The Essence of Human Nature

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The mind begins with a blank slate in human nature, and the outcome of a person's trait arises from sense and experience in growing concepts over time (Laird 54). All ideas and thoughts arise from "things of reflection or sensation," and all reason and knowledge are derived from an individual's experience. Marx, on the other hand, contends that the "human mind gives the understanding with conceptions of its operations," rather than providing the understanding based on precise genes allotted to the brain before to birth (53). Munro affirms the notion that any human being could undersee his/her thoughts and check out how he/she gained all understanding and knowledge wholly, and perceive it as being a gathering of the functions of the mind or the substances of senses (72). As a result, he claims that there are no inborn behavioral genes prescribed to an individual before owning any sensation or experience whatsoever. Nevertheless, I believe that knowledge and ideas originate partially grounded on the inherited innate genes, instead of just from what a person has experienced during their lifetime. The idea of Marx that all knowledge and ideas result strictly from experience is relatively reasonable, though I consider that experience alone goes far in determining the whole result of who an individual is as well as the way they behave (77). Laird’s “blank slate” concept of sensation and experience, and the principle of innate genes and evolutionary biology are both applicable and valid to the growth of human nature (69). Thus, essence of human nature rests mainly in individual's capability to reason; the capacity that is exclusively human and lets persons make choices that would outline their norms of behavior.

In reference to Munro’s idea on human nature, people are seen as intelligent beings with greater ability for reasoning (61). The idea is well displayed in the works of Laird who argued that human soul consists of three portions: "appetite," "spirit," and "reason" that function in synchrony (41). The rational part of the soul is situated in the brain of the human being and controls the whole body. Consequently, the spirit, liable for the temper and feelings, occupies the chest of an individual. The last portion of the soul is the appetite which is in control of the fundamental human natures like lust, hunger, or thirst and is positioned in the stomach. Laird considers the reason as one of the most vital parts since it is capable of controlling the primal instincts and urges, and to guide somebody in his acts (34). Similarly, Prinz claims that the reasoning portion of human beings must rule because it is wise and practices forethought on behalf human nature (20). The better way to recognize Munro concept is to visualize a patient at the clinic who is ordered to remain without water and food for about 23 hours before a surgery (99). Even though the person is hungry and thirsty, he consciously manages his temptations since he identifies that such deeds might jeopardize his health. Subsequently, he makes the sensible decision to conform the clinicians' instructions. By carefully observing at Marx philosophy of human nature, it is rational to note that through reason, he destined the exceptional human nature of ability to reason in complexity as well as to be in control of his/her actions (59).

Some individuals might claim that the reasons do not at all times determine human nature. Frequently the basic emotions and instincts can take over thus an individual may hurt other people or harm himself. For instance, as many reported cases of "crimes of passion," while in a time of jealousy and rage, one might murder his cheating spouse. In Munro’s argument, he indicates the chance that the "appetitive" and "spirited" parts can lead the human natures if the three parts of the human’s soul are totally not in "agreement" (56). A suitably operating mind permits the reason to govern beside the spirit as the associate and an appetite kept back under control. From Laird perspective, human nature is quite apparent on reason (30). It will thrive to make an individual to take charge over the physical lures, which results in his rational choices and decisions. Therefore, in my view, the capacity to reason from human nature conception is what makes an individual unique, provides him/her with the "exact tools" to decide on how to behave in particular circumstances, and determines his/her norms of behavior in the society.

Initially, Laird rejected all his existing beliefs and theories to distinct merely the proofs that he was certainly off (45). In the progression, he revealed that he doubted whether he was having the body; though he was certain to have a mind. Prinz maintained that the body and mind were two various things (76). He furthered that the mind is an immaterial substance and a "thinking thing," which is the essence of human nature that could think, hope, believe and doubt. As a result, the mind can exist separately from the body; hence human mind is distinct from one's body, whose principle is the thought. To several persons, dualism might be clear when a person tries to describe that physical feature of the human body, which lacks in mind. Additionally, when somebody becomes physically sick, does his mind stay stronger?

