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ...

State of nature

State of nature refers to philosophical assertions regarding the condition of humans before social factors are imposed, thus attempting to describe the "natural essence" of human nature. State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition of humanity before the states foundation and its monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. ...

  • Views which see humans as inherently good:
    • According to John Locke, humans in the state of nature have perfect freedom to order their actions according to the laws of nature, without having to ask permission to act from any other person. People are of equal value, and treat each other as they would want to be treated. People only leave the state of nature when they consent to take part in a community in order to protect their property rights. [1]
    • According to Rousseau, humans in the state of nature are naturally good, and bad habits are the product of corrupting civilization;
  • Views which see humans as morally neutral:
    • According to Pelagius, humans in the state of nature are not tainted by original sin, but are instead fully capable of choosing good or evil.
    • According to social determinism and biological determinism, human behavior is determined by biological and social factors, so inherent human instincts are never truly to blame for actions generally considered "bad" nor truly credited with actions generally considered "good."
  • Views which see humans as inherently bad:
    • According to Hobbes, humans in the state of nature are inherently in a "war of all against all," and life in that state is ultimately "nasty, brutish, and short." To Hobbes, this state of nature is remedied by good government.
    • According to the Christian doctrine of original sin, human beings are inherently corrupt creatures stained by the sin of Adam, and can only be redeemed by the grace of God through faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be His morally perfect Son. In Protestant theology, the virgin birth is believed to make this possible, as original sin is thought to pass from the seed of man. Catholicism, however, holds that the natures of both Jesus and His mother Mary, as a holy vessel for the Messiah, were uncorrupted by original sin.
    • According to Bertrand Russell moral evil or sin is derived from the instincts that have been transmitted to us from our ancestry of beasts of prey. This ancestry originated when certain animals became omnivorous and employed predation (killing and thievery) in order periodically to ingurgitate the flesh as well as the fruit and produce of other once-living things to support metabolism in competition with other animals for scarce food-animal and food-plant sources in the predatory environment in which we evolved. Thus, the simple fact that we humans must eat other life or else starve, die and rot is the probable primordial origin of contemporary and historical moral evil; i.e., the bad things we do to each other by lying, cheating, slandering, thieving and slaughtering.

This article is about John Locke, the English philosopher. ... Rousseau is a French surname. ... Pelagius (ca. ... According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born (Psalm 51:5). ... Social determinism is the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone determine individual behavior (as opposed to biological or objective factors). ... Categories: Biology stubs ... This article is about the philosopher Thomas Hobbes. ... Christianity percentage by country, purple is highest, orange is lowest Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch... According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general condition of sinfulness (lack of holiness) into which human beings are born (Psalm 51:5). ... Michelangelos The Creation of Adam, a fresco on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, shows God creating Adam, with Eve in His arm. ... In theology, salvation can mean three related things: being saved from something, such as suffering or the punishment of sin - also called deliverance; being saved for something, such as an afterlife or participating in the Reign of God - also called redemption Salvation can also be understood in terms of social... Look up Grace, grace in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Faith has two general implications which can be implied either exclusively or mutually; To Trust: Believing a certain variable will act a specific way despite the potential influence of known or unknown change. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... Different types of sperm cells: A) spermatozoon (motile), B) spermatium (non-motile), C) fertilization tube with sperm nuclei The term sperm is derived from the Greek word spermos (Latin: sperma) meaning seed and refers to the male reproductive cells. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... The term Virgin Mary has several different meanings: Mary, the mother of Jesus, the historical and multi-denominational concept of Mary Blessed Virgin Mary, the Roman Catholic theological and doctrinal concept of Mary Marian apparitions shrines to the Virgin Mary Virgin Mary in Islam, the Islamic theological and doctrinal concept... In Judaism, the Messiah (Hebrew: , Standard  Tiberian  ; Arabic: ,  ; Aramaic:  ; the Anointed One) at first meant any person who was anointed with oil on rising to a certain position among the ancient Israelites, at first that of High priest, later that of King and also that of a prophet. ... Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS, (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970), was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, advocate for social reform, and pacifist. ...

Morality

There are a number of views regarding the origin and nature of human morality-1...

