Human Nature Essay

1343 words - 5 pages

In this paper I will argue that William Hasker's theory of the Emergent Individual is superior to John Foster's Cartesian Dualism in explaining mind-body interaction. I will begin with an explanation of Cartesian Dualism and how it proposes to solve the problem of mind-body interaction. Then I will explain the idea of the Emergent Individual and why it is superior to Cartesian Dualism. A critical analysis of the Emergent Individual will also be discussed and replies to these criticisms will be made. In conclusion I will demonstrate why the idea of the Emergent Individual is superior to Cartesian Dualism.Cartesian Dualism maintains that the mind is an entirely immaterial entity that is separate from the body (Foster,15). Therefore, Cartesian Dualism claims that the mind is not dependent on the human body in any way. The idea that the mind is not dependent on the body rests on three claims.The first claim of Cartesian Dualism is that the mental is fundamental and cannot be reduced to the physical (Foster, 15). The Cartesian Dualist does not see how two completely different items, one immaterial and the other material, can be the same. Both items are qualitatively different (Foster). Therefore, that which is immaterial cannot be reduced to the material and the material cannot be the constructive basis of the immaterial.The second claim of Cartesian Dualism is that mental items such as feelings and thoughts are elements possessed by a mental subject (Foster, 15). For example, we cannot imagine pain without a sufferer (Foster, 17). Without the subjective experience of pain or another emotion we would not be able to recognize the feeling mentally. Foster appeals to our commonsense perspective of subjective experience and claims that it is impossible to imagine otherwise (Foster, 17).The third claim of Cartesian Dualism that mental subjects are wholly nonphysical is the most difficult to accept (Foster, 24). Although some may believe that mental subjects are physical or possess a psychological component in addition to their physical component, Foster does not believe this is the case (Foster, 27). In order to maintain that the subject is physical you must say that the mental can be reduced to the physical (Foster, 26). According to Cartesian Dualism this is not possible because the mental and the physical are two qualitatively distinct items. Foster also believes that there is not a plausible explanation for the duality of mind and body in one subject (Foster, 27).Therefore, Cartesian Dualism maintains that the soul is wholly immaterial and a separate entity from the human body. Souls are attatched to the human body by God after the biological organism is produced (Foster, 29). Foster believes that only God can explain how a physical organism can be attached to a nonphysical entity (Foster, 29). No other explanation is plausible.The superior alternative to Cartesian Dualism is William Hasker's theory of the Emergent Individual. Hasker's "Middle Way"...

Find Another Essay On Human Nature

Human Nature Essay

541 words - 2 pages My belief about human nature is best summarized by the thoughts of Fr. Montaigne. I think that the idea that man is hypocritical and contradictory is a true idea. All people, whether they like it or not, have opposing characteristics. These undesirable attributes are prevailing in everybody. Not one person, of reasonable intelligence, can truthfully say that they have never lied. Even, if they are mostly truthful, there is time in everybody's

Human Nature Essay

2311 words - 10 pages Introduction The nature of human beings is dictated by several factors that include the idea of nature and nurture. I believe one of the most important factors in this case is nurture since it works concurrently with the nature in shaping someone’s personal conduct. Nurture helps to instill certain moral ideals in a person so that they are able to cope in their own surroundings. The main role I find that moral ideals take in shaping human

Human Nature

1155 words - 5 pages Many people pnder on the purpose of life; what is humanities goal in life or purpose in life? Different religions offer different insights however most believe in being “humane”. What does being humane mean though? Can humans as we know them (human nature) “humane”? Voltaire and Alexander Pope discuss this idea of human nature and the essence of life as they perceive it in “Candide” and “An Essay on Man” respectively. Although Alexander Pope and

Human Nature - 780 words

780 words - 4 pages Throughout the centuries man has been perplexed by human nature, always asking questions. What is human nature? Is human nature good or evil? In almost every century someone has asked this question to try and find the answer. Each individual had a specific way of debating the matter. One specific author, Robert Louis Stevenson, described the duality of human nature in his book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Robert Louis Stevenson lived in

