Human Nature: A Compilation Of Many Definitions

1170 words - 5 pages

Human nature is a widely controversial term, because it is so broad. Philosophers, writers, and thinkers throughout time have debated exactly what “human nature” refers to. Locke, Rousseau and Freud have very differing opinions on human nature. Although in some cases, they seem to contradict each other, the core roots of these three opinions can actually fit together to form a well-rounded definition of human nature: Humans are free at birth, with just primitive, instinctual needs, free to take justice into their own hands. After eventually entering society for safety, there are many more ideas and rules to be interpreted, so humans figure out how to cope with a civilized society, and still ...view middle of the document...

He asks why anyone living in the state of nature who is “lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest, and subject to nobody” would ever want to leave the natural state and live in a civilization. He explains that in nature, there are constant dangers, but within a society, life is safer and more preserved. People give up their natural state to protect themselves.
Rousseau views human nature a little differently. While Locke was fairly optimistic about humans living in society, Rousseau sees much greater advantage to living in nature. He says, “Man was born free, but everywhere he is in chains.” (T 137). Rousseau essentially means that in nature, humans have freedom in its entirety. There are no rules or politics; only harmony with nature, strength, independence and happiness. As soon as people enter into societies, there are limitations and rules, and this is unnatural. Because of this, in Rousseau’s opinion, a person is most happy in their primitive state. He discusses that when someone leaves the state of nature, there is a social contract that people abide by. He explains that the social contract works when “the individual member alienates himself totally to the whole community together with all his rights” (T 136). Rousseau basically believes that when you enter into civilization, you give up all your freedom and rights. Later, he says “whoever refuses to obey the general will shall be forced to obey it by the whole body politic, which means nothing else but that he will be forced to be free” (T 138). Rousseau is being very condescending here, in saying essentially that in society, we are “forced to be free” but aren’t really actually free. But he is not completely bitter about society. He goes on to explain that although men lose some advantages from being in a natural state, in civilization, men learn new capabilities that make up for it. However, Rousseau is firm in that happiness comes more in the state of nature than in society.
Freud has a much more specific, almost scientific theory about human nature. Instead of simply wondering if man in human nature is better than man in society, Freud focuses on the psychological roots of all people, and how that connects to human nature. He explains, “Unconsciousness is a regular and inevitable phase in the processes constituting our psychical activity; every psychical act begins as an unconscious one, and it may either remain so or go on developing into consciousness, according as it...

Find Another Essay On Human Nature: A Compilation of Many Definitions

A Human For Nature Essay

1611 words - 6 pages A Human For Nature When looking at the issue of humans and nature throughout history, one significant figure stands out in my mind: Theodore Roosevelt. Without him, the most beautiful and serene places in North America may have been destroyed or fallen to the hands of developers. Development and conservation of land have been issues that we have faced since Europeans first landed in America. Today, environmental issues are a concern that any

Theories of Human Nature Essay

864 words - 4 pages The theme of this course is theories of human nature, theories of human nature is an historical scope of philosophy. Theories of human nature provides a philosophical analysis into human nature through the investigation of issues, including the mind and body, perceptions and conception, freedom and determinism, death and immortality, the relation of the human to nature and the divine, and reason and emotion (Professor Galgan, Course Syllabus

Stages of Human Nature

2483 words - 10 pages and unchanging: his existence is not simply repeated from one generation to another. He is what history makes him. History keeps him in constant movement. For many people in the early 18th century, life was based on subsistence living. An individualís human nature was dictated by their bloodline and their social position was secured by birth. If a man was born a peasant, he stayed a peasant, and he died a peasant. This theory of blood

Duality of Human Nature

974 words - 4 pages he follows a much darker path, reveals and expresses the multi-faceted quality of human nature. Shakespeare expresses the duality of human nature through pairs of opposites, changes within a character’s mind and personality and through the facades and deception many characters practice. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses opposites to convey the duality of human nature. In the beginning of the play, the three witches, who later reveal

Dissertations of Human Nature

662 words - 3 pages Human Nature is defined by Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary as "the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans." Throughout the world, however, there are many different groups of people, all with varying personalities and characteristics. One recent article that brought up this issue was What's Really Human? The trouble with student guinea pigs. by Sharon Begley. Begley states that "given the difference in culture between the U.S