  • Moral realism or moral objectivism holds that moral codes exist outside of human opinion -- that certain things are right or wrong regardless of human opinion on the topic. Objective morality may be seen as stemming from the inherent nature of humanity, divine command, or both.
  • Moral relativism holds that moral codes are a function of human values and social structures, and hold no meaning outside social convention.
  • Moral absolutism is the view that certain acts are right or wrong regardless of context.
  • Moral universalism compromises between moral relativism and moral absolutism and holds that there is, or should be, a common universal core of morality.

Moral realism is the view in philosophy that there are objective moral values. ... It has been suggested that Moral realism be merged into this article or section. ... In philosophy, moral relativism is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. ... Moral absolutism is the belief that there are absolute standards against which moral questions can be judged, and that certain actions are right or wrong, devoid of the context of the act. ... Moral universalism is a moral view, often related to humanist philosophy, which claims that the fundamental basis for a universalist ethic—universally applicable to all humanity—can be derived or inferred from what is common among existing moral codes. ...

Purpose

Main articles: Meaning of life (philosophy); Meaning of life (science)
  • Materialism and philosophical naturalism hold that there is no external purpose to human life. Proponents of this view often adopt the philosophy of secular humanism.
  • Teleology holds that there is inherent purpose to human existence. This purpose may arise from the inherent nature of humanity itself (what a human is "supposed to be," as in the case of objectivist philosophy), from mankind's relationship to the divine (what God wants humanity to be, as in the case of religion), or from both (as when the divine commands are seen as being in accord with the inherent nature of humanity and humanity's best interests).

Philosophical theories about the meaning of life // In that they attempt to answer the question What is valuable in life?, theories of value are theories of the meaning of life. ... // Where scientists and philosophers converge on the quest for the meaning of life is an assumption that the mechanics of life (i. ... In philosophy, materialism is that form of physicalism which holds that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; that matter is the only substance. ... Naturalism is any of several philosophical stances, typically those descended from materialism and pragmatism, that reject the validity of explanations or theories making use of entities inaccessible to natural science. ... Secular humanism is a humanist philosophy that upholds reason, ethics, and justice, and specifically rejects the supernatural and the spiritual as warrants of moral reflection and decision-making. ... Teleology (telos: end, purpose) is the philosophical study of design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in nature or human creations. ... Objectivism is the philosophical system developed by Russian-American philosopher and writer Ayn Rand. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ...

Psychology and biology

A long standing question in philosophy and science is whether there exists an invariant human nature. For those who believe there is a human nature, further questions include:

  • What determines/constrains human nature?
  • To what extent is human nature malleable?
  • How does it vary between people and populations?

Since human behavior is so diverse, it can be difficult to find absolutely invariant human behaviors that are of interest to philosophers. A lesser (but still scientifically valid) standard for evidence pertaining to "human nature" is used by scientists who study behavior. Biologists look for evidence of genetic predisposition to behavioral patterns. Genetic predispositions can be influenced by the environment, so penetrance of genetically predisposed behavioral traits is not expected to reach 100 percent. A type of human behavior for which there is a strong genetic predisposition can be considered to be part of human nature. In other words, human nature is not seen as something that forces individuals to behave in a certain way, but as something that makes individuals more inclined to act in a certain way than in another. Psychologically, the term "human nature" can be related to Freud's concept of the id and the desires associated with such an aspect of personality. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... A genetic predisposition is a genetic effect which influences the phenotype of an organism but which can be modified by the environmental conditions. ... Penetrance is a term used in genetics that describes the extent to which the properties controlled by a gene, its phenotype, will be expressed. ... Look up ID, Id, id in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Tabula rasa

John Locke's philosophy of empiricism saw human nature as a tabula rasa. In this view, the mind is at birth a "blank slate" without rules, so data is added, and rules for processing them are formed solely by our sensory experiences. This article is about John Locke, the English philosopher. ... In philosophy generally, empiricism is a theory of knowledge emphasizing the role of experience in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. ... Tabula rasa (Latin: scraped tablet or clean slate) refers to the epistemological thesis that individual human beings are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word, blank, and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the...


