What Hobbes calls the first law of naturefor instance, is that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war.
Overview[ edit ] The concept of nature as a standard by which to make judgments is traditionally said to have begun in Greek philosophyat least as regards the Western and Middle Eastern languages and perspectives which are heavily influenced by it.
By this account, human nature really causes humans to become what they become, and so it exists somehow independently of individual humans. This in turn has been understood as also showing a special connection between human nature and divinity.
This approach understands human nature in terms of final and formal causes. In other words, nature itself or a nature-creating divinity has intentions and goals, similar somehow to human intentions and goals, and one of those goals is humanity living naturally. Such understandings of human nature see this nature as an "idea", or " form " of a human.
Against this idea of a fixed human nature, the relative malleability of man has been argued especially strongly in recent centuries—firstly by early modernists such as Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Charles Darwin 's theory of evolution has changed the nature of the discussion, supporting the proposition that mankind's ancestors were not like mankind today.
Still more recent scientific perspectives—such as behaviorismdeterminismand the chemical model within modern psychiatry and psychology —claim to be neutral regarding human nature.
As in much of modern science, such disciplines seek to explain with little or no recourse to metaphysical causation.
Classical Greek philosophy[ edit ] Main article: According to Aristotlethe philosophical study of human nature itself originated with Socrateswho turned philosophy from study of the heavens to study of the human things.
It is clear from the works of his students Plato and Xenophonand also by what was said about him by Aristotle Plato's studentthat Socrates was a rationalist and believed that the best life and the life most suited to human nature involved reasoning.
The Socratic school was the dominant surviving influence in philosophical discussion in the Middle Agesamongst IslamicChristianand Jewish philosophers.
The human soul in the works of Plato and Aristotle has a divided nature, divided in a specifically human way.
One part is specifically human and rational, and divided into a part which is rational on its own, and a spirited part which can understand reason. Other parts of the soul are home to desires or passions similar to those found in animals.
In both Aristotle and Plato, spiritedness thumos is distinguished from the other passions epithumiai. By this account, using one's reason is the best way to live, and philosophers are the highest types of humans.
Aristotle—Plato's most famous student—made some of the most famous and influential statements about human nature. In his works, apart from using a similar scheme of a divided human soul, some clear statements about human nature are made: Man is a conjugal animal, meaning an animal which is born to couple when an adult, thus building a household oikos and, in more successful cases, a clan or small village still run upon patriarchal lines.
This type of community is different in kind from a large family, and requires the special use of human reason. Man loves to use his imagination and not only to make laws and run town councils.
He says "we enjoy looking at accurate likenesses of things which are themselves painful to see, obscene beasts, for instance, and corpses.
Much of Aristotle's description of human nature is still influential today.Theory of Human Nature – The Tripartite Structure of the Soul – [Having encountered the social self of Confucianism, the divine self of Hinduism, and the no-self of Buddhism, we come to dualism.] Plato is a dualist ; there is both immaterial mind (soul) and material body, and it is the soul that knows the forms.
Transcript of Plato's Theory of Human Nature. Plato's Theory of Human Nature Plato's Background The influence of the biggest hub of science and mathematics in Greece is evident in Plato's work. Plato's teacher was Socrates, and he taught Aristotle, all of whom were great philosophers.
Theory of Forms Plato's answer to the . Platos' Theory of Human Nature In my opinion, Socrates’ analysis of human nature is very true as it ultimately brings us his definition of justice.
Politics of Plato and Aristotle To compare the political theories of two great philosophers of politics is to first examine each theory in depth. Many experts regard Plato as the first writer of political philosophy, and Aristotle is recognized as the first political scientist. These two men were great thinkers.
He tells the 'Allegory of the Cave' as a conversation between his mentor, Socrates, who inspired many of Plato's philosophical theories, and one of Socrates' students, Glaucon. The Theory of Forms. Aristotle: The Ideal of Human Fulfillment (This is a summary of a chapter in a book I often used in university classes: Twelve Theories of Human Nature.
Brackets indicate my comments.) Aristotle ( BCE) was a student of Plato’s and the tutor of Alexander the Great.