Principles of Human Nature

964 words - 4 pages . Contradicting opinions contribute to the ongoing debate of how far genetics really go (if at all) into determining full understanding and knowledge of human nature. I believe Wilson’s theory overrides Locke’s, in that inherited behavioral genes prescribed at birth are largely influential in determining the total outcome of behavior, and human nature as a whole. Works Cited Locke, John. “Of Ideas” Reading the World: Ideas That Matter. 2nd ed. Ed

Facets of Human Nature

873 words - 3 pages Aneeb Adrees - practice sac- Q2) the jurors represent the worst facets of human nature and of soceity itself. Do you agree?In Reginald Roses Twelve angry men, Rose illustrates and explores the worst facets of human nature. Through his depiction of the jurors, and the way they interact, Rose creates an environment where fallibilities of human beings can be examined. Rose depicts prejudice, self-interest along with many other negative traits a

Reasoning of Human Nature

1724 words - 7 pages each human was, “Absolute lord of his own person and possessions, equal to the greatest and subject to nobody” (Locke 69). However, he also stated that man was limited, by the “state of Nature” (Locke 69), which during his time was a government run by a monarch. He felt that men had the right to protect what was rightfully theirs; “The great and chief end, therefore, of men uniting into commonwealths, and putting themselves under government, is

Influnce of Human Nature and Politics in a City

1989 words - 8 pages because people don’t desire this good, and the good is present at all time where it provides benefits to the person. Keeping a human body healthy, for example will keep the person away from sickness or any other pathogens (Infections). Secondly, the influence of human nature on politics is natural, for example people need many things. One person cannot provide all the things he needs, so he and other people create a community. The community or a

A Treatise of Human Nature: David Hume´s Philosophy

932 words - 4 pages , convey to him these impressions; but proceed not so absurdly, as to endeavor to produce the impressions by exciting the ideas" (Pg. 9, Paragraph 8). This is reasonable, as none of us can truly envision a sour taste without first having experienced it via our sense of taste. The only possible contradiction to this that Hume can find is that of gradient colors. If presented with a progression of shades of blue, with one shade missing, it is not difficult for us to conjure the idea of this missing shade, even if we have never seen it before. Works Cited: Hume, David. A Treatise of Human Nature. (1739).

A View into Human Nature

1904 words - 8 pages either come out stronger and wiser or lose themselves in the process of surviving. Through the use of isolation, insight into human nature is shown in characters, how harsh living conditions can lead to a loss of hope and a change in one’s mental state, causing humanity to be forgotten and innocence to be stripped and never returned. Once stranded on an island, action to organize must be taken and a leader must be chosen to work towards the goal of

Similar Essays

Critique Of “A Compilation Of Core Concepts”

733 words - 3 pages different ways: as their Parents, as their Adult, and as their Child. These three behavior modes are called ego states, and each is important in its own right. In TA, the Child is seen as the source of the best of human beings—the only possible source for creativity, recreation, and procreation. When the individual is in the child ego state, he or she is not putting on an act; he or she is really functioning as a child. The Parent ego state is

Vertigo: A Darker Side Of Human Nature

759 words - 3 pages Barbie doll. Moreover, the male's inability to see women as fully human ..." (225). In conclusion, the movie Vertigo was not only about the male desire towards unconscious women and obsession, but also about a darker side of human nature. One may state that the movie is about passionate love but it clearly shows that the men can be fanatically preoccupied onto one another. Released in 1958, Hitchcock's Vertigo was an incredible exposition of sexually possessed love and obsession.

Identity As A Compilation Of Mona, Addie, And Billy Pilgrim

1095 words - 4 pages what she defines it to be. This revelation, though, does not come without many doubts and grievances. After beau Sherman Matsumoto, a Japanese student, tells her that "she will need to study how to switch [to be his Japanese wife]" (21) Mona always dwells on where she fits in the classification system of America, and of China, and of Judaism. The Chinese and Japanese have words which define such concepts as "the world of politeness and

A Compilation Of The Top Ten Books Read In 2013

1269 words - 6 pages clergyman and writer Jonathan Swift, is a satire on human nature as well as a parody of the ‘travelers’ tale’ and has never been out of print. The adjectives ‘lilliputian’ and ‘brobdingnagian’, and the word ‘yahoo’ find their origins in this novel. The ninth is The Complete Fairy Tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen’s fairy tales, translated into more than 125 languages, is culturally entrenched in the collective consciousness of the Western