Human Nature - 663 words

663 words - 3 pages Human Nature What is human nature? In almost every century someone has asked this question to try and find the answer. Each individual had a specific way of debating the matter. One specific author, Robert Louis Stevenson, described the duality of human nature in his book, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. “Man is not truly one, but two.” (Chapter 10 page 125) Stevenson tells his prospective to the world

Human Nature - 502 words

502 words - 2 pages HUMAN NATURE: ARE PEOPLE GOOD OR BAD? From the time when humanity was able to believe in it, Utopia has existed as a mere word, thought or principle. It is a place that is hoped for, and is also a society that was and is apparently deemed to be possible, or is it? The Mirriam-Webster’s dictionary defines it as “an imaginary and indefinitely remote place of ideal perfection in laws, government and social conditions.” It doesn’t exist. It cannot

Human Nature - 2233 words

2233 words - 9 pages can have several meanings. William Shakespeare has written many plays that have sparked debates for centuries, about theme and what they are trying to convey. One theme that is interesting to debate over is how human nature can be a complex subject because the many desires and personalities humans have, can lead to actions that could affect the lives of others. William Shakespeare’s play “Hamlet Prince of Denmark” gives insight on the human

Human Nature - 3128 words

3128 words - 13 pages As humans there are both similarities and differences among the different people and cultures in the world. Several aspects of human experience that are common to all people are kinship, security, and have their own highly regarded ideas and dreams. These are universal because common human nature is rooted in all humans that have been observed by anthropologists throughout the centuries. Several major kinds of differences between people are

Human Nature - 1534 words

1534 words - 6 pages immune from the either trait especially when it involves behavior. In my view, the fight between nature and nurture plays a major in an individual’s life and can alter a person’s life direction depending on the influence of outside sources such as family and society. I truly believe that my view, best fits a behavioral perspective of human nature. The comparison is that with a behavioral perspective such as social learning theory it is thought

Human Nature - 1915 words

1915 words - 8 pages that ambition is a fundamental building block of human nature. Despite never being taught how to be ambitious, living completely different lives and seeking to achieve different goals, all of these characters have ambition. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby, a man tries to hopes to create a perfect life. In Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick, Captain Ahab pursues a life of vengeance against the infamous Moby Dick. In William

Human Nature versus Human Condition

1676 words - 7 pages Throughout the history of philosophy, there have been many fundamental disagreements on the matter of human nature versus human condition. When we contemplate human nature, consider the distinguishing characteristics of humans, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally and independently of the influence of culture. However, when we contemplate the human condition, we consider what things encompass the

Similar Essays

Human Nature Essay

505 words - 2 pages What is human nature? It is very simple. Human nature refers to the patterns of behavior that are typical of our species or our kind. Human undergoes change as all humans grow up they nature seems to change; the environment someone grow up in effects that persons nature. To fully understand human nature Dr. Marvin Harris takes us on trip to time, which makes sense because if we better understand our past and our origin we will better understand

Human Nature Essay

1335 words - 5 pages Human Nature Human nature, its essence, origin, and realization have long been controversial issues that involved ardent discussions. Nowadays there is also a plurality of theories and opinions concerning this concept. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the different theories of human nature, as well as to provide an eclectic reasoned conclusion as for what this concept constitutes, and what characteristics it comprises. Jean-Paul Sartre

Human Nature Essay 1423 Words

1423 words - 6 pages Human Nature *Missing Works Cited* Is there or is there not human nature? For Charles Darwin the answer is no. Darwin was the first to introduce the concept of evolution. He believed that humans evolved from the ape and not in the image of God. Darwin contradicted Aristotle's view that man has a purpose in life -to reason. For Darwin, man has no purpose. According to Darwin, man began as one of a few species on this planet, fighting for

Human Nature Essay

965 words - 4 pages Human nature is the egotistical behaviours that drive the human race to be creative and inquisitive. Although some philosophers may disagree with the validity of this statement, others such as Aristotle, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Hobbes would believe it to be true. After examining the beliefs of these philosophers and using real-life examples to rebut the beliefs of those who disagree, man’s true nature of curiousity, creativity and