human nature

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human nature

the characteristics pertaining to human beings as a natural kind or species. Sociologists are generally agreed that, compared with other animals, the distinctive quality of human nature is its PLASTICITY. Rather than being born with specific INSTINCTS or predispositions, to be developed by maturation or automatically triggered by the environment, the BEHAVIOUR of human beings is influenced by CULTURE and SOCIALIZATION. Thus, suggestions that human beings are naturally acquisitive or aggressive can be countered by examples of societies in which acquisition or warfare are absent. Above all, human beings have developed the capacity for REFLEXIVITY, thus introducing the possibility of RATIONAL ACTION and rational social development. Against this, however, CIVILIZATION is sometimes seen as a veneer (e.g. Freud, Civilization and its Discontents), in which the instinctive aspect of human nature keeps breaking through, tending always to limit PROGRESS or rational development.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cities do demonstrate "the social nature of humanity," but the better side of that nature does not always triumph.
Sci-fi specialist blog io9 also praised the show, with Charlie Jane Anders writing: "There's seldom been an hour of television that brought up as many fascinating ideas about the nature of humanity as Torchwood: Miracle Day's first episode, which just aired.
His narrative spices the tense supernatural thriller telling of a small town affected by a woman's archaeological find--a find that is changing the nature of humanity itself in the town.
At the core of the enlightened imagination was a twofold universalism embodied in the convictions (1) that an increasing segment of the populace could experience enlightenment and (2) that the common nature of humanity and the universal operation of reason ought to encourage a cosmopolitan vision.
Kemal, on his part, said that it was not the nature of humanity but the living conditions that forced people to be evil against each other.
Neither politics nor culture offers a way out of the crisis, but theology, with its critical contemplation of the nature of humanity and humanity's future, may suggest answers to some of the very problems it helped to create.
In 'Philosophical Anthropology, Ethics and Political Philosophy in an Age of Impending Catastrophe' Arran Gare argues that if we are to provide the ethics and political philosophy required to reorient people to address the global ecological crisis, then it is necessary to reintegrate philosophy with the quest to understand the nature of humanity and its place in the cosmos.
He offers philosophical reasoning and interestingly injects "German Idealism," most notably Hegelian ideas of "ethical life," into his frequently pessimistic diagnosis of the nature of humanity and interfaith relations.
In both films the audience realizes that it is not simply contemporary America, or Ceausescu's Romania; nor is it simply