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Nature of Man

Paper type: Essay
Pages: 4 (1000 words)
Categories: Human, Human Nature, John Locke Philosophy, Philosophy
Downloads: 48
Views: 2

When people talk about the nature of man, it can go back for many centuries and is still a popular topic today. What is the nature of man, or what is human nature? This is a highly debated topic with many different opinions. Psychologically, it is a bunch of characteristics, also including ways you think feel or act, and all these things come to humans naturally (Wikipedia). They are a part of you and you learn these things as you grow older.

Many philosophers have argued different sides, whether if the nature of man is good or bad. They all have brought many creative ideas, but the question still stands.

One philosopher, John Locke, created a theory that the nature of man is a “blank slate”, and compared it to a ‘blank piece of paper’ (John Locke). He states that a man is born with no knowledge of how they should act or do things.

This all depends on how they are raised and taught things. He basically states that a man is “neutral” until he is taught differently. Locke said that if the legislature does not continue to protect their values, then the people have the right to make a change in their life and how they learn things. This argued that people need a government, and they need a “social contract”, which they must surrender a portion of their freedom. This is in return for “the protections and opportunities of civil society” (Hobbes 119). That way, they satisfy their side of the agreement. I do believe in Locke’s theory because I feel as if he is saying that this grants more power to the people, whether if they believe in how they want to learn things or the things they are taught. It applies more knowledge to the people themselves. I believe their nature is learned, depending on how they were raised and their surroundings. When you are born, you technically know ‘nothing’, and it is up to you to acquire knowledge and how you do it.

The philosopher Thomas Hobbes also believes in the government and having a social contract, but he doesn’t think the people should have as much freedom as they should if the government doesn’t hold their side of the contract. he basically says that all men are born equal but if one man turns out to be for say, stronger or smarter or more fit, that another man can mock the same things, even though they are being ‘fake’. “Nature hath made men so equal in the facilities of body and mind as that, though there be found one man sometimes manifestly stronger in the body or of quicker mind than another, yet when all is reckoned together the difference between man and man is not so considerable that one man can thereupon claim himself any benefit to which another may not pretend as well as he” (Hobbes 120). Like Locke, he also states that a man’s nature is shaped by their environment and experiences.

Another philosopher, known as Edward O. Wilson, creates another debate. He explains that human nature is “the epigenetic rules, the hereditary regularities of mental development that bias cultural evolution in one direction as opposed to another” (Wilson 145). Epigenetics are “the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself (Dictionary). He believes that human nature has a lot to do with the human brain, “brains that choose wisely possess superior Darwinian fitness, meaning that statistically they survive longer and leave more offspring” (Wilson 145). He thinks that people who are wiser than others show traits from previous ancestors and are m/ore likely to be shown in the brain. This isn’t necessarily an advantage, but it is a common trait in all human brains. So, if most humans share traits with their ancestors, it shows that certain traits that we believe to be human nature come naturally because our ancestors used to outlast others longer. “A large part of the environment shaping it has been cultural” (Wilson 146). This basically means that the traits we are born with could also be the same traits that our ancestors felt that they needed to learn in order to survive in those times. This ties into John Locke’s “blank slate” theory because, however these qualities are present in our tendency, they were once something that must be composed upon the vacant pages of the human personality.

I find that all men are conceived inside an impartial condition of being. In reality, there are great men and evil men, and there are also those who are simply striving to succeed in whatever they are doing in both the good and the evil. I think that it is difficult to understand that all men are conceived to one side or the other between the two. Philosophers have talked on the idea of man for quite a long time. Researchers have now joined the discussion investigating why individuals do what they do, with incredible outcomes toward educated attributes versus what we would call human instincts. Sociobiology, which is the study of biological aspects of social conduct in animal’s ad humans, is a field that did not exist 50 years ago, and I feel it could be effortlessly be depicted, in less difficult times, as the investigation of human and animal nature. Maybe this is an inquiry, in the same way as others, that will just go unanswered, paying little mind to most individuals examining this subject. In finding the response to the topic of human instinct, we might have the capacity to disengage the distinction between what is discovered and what a human is brought into the world to do. That could be the way to facilitating the way we learn or the way in which we show the ages to come. Maybe our posterity will be fit in learning college-level material when we are young, making the potential outcomes of human advancement endless!

Cite this essay

Nature of Man. (2020, Sep 12). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/nature-of-man-2-essay

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