An alternative view is seen in E. O. Wilson's sociobiology and the closely related theory of evolutionary psychology. E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ...


Behavioral genetics

The nature versus nurture debate. Behavioral genetics The nature versus nurture debates concern the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. ... Behavioural genetics (behavioral genetics) is the field of biology that studies the role of genetics in animal behaviour. ...


Human diversity

Population genetics Population genetics is the study of the distribution of and change in allele frequencies under the influence of the four evolutionary forces: natural selection, genetic drift, mutation, and migration. ...


Arguments for invariance

All individuals and all societies have a similar facial grammar. Everyone smiles the same, and the way we use our eyes to convey cognition or flirtatiousness is the same. Evaluations of facial attractiveness are consistent across races and cultures with a preference for symmetry and proportion which are explained by scientists as markers of health during physical development attributable to good genes or a good environment. Human females find male faces that are rated more masculine and aggressive, less feminine and sensitive, more attractive during ovulation, the stage of their menstrual cycle when women are most fertile.[citation needed] The face is the front part of the head, in humans from the forehead to chin including the hair, forehead, eyebrow, eyes, nose, cheeks, mouth, lips, philtrum, teeth, skin, and chin. ... Ovulation is the process in the menstrual cycle by which a mature ovarian follicle ruptures and discharges an ovum (also known as an oocyte, female gamete, or casually, an egg) that participates in reproduction. ... Menstrual cycle The menstrual cycle is a recurring cycle of physiological changes that occurs in the females of human beings and other great apes. ...


No success has ever been scientifically demonstrated in re-assigning an individual's handedness. Although individuals may change their external behavior (picking up scissors with their right hand instead of the left, for instance), their internal inclination never changes. Even people who lose a limb, who physically do not possess the ability to pick up scissors with their left hand, will try to do so if they are 'left handed.' The percentage of left-handers in all cultures at all times remains constant (because left-handedness is a recessive trait). Handedness is an attribute of human beings defined by their unequal distribution of fine motor skill between the left and right hands. ... Different types of scissors - sewing, kitchen, paper Scissors are a tool used for cutting thin material which requires little force. ... Look up Limb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In genetics, the term recessive gene refers to an allele that causes a phenotype (visible or detectable characteristic) that is only seen in a homozygous genotype (an organism that has two copies of the same allele). ...


Newborn babies, far too young to have been acculturated to do so, have measurable behaviors such as being more attracted to human faces than other shapes and having a preference for their mother's voice over any other voice. Pocahontas, in England, as Mrs John Rolfe, 1616: engraving after Simon Van de Passe Acculturation is the obtainment of culture by an individual or a group of people. ...


In his book Human Universals[1] , Donald E Brown presents his case and identifies approximately 400 specific behaviors that are invariant among essentially all humans. Human Universals is a book by Donald Brown, an American professor of anthropology (emeritus) who worked at the University of California, Santa Barbara. ... Donald E. Brown is an American professor of anthropology (emeritus). ...


Arguments for social malleability

The Duke of Wellington is said to have become indignant upon hearing someone refer to habit as "second nature." He replied, "It is ten times nature!" Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (c. ... In psychology, habituation is an example of non-associative learning in which there is a progressive diminution of behavioral response probability with repetition of a stimulus. ...


William James likewise referred to habit as the fly-wheel of society. Habits, though, are by definition acquired, and different habits will be both the effect and the cause of very different societies. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... A flywheel is a heavy rotating disk used as a repository for angular momentum. ... Young people interacting within an ethnically diverse society. ...


Different human societies have held very different moral codes. Thus, regardless of whether objective morality exists or not, humans are clearly capable of imposing a wide variety of different moral codes on themselves.


Some have argued that the role for nurture comes not from the absence of impulses in human nature but from the plethora of such impulses -- so many, and so contradictory, that nurture must sort them out and put them into a hierarchy. Identical twins have identical genes, and therefore identical innate behavior. If all behavior were innate, one would expect identical twins to behave in perfectly identical ways all the time. However, this is clearly not the case. In particular, twins who grew up separated (and in different environments) show the greatest differences in behavior. In classical mechanics, the impulse of a constant force is the product of the force and the time during which it acts. ... A hierarchy (in Greek: , derived from — hieros, sacred, and — arkho, rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things or people, where each element of the system (except for the top element) is subordinate to a single other element. ... Fraternal twin boys in the tub The term twin most notably refers to two individuals (or one of two individuals) who have shared the same uterus (womb) and usually, but not necessarily, born on the same day. ...