The strict use of reason to address difficulties is the way to accomplish certainty in the clarification of human nature and science. Munro’s assertion that "people think, thus they exist," is not all about infatuation with the thinking process. Instead, it is about getting some things that individuals would at no time doubt (28). Understanding that human nature could be misleading, what people recognize with certainty is in fact what they are thinking. Conversely, even when people are dreaming, or confined in reality, they would not stop thinking hence such knowledge approves that people exist. The idea is supported by Prinz who noted that the rational action of human nature is the real evidence of human being existence (45). From the opinions derived from this statement, Laird points out that he is certain to have ability and thoughts to make use of reason (67). He added that these facts came to him as "distinct and clear perceptions." According to Marx, anything that might be seen through distinct and clear perceptions exist (72). Therefore, reason and thought must have to be the essence of human nature since they are evidently perceived.

Consequently, real knowledge on anything in the world, together with the human nature, originates only via the use of reason. On the other hand, whereas the outside world operates through mechanistic philosophies, this is not the situation with human nature, which is directed by reason. Moreover, the capability to reason is what distinguishes human nature from other life (Marx 78). Furthermore, what is human cannot be examined by the similar ideologies that were used by the contemporary natural sciences. For a further understanding of human nature, it is vital to comprehend the linking between morality and reason. According to Munro morality relates to entire rational beings as well (65). A moral act is primarily determined and defined by thinking but not through human senses.

Additionally, another feature of realizing human nature is to explore further somebody's ability to practice his personal free will. In the viewpoint of Prinz, the doctrine that a person, irrespective of external forces to him, might and do select some of his acts (89). Laird introduces the notion of human's power of choice and free will as factors which determine a person's early education, his physical constitution, his hereditary tendencies and his parentage because all these are just the outcomes of decisions made in previous lives (73). Nevertheless, these choices as well determine the person's phase of evolution, display the location he has to occupy in the well-organized situation and show the distinct virtue required for his instant development. The entire difficulty of evolution, from Marx view, is ethics (81). The ultimate goal of each one is to free from the tyranny of limited nature, and this may be achieved only by the labors of the person; thus, every person should start where he/she is, and improve that particular virtue which is necessary.

Human nature account for introspective conviction which is in govern of many of human choices, hence people's destiny. Munro argues that people are free to decide and think (12). Human being contrast this elastic, conscious management that people enjoy with the instinctive act of, persons’ digestion or heartbeat, as well as the instinctual authoritative of a dog's conditioned reaction or a bird's nest-construction. Thus, human choices are more sovereign of nature than all animals. Also, people are conscious of their ability to reason and of the costs of decisions. Hence they can claim accountability for actions. Though not all philosophers come to an agreement on the description of the human nature, or the rules that rely on it, however, the reasoning form are the same for all realistic schemes of ethics (Laird 23). As a result, all humankind's have emotions and instincts yet above everything, they have the ability to reason and control their primal urges and feelings.

In conclusion, the essence of human nature depends majorly on people’s ability to think; the capacity that is human as well as permits individuals to come up with choices that would control their standards of behavior. Reason and thought must have to be the essence of human nature since they are evidently perceived. It is rational to note that through thought, human nature of ability to reason is complicated. What is human cannot be examined by the similar ideologies that were used by the modern natural sciences. Understanding that human nature could be misleading, therefore, what people recognize with certainty is in fact what they are thinking. People are conscious of their ability to reason and of the costs of choices

Work cited

Laird, John. Hume's Philosophy of Human Nature (Routledge Revivals). Routledge, 2014.

Marx, Karl. The Marx-Engels reader. Vol. 4. New York: Norton, 1972.

Munro, Donald J. Images of Human Nature: A Sung Portrait. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Prinz, Jesse J. Beyond human nature: How culture and experience shape the human mind. WW Norton & Company, 2014.

May 17, 2023
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Human Nature Karl Marx Theory

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