Principles Of Human Nature Essay

964 words - 4 pages

Fundamental Principles of Human Nature
The heated controversy over how human beings develop their behavior, ideas, reasoning and other abstract traits has been in ongoing debate for centuries. John Locke’s “blank slate” theory of experience and sensation, and Edward Wilson’s theory of evolutionary biology and innate genes are both valid and apply to the development of human nature. It is has been proven through scientific research of the human genome over time, that both sides of this controversial subject are partially correct (Powell). However, I believe Wilson’s theory is the most reasonable and legitimate in influencing the outcome of one’s character.
John Locke’s theory states that the mind begins as a “blank slate”, and that the outcome of one’s character results directly from experience and sensation in developing ideas over time. He claims that all thoughts and ideas originate from “objects of sensation or reflection” (126), and all knowledge and reason is derived from the experience one undergoes. This theory contradicts Wilson’s theory in stating that “the mind furnishes the understanding with ideas of its own operations” (127), rather than furnishing the understanding based off of certain genes already prescribed to the mind prior to birth. Locke claims in his art article on the idea that any man could “examine his own thoughts (127)” and look into how he gained all his knowledge and understanding as a whole, and see it as none other than being a “collection of the objects of his senses or of the operations of his mind”. Therefore, Locke firmly believes there is no such thing as “innate behavioral genes” already prescribed to a person prior to having any experience or sensation whatsoever. However, I believe that ideas and knowledge originate partly based on the innate genes inherited, rather than strictly just from what one has experienced throughout their lifetime. Locke’s theory that all ideas and knowledge result directly from experience is quite reasonable, however I believe that experience only goes so far in determining the overall outcome of who a person is and the way in which they behave.
A common saying some like to say when referring to the way a person acts or behaves is, “Oh, she got it from her mother/father.” I hold this true to myself, being my own example, I know for a fact that I inherited certain unique qualities and behavioral traits from my mother and father. My older sister and I were raised together in the same environment for 18 years, under the same/similar circumstances, and it is quite obvious that although we share many interests and ideas, our personalities are nearly polar opposite. She is calm, patient, and extremely shy, which is strikingly similar to my father’s personality. I am very outgoing, impatient, and (unfortunately) emotional, which my mother finds humorous at times, seeing how we are...

Find Another Essay On Principles of Human Nature

The Roots of Human Nature Essay

690 words - 3 pages The Roots of Human Nature The roots of human nature are sunk deep into our history and experiences. When in our own lives we are to find the basis of our human nature, we must look to our early years, the formative years. Now take for example if we placed a newborn in the wild or in a high-class, well-mannered, wealthy family. The human nature of the newborn in the wild will be exactly that, wild and chaotic. While on the other hand the

Machiavelli's View of Human Nature Essay

760 words - 3 pages Machiavelli was a political philosopher in Italy during the Renaissance. His book The Qualities of the Prince was a practical guide for how future princes should maintain power and rule their country. In his book, Machiavelli tries to reinforce his points by speaking about human nature. He says that "men: they are ungrateful, fickle, simulators, and deceivers, avoider of danger, and while you work for their good they are completely yours

Machiavelli’s View of Human Nature

1704 words - 7 pages Machiavelli’s View of Human Nature Simple versions of Machiavelli’s conception of human nature may readily be elicited from The Prince. It is easy to find textual support for claims that appear to presuppose or be equivalent to some version of psychological egoism. He says, for example, that “men in general … are ungrateful, voluble, dissemblers, anxious to avoid danger, and covetous of gain; as long as you benefit them, they are entirely

My philosophy of human nature

988 words - 4 pages been held in check by shame is set free by example. It was terrifying thought! Intelligent people are no more protected than stupid ones from committing appalling acts. I have spent the greater part of my life reading, in the hope that one day I would eventually discover the truth about human nature, but this is as far as I am able to go in search of ultimate truths and experiences. Having devoured thousands of books on every conceivable subject