Some believe there is no single universal law of behavior that holds true for all human beings. There are many such laws that apply to the majority of individuals (for example, the majority of individuals try to avoid dying), but there are always exceptions (some individuals commit suicide). Most animals, including humans, have an innate self-preservation instinct (fear of injury and death). The fact that humans may override this basic instinct is seen as evidence that human nature is subordinate to the human mind, and/or various outside factors. However, this may not be entirely unique to the human mind, as certain animals are observed to willfully commit suicide. Mayor of Leipzig, Germany, committed suicide along with his wife and daughter on April 20, 1945. ... The suckling of a newborn at its mothers nipple is an example of an instinctive behavior. ...


Finally, it has been noted that recent advancements in biology have opened the door to genetic manipulation. This means that we will soon have the possibility of altering our genes and therefore changing the instincts that are coded in those genes. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Genetic engineering, genetic modification (GM), and gene splicing (once in widespread use but now deprecated) are terms for the process of manipulating genes in an organism, usually outside of the organisms normal reproductive process. ...


Influential views of human nature

Many influential schools of thought have defended particular conceptions of human nature, and integrated those conceptions into their other ideas. Among these are Platonism, Marxism and Freudianism. Platonic idealism is the theory that the substantive reality around us is only a reflection of a higher truth. ... Marxism is both the theory and the political practice (that is, the praxis) derived from the work of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... Sigmund Freud His famous couch Sigmund Freud (May 6, 1856 - September 23, 1939) was an Austrian neurologist and the founder of the psychoanalytic school of psychology, a movement that popularized the theory that unconscious motives control much behavior. ...


Plato

Plato took a conception of reason and the examined life that he learnt from Socrates and built both a metaphysics and, more to our point, an anthropology around it. There was an intellectual soul, resident in the human head, and there was an appetitive beast, resident in the belly and genitals. The duty of the former is to keep the latter tamed and, in time, to welcome death as an escape from this uncomfortable co-habitation. PLATO was one of the first generalized Computer assisted instruction systems, originally built by the University of Illinois (U of I) and later taken over by Control Data Corporation (CDC), who provided the machines it ran on. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... This page is about the ancient Greek philosopher. ... Plato (Left) and Aristotle (right), by Raphael (Stanza della Segnatura, Rome) Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the ultimate nature of reality, being, and the world. ... Anthropology (from Greek: ἀνθρωπος, anthropos, human being; and λόγος, logos, knowledge) is the study of humanity. ... Intelligence is a general mental capability that involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... The soul, according to many religious and philosophical traditions, is the self-aware essence unique to a particular living being. ... “Human Head” redirects here. ... The appetite is the desire to eat food, felt as hunger. ... The abdomen is a part of the body. ... A sex organ, or primary sexual characteristic, narrowly defined, is any of those parts of the body (which are not always bodily organs according to the strict definition) which are involved in sexual reproduction and constitute the reproductive system in an complex organism; namely: Male: penis (notably the glans penis... TAME is the abbrevisation of Teachers Association for Media Education, an association for teachers using media production as a mean of educating. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Cohabitation is a situation in a semi_presidential system of government, in which the President and Prime Minister are of different political parties. ...


In one disguise or another, Plato's dualism was immensely influential. It insinuated itself deeply into Christian theology — a process that began, perhaps, as early as the Gospel of John. Descartes' famous contrast between the soul that thinks and the body that is extended is a distinctive take on Plato, as is Kant's contrast between the noumenal and the phenomenal aspects of human nature. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... The Gospel of John is the fourth gospel in the canon of the New Testament, traditionally ascribed to John the Evangelist. ... René Descartes René Descartes (IPA: , March 31, 1596 – February 11, 1650), also known as Cartesius, worked as a philosopher and mathematician. ... Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ...


