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Chapter 2. Human Nature. What kind of being am I? . Moritz Schlick – psychological egoism The theory that human beings can only act in their self interest. Hobbes and Freud – human beings are essentially nasty, selfish and aggressive. (pages 48-49)

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Chapter 2

Chapter 2

Human Nature


What kind of being am i
What kind of being am I?

  • Moritz Schlick – psychological egoism

    The theory that human beings can only act in their self interest.

    Hobbes and Freud – human beings are essentially nasty, selfish and aggressive. (pages 48-49)

    How would this view of human nature affect how a person thinks society should be organized?

Hobbes


What is human nature
What is human nature?

  • The Traditional Rational view:

    • Aristotle – doctrine of the mean

    • Plato – chariot analogy (see page 54)

    • While both of these philosophers have a teleological view regarding what it means to be human, Aristotle is a materialist whereas Plato uses the word Forms. For Plato, the forms are eternal and perfect ideals that exist in an unchanging and perfect heaven.

    • What are the implications of defining humans as rational animals?

Plato


Aristotle
Aristotle

  • Aristotle claimed that if one group of persons was less rational than another they would be less than human, and could justifiably be enslaved by those who were more rational.


Natural law theory
Natural law theory

  • This view holds that the world has a rational purpose built into nature. Everything has a purpose. The “Laws of Nature” not only describe how things are but how they ought to be. We can grasp these laws because God has made us rational creatures.

  • Does this view have assumptions of cultural superiority?

  • Is being natural always good? Why or why not?


Human nature
Human nature

  • If we follow the laws of nature, what does this mean? What are some constantly recurring features of human beings.

  • If human beings have a propensity for jealousy, vengefulness, selfishness, and so forth than perhaps we should not follow our nature.


Darwin s challenge
Darwin’s challenge

  • Charles Darwin proposed two key ideas: Animals and plants are sometimes born by chance with features that are different from those of their parents and that they can pass on to their offspring variations and that because animals produce more offspring that can survive. Over time, this process can make animals gradually change into new species. This also applies to humans, according to Darwin.

  • What are the implications of this view point? If humans evolve, than can morality evolve?


Existentialist challenge
Existentialist challenge

  • What does Jean-Paul Sartre say about the traditional rationalist view?


Feminist challenge
Feminist challenge

  • Plato associates the soul with reason and opposed these two to the body and its earthly desires. The “pure” soul is supposed to rule over the “impure” body.

  • Please read the quote on page 71 by Aristotle.

  • Is it really possible just to take out misogynistic quotes and stir to have a gender neutral philosophy?


Descartes
Descartes

  • The first part of this video is a good summary of Descartes theory of dualism.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg01Q1BI4WM


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