The Nature of Man Essay

The nature of adult male is a topic that dates back centuries. though it is one that is still extremely debated today. Philosophers. sociologists. and even sociobiologists have brought grounds taking to assorted decisions to the tabular array. so the inquiry still stands. Mencius said that man’s nature is good. while Hsun Tzu argued from the opposite side. Centuries subsequently. John Locke published a theory associating the nature of adult male to a clean piece of paper. saying that adult male is impersonal until he learns otherwise. and goes even further to talk of man’s need for a “social contract” with a proper authorities.

During this same clip period. fellow Englishman Thomas Hobbes besides stated man’s need for authorities and a societal contract with the people. but he did non believe that the people had the right to get down a revolution should the authorities non keep up its terminal of the contract. Still subsequently. in the late 1990’s. Edward Wilson published his work. The Fitness of Human Nature. saying that adult male possesses both qualities that are learned. and features that humans non merely portion with each other of course. but with many members of the carnal land.

He helped to set up Sociobiology. the scientific survey of the biological facets of societal behaviour in animate beings and worlds. interrupting land in the argument of nature poetries raising. Personally. I agree with the theory put away by both Locke and Wilson. that adult male is born a clean slate. and that his nature is necessarily learned. and built based upon the milieus he is raised in. but that there are familial factors at work shared by all worlds. that can be considered human nature.

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Though Mencius believed that all work forces were born inherently good. and Hsun Tzu believed they were all born immoralities. they made some first-class points as to the nature of adult male being shaped by his milieus. Mencius one time stated that “In good old ages. immature work forces are largely all right. In bad old ages they’re largely barbarous and violent. It isn’t that Heaven endows them with such different capacities. merely that their Black Marias are mired in such different situations” ( Mencius 96 ) .

With good times conveying approximately good work forces. and bad times conveying about the antonym. I feel that Mencius used an invalid statement for the nature of adult male being good. but an first-class statement on the theory of the “blank slate. ” While he does do some valid points in the way of his belief. I take his work as grounds in the side of neutrality. Hsun Tzu argued that good was non something adult male was born with. but that it was learned and must be actively practiced to get the better of the greed he believed adult male was born with.

He states that Mencius is non merely incorrect in his doctrine. but that he “has non truly understood man’s nature nor distinguished decently between the basic and witting activity” ( Hsun Tzu 101 ) . significance that he is incorrect because he can non distinguish between what is learned and what is natural. though I feel he suffers from the same status. A babe is non born with a gustatory sensation for wealth ; he acquires it if he is raised in an environment in which wealth is of import to those around him.

If adult male were non born a clean slate. I feel that there would non be such copiousness of both good and evil work forces in the universe. If Mencius or Hsun Tzu were right. I would anticipate to see one group far outnumber that which does non come of course to work forces. be it good or evil. The statement of man’s theoretical nature is continued by English philosophers John Locke and Thomas Hobbes. who go beyond the base of good and evil to more to the full lucubrate what is is that defines the nature of adult male.

These work forces agreed that people needed a authorities of some kind in topographic point to maintain it’s citizens from the “state of nature” . or a province lacking Torahs and societal construction. and that it’s citizens needed a “social contract” with said authorities. in which they would give up some of their freedoms in exchange for “the protections and chances of a civil society” ( Hobbes 119 ) . Hobbes believed that all work forces are born as peers. and that. though one adult male may be more fit physically or mentally. it is nil that can non be feigned by another adult male.

Hobbes explains this in his statement ; “Nature hath made work forces so equal in the modules of organic structure and head as that. though at that place be found one adult male sometimes obviously stronger in the organic structure or of quicker head than another. yet when all is reckoned together the difference between adult male and adult male is non so considerable that one adult male can thereupon claim to himself any benefit to which another may non feign every bit good as he” ( Hobbes 120 ) .

Hobbes besides believed so strongly that the authorities was necessary to maintain people from the “state of nature” that he opposed revolution. as “authoritarian authoritiess were necessary to maintain human existences worst urges under control” ( Hobbes 119 ) . His modern-day. John Locke. besides followed the belief that all work forces are born equal. but related the head to a piece of “white paper. nothingness of all characters” ( Locke 126 ) . He felt that man’s nature was shaped by his experiences. and how he interpreted those experiences within himself.

Like Hobbes. Locke believed that a authorities must be in topographic point to keep back the province of human nature. but unlike his coeval. Locke was of the sentiment that if the authorities did non continue the values it was meant to protect. its people had the right to do a alteration. be it revolution or otherwise. in the authorities. so that it may carry through its side of the contract. I find Locke’s doctrine to be the preferable cognition to follow. as it explains the nature of adult male. but allows for those in the hereafter to spread out upon the theory. and grants far more power to the people.

Further more. Edward O. Wilson’s work. published in 1998. causes the argument of human nature to distribute from the Fieldss of doctrine and sociology into biological science. Wilson wrote that human nature is “the epigenetic regulations. the familial regularities of mental development that bias cultural development in one way as opposed to another” ( Wilson 145 ) . Epigenetics is defined as the survey of familial alterations in visual aspect or cistron look caused by mechanisms other than alterations in the implicit in DNA sequence.

Wilson placed human nature under this class because he believed that the human encephalon formed its features based on the theory that “Brains that take sagely possess superior Darwinian fittingness. significance that statistically they survive longer and go forth more offspring” ( Wilson 145 ) . These encephalons that chose more sagely than that of their equals lived on. harmonizing to Wilson. within their progeny. finally doing the traits of their ascendants that made them superior to go hardwired into the encephalon. no longer a rare advantage. but a common trait of all worlds.

Now. working from the premise that all worlds today portion their lineage beyond a certain point in history. being the evolutionary nexus between ourselves and apes. it would do sense that certain traits we consider to be human nature. such as wonts of sexual reproduction. or human’s focal point on position within a structured society. have come of course to us because these are things our ascendants used to outlast their competition. Wilson went on to notice that human development is highly alone in that “a big portion of the environment determining it has been cultural” ( Wilson 146 ) .

This means that the traits we are born cognizing today could hold been the really same traits that our ancient ascendants had to larn in order to last. I consider this grounds to farther Locke’s “blank slate” theory. because. though these traits are now in our nature. they were one time something that had to be written upon the empty pages of the human head. In decision. I find that work forces are born within a impersonal province of being. In our universe there are good work forces. there are evil work forces. and there are those that are merely seeking to win in whatever it is that they do by agencies of both good and evil.

I find it difficult to grok that all work forces are born tilting to one side or the other with such a balance between the two. Philosophers have spoken on the nature of adult male for centuries ; scientists have now joined the argument. researching the mystics of why people do what they do. with great consequences in the waies of erudite traits versus what we would name human nature. Sociobiology. the scientific survey of the biological facets of societal behaviour in animate beings and worlds. is a field that did non be 50 old ages ago. and I feel it could easy be described. in simpler footings. as the survey of homo and carnal nature.

Possibly this is a inquiry. like many. that will simply travel unreciprocated. regardless of the multitudes of people analyzing the topic ; possibly non. In happening the reply to the inquiry of human nature. we may be able to insulate the difference between what is learned and what a human is born capable of. and that could be the key to fostering the manner we learn. or the mode in which we teach the coevalss to come. Possibly our progeny will be capable of larning college grade stuff in simple school. doing the possibilities of human promotion endless.