What all these views have in common is the following structure: "there exists an invariant human nature, and my theory discloses it better than other theories." This structure does allow for progress in history — because coming to know ourselves better is progress. But human nature itself, as the object of that knowledge, is considered a constant. Indeed, in Kantianism, human nature in the really-real sense can't be said to change because change requires time, and time is a feature only of the less-real, phenomenal, world. Kantianism is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant. ... A pocket watch, a device used to tell time Look up time in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Hegel represents an important break with this Platonic hegemony. Building on his concept of the dialectic, everything is, so to speak, up for grabs: as humans come to know themselves better, the object of knowledge necessarily changes. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... In classical philosophy, dialectic (Greek: διαλεκτική) is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. ...


Aristotle

Plato's most famous student made some of the most famous and influential statements about human nature.

  • Man is a conjugal animal (Nicomachean Ethics), 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.
  • Man is a political animal (Politics), meaning an animal with an innate propensity to develop complex communities the size of a city or town (see division of labor). As a political animal, in contrast to his family and clan life, man thrives in his rationality - most fully in the making of laws and traditions.
  • Man is a mimetic animal (Poetics). In this case, Aristotle emphasizes human reason in its purest form. Man loves to use his imagination, and not only to make laws and run town councils.

It is clear that for Aristotle, reason is not only what is most odd about humanity, but it is also what we were meant to achieve at his or her best. Much of Aristotle's position is still very much worth considering, but it should be mentioned that the idea that human nature was "meant" or intended to be something, has become much less popular in modern times. Look up innate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Division of labour is the breakdown of labour into specific, circumscribed tasks for maximum efficiency of output in the context of manufacturing. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Reason (disambiguation). ... This article is about law in society. ... A tradition is a story or a custom that is memorized and passed down from generation to generation, originally without the need for a writing system. ... Mimesis (μίμησις from μιμεîσθαι) in its simplest context means imitation or representation in Greek. ... Imagination is accepted as the innate ability and process to invent partial or complete personal realms within the mind from elements derived from sense perceptions of the shared world. ...


Rousseau

Jean Jacques Rousseau, writing before the French Revolution, and long before Darwin, shocked Western Civilization by proposing that humans had once been solitary animals, and had learnt to be political. The important point about this was the idea that human nature was not fixed, or at least not anywhere near the extent previously suggested by philosophers. Humans are political now, but originally they were not. This broke important, and also politically dangerous ground, for the political events of the 19th and 20th century, wherein, to give the most shocking examples, totalitarianism and brain washing developed. Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean Jacques Rousseau (June 28, 1712 - July 2, 1778) was a Swiss-French philosopher, writer, political theorist, and self-taught composer of The Age of Enlightenment Biography of Rousseau The tomb of Rousseau in the crypt of the Panthéon, Paris Rousseau was born in Geneva, Switzerland... The French Revolution (1789–1815) was a period of political and social upheaval in the political history of France and Europe as a whole, during which the French governmental structure, previously an absolute monarchy with feudal privileges for the aristocracy and Catholic clergy, underwent radical change to forms based on... For other people of the same surname, and places and things named after Charles Darwin, see Darwin. ... For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... (19th century - 20th century - 21st century - more centuries) Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s As a means of recording the passage of time, the 20th century was that century which lasted from 1901–2000 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar (1900–1999... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Totalitarianism is a term employed by political scientists, especially those in the field of comparative politics, to describe modern regimes in which the state regulates nearly every aspect of public and private behavior. ... Brainwashing controversies According to research and forensic psychologist Dick Anthony, the CIA invented the brainwashing ideology as a propaganda strategy to undercut communist claims that American POWs in Korean communist camps had voluntarily expressed sympathy for communism and that definitive research demonstrated that collaboration by western POWs had been caused...


He was an important influence upon Kant, Hegel and Marx, but he himself made it clear that he was partly developing the thought of Thomas Hobbes. Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a Prussian philosopher, generally regarded as one of Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Marx is a common German surname. ... “Hobbes” redirects here. ...


Karl Marx

Karl Marx's conception of human nature has been the subject of much misunderstanding. It is often believed that Marx denied that there was any human nature, and said that human beings are simply a blank slate, whose character will depend wholly upon their socialization and experience. It is true that Marx placed enormous importance on the view that people are influenced and, in part, determined by their environments. But he nevertheless had a very strong concept of human nature. Marx discussed the concept of 'species-essence' (from the German Gattungswesen, sometimes also translated as 'species being'). He believed that under capitalism, we are alienated - that is, divorced from aspects of our human nature. He envisaged the possibility of a society following capitalism which would allow human beings to fully exercise their human nature and individuality. His name for this society was 'communism'. However, it is worth bearing in mind that, since Marx's day, this term has been used with several different meanings, not all of which have been compatible with Marx's original usage. Marxs theory of human nature occupies an important place in his critique of capitalism, his conception of communism, and his materialist conception of history. Marx has sometimes been held to deny the existence of any human nature, though this view is now generally accepted to be mistaken. ... Marx is a common German surname. ... For the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, see Tabula Rasa (Buffy episode) In music, Tabula Rasa is the title of many compositions, including one by Arvo Pärt, and an album by Einstürzende Neubauten. ... Marxs theory of alienation (Entfremdung in German), as expressed in the writings of young Karl Marx, refers to the separation of things that naturally belong together, or to antagonism between things that are properly in harmony. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ...


Marx's understanding of human nature did not only play a role in his critique of capitalism, and in his belief that a better society would be possible (as already indicated). It also informed his theory of history. The underlying dynamic of history, for Marx, is the expansion of the productive forces. In The German Ideology, Marx says that two of the three aspects of social activity which ground history is the tendency of humans to act to fulfill their needs, and thereafter, the tendency to generate new needs [2]. This human tendency, for Marx, is what drives the continuing expansion of productive power in human civilization. Historical materialism is the methodological approach to the study of society, economics, and history which was first articulated by Karl Marx (1818-1883), although Marx himself never used the term (he referred it as philosophical materialism, a term he used to distinguish it from what he called popular materialism). Historical... For the specific theoretical justifications behind the Great Leap Forward and the Five Year Plans, see Theory of Productive Forces. ...


After The German Ideology, however, mention of 'species-essence' as such is virtually absent from Marx's writings. Some major interpreters of Marx, such as Louis Althusser, dismiss 'species-essence' as irrelevant to Marx's "later" writings, while others, such as Terry Eagleton, believe it continues to be an important concept in understanding Marx. Louis Pierre Althusser (Pronunciation: altuˡseʁ) (October 16, 1918 – October 23, 1990) was a Marxist philosopher. ... Terry Eagleton (born in Salford, Lancashire (now Greater Manchester), England, on February 22, 1943) is a British literary critic and philosopher. ...


The Austrian school

The Austrian school of economics, in the years around 1871–1940, developed its own views largely in opposition to Marx, and in opposition to a group of historicist scholars. In the process, they developed a distinctive view of human nature. - In structural terms, their view returned to that of the thinkers mentioned in this survey prior to Hegel. Like Descartes or Kant, these thinkers believed that there exists an invariant human nature, but that progress is possible in history through the more complete understanding of that nature. They conceived of human nature in terms of bounded rationality and of the pursuit of marginal utility, and they believed that the pursuit of this utility in the marketplace would create a condition of spontaneous order that will be more rational than any alternative that might be planned, given the bounded rationality of any possible planners. The Austrian School, also known as the Vienna School or the Psychological School, is a school of economic thought that advocates adherence to strict methodological individualism. ... Historicism is a term which applies to a number of theories of culture or historical development which place the greatest weight on two factors: that there is an organic succession of developments, that local conditions and peculiarities influence the results in a decisive way It can be contrasted with reductionist... Many models of human behavior in the social sciences assume that humans can be reasonably approximated or described as rational entities, especially as conceived by rational choice theory. ... In economics, marginal utility is the additional utility (satisfaction or benefit) that a consumer derives from an additional unit of a commodity or service. ... Spontaneous order (sometimes called self-organization) is a phenomenon that happens when individuals each follow a set of self-interest-based rules without a central authority designing a plan for everyone. ...


Sigmund Freud

During the same period of time, Austria also hosted the development of psychoanalysis. Its founder, Sigmund Freud, believed that the Marxists were right to focus on what he called "the decisive influence which the economic circumstances of men have upon their intellectual, ethical and artistic attitudes." But he thought that the Marxist view of the class struggle was a too shallow one, assigning to recent centuries conflicts that were, rather, primordial. Behind the class struggle, according to Freud, there stands the struggle between father and son, between established clan leader and rebellious challenger. In this spirit, Freud heavily criticized the Soviet Union, writing in 1932 that its leaders had made themselves "inaccessible to doubt, without feeling for the suffering of others if they stand in the way of their intentions. Psychoanalysis is a family of psychological theories and methods based on the work of Sigmund Freud. ... Sigmund Freud (IPA: ), born Sigismund Schlomo Freud (May 6, 1856 – September 23, 1939), was an Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist who co-founded the psychoanalytic school of psychology. ...


E.O. Wilson

In his book 'Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge' (1998) Edward O. Wilson claimed that it was time for a cooperation of all the sciences to explore human nature. He defined human nature as a collection of epigenetic rules: the genetic patterns of mental development. Cultural phenomena, rituals etc. are products, not part of human nature. Artworks, for example are not part of human nature, but our appreciation of art is. And this art appreciation, or our fear for snakes, or incest taboo (Westermarck effect) can be studied by the methods of reductionism. Until now these phenomena were only part of psychological, sociological and anthropological studies. Wilson proposes it can be part of interdisciplinary research. Consilience, or the unity of knowledge (literally a jumping together of knowledge), has its roots in the ancient Greek concept of an intrinsic orderliness that governs our cosmos, inherently comprehensible by logical process, a vision at odds with mystical views in many cultures that surrounded the Hellenes. ... E.O. Wilson with Dynastes hercules E. O. Wilson, or Edward Osborne Wilson, (born June 10, 1929) is an entomologist and biologist known for his work on ecology, evolution, and sociobiology. ... The Bath, a painting by Mary Cassatt (1844–1926). ... This article is about the psychological term. ... Descartes held that non-human animals could be reductively explained as automata — De homines 1622. ...


See also

The Gene Illusion [1] is a book by clinical psychologist Jay Joseph[2] which challenges the evidence underlying genetic theories in psychiatry and psychology. ... Tabula rasa (Latin: scraped tablet or clean slate) refers to the epistemological thesis that individual human beings are born with no innate or built-in mental content, in a word, blank, and that their entire resource of knowledge is built up gradually from their experiences and sensory perceptions of the... The nature versus nurture debates concern the relative importance of an individuals innate qualities (nature) versus personal experiences (nurture) in determining or causing individual differences in physical and behavioral traits. ... The human condition encompasses the totality of the experience of being human and living human lives. ... “Natural” redirects here. ... Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man) is the scientific name for the human species. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article is about the current understanding of the word cynicism. ...

References & Further Reading

  1. ^ Brown, Donald (1991). Human Universals. McGraw-Hill.  ISBN 007008209X
  • www.human-nature.com
  • www.sterlingharwood.com about 150 quotes on human nature
  • Newcastle University debate on Steven Pinker's book The Blank Slate
  • Noam Chomsky & Michel Foucault, The Chomsky-Foucault Debate: On Human Nature (New Press, 2006).
  • Sigmund Freud, The Future of an Illusion (Norton).
  • David Hume, A Treatise on Human Nature (Oxford University Press, 2007, originally 1739/1740).
  • Martin A. Miller, Freud and the Bolsheviks: Psychoanalysis in Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union (New Haven, CT 1998).
  • Louis P. Pojman, Who Are We? (Oxford University Press, 2005).
  • Harvey B. Sarles, Language and Human Nature (University of Minnesota Press, 1985).
  • Leslie Stevenson, The Study of Human Nature, 2nd ed. (Oxford University Press, 1999).
  • Leslie Stevenson & David Haberman, Ten Theories of Human Nature, 4th ed. (Oxford University Press, 2004).
  • Edmund O. Wilson, On Human Nature (Harvard University Press, 2004).
  • Introduction and Updated Information on the Seville Statement on Violence
  • A new theory of human nature by Jeremy Griffiths

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