The Duality of Human Nature

1038 words - 5 pages In The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson expresses the concept of the duality of man. Using gothic literature, he depicts the idea of man’s doubled nature. Stevenson demonstrates through the character Henry Jekyll the duality of human nature and the constant battle of good and evil inside all individuals. In Victorian society, maintaining a good reputation is of utmost importance (Perkins 207). For instance, Dr

The Human Nature of Medea

2040 words - 8 pages Euripides' contemporaries and classical scholars alike point out the non-Aristotelean elements in Medea, this might intimidate today's reader. Euripides, instead of following the guidelines established by Aristotle in his Poetics, has a stirring psychological truth of human nature. This is clear when we examine the monologues given by Medea during the play. Each speech develops the character and creates a certain audience empathy. Medea is not a

The Enlightenment View of Human Nature

1643 words - 7 pages The Enlightenment View of Human Nature The above issue shows ‘Access the enlightenment view of human nature. What are the wider implications of different concepts of human nature?’ I have citied the main principles of this discussion and I have understood the facts and yet there is so much so depends on our conception of human nature. In individuals the meaning and purpose of our lives and what we ought to do or

Human Nature And The Declaration Of Independence

1487 words - 6 pages Human Nature and the Declaration of Independence       I would like to show that the view of human nature that is shown in The Declaration of Independence is taken more from the Bible and that that view is in disagreement with two of the three esays given in class. The Biblical perspective of man is that he was created by a divine Creator with a specific plan in mind and made in the image of his Creator. Men

Human Nature and the Declaration of Independence

1510 words - 6 pages I would like to show that the view of human nature that is shown in The Declaration ofIndependence is taken more from the Bible and that that view is in disagreement with two of thethree esays given in class. The Biblical perspective of man is that he was created by a divineCreator with a specific plan in mind and made in the image of his Creator. Men are entitled to thepursuit of happiness but also required by the Laws of Nature and Nature's

Lord of the flies human nature

906 words - 4 pages The Revolt of Human Nature Human nature can find its way through people as young as school age. In The Lord Of the Flies byWilliam Golding, a group of school age boys are stranded on an island and have to fend for themselves. After time each child shows his feelings in very severe ways. Ralph, Jack and Piggy all have very different characteristics and ideas and try to express them constantly. Some, although, take much more extreme actions

Lord of the flies-human nature

858 words - 3 pages The Revolt of Human NatureHuman nature can find its way through people as young as school age. In The Lord Of the Flies by William Golding, a group of school age boys are stranded on an island and have to fend for themselves. After time each child shows his feelings in very severe ways. Ralph, Jack and Piggy all have very different characteristics and ideas and try to express them constantly. Some, although, take much more extreme actions to

Similar Essays

Stages Of Human Nature Essay

2483 words - 10 pages -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stages of Human Nature Throughout history, human beings have encountered many changes that have altered the way society has viewed them. The cruel hands of history, which constantly hold the foundation of the mind and the spirit, have shaped human nature. Knowledge is the tool by which these hands create different views and mold new beliefs. Human nature is the product of history and is always at the mercy of the fruits of

Facets Of Human Nature Essay

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 Essay

1724 words - 7 pages Reasoning of Human Nature John Locke and Karl Marx have one thing in common, they both believe in human reasoning. Humans, they suppose, have the ability to be both rational and intellectual beings; they not only learn from those around them but also from their surroundings. Niccolo Machiavelli, however, disagrees with Locke and Marx. He argues that human beings are not reasonable and are chaotic without any such order. Although these three

Authors' Conceptions Of Human Nature Essay

4040 words - 16 pages society change so does the law that governs that society. This has been true of every civilization that has employed some lasting legal system. Socrates recognizes that it is human nature for people to adopt laws that reflect the values and principles of their society. Socrates contradicts himself later, though, and reasons that “it wouldn’t fit harmoniously for the wicked official opinion to be law” (Plato 314e). It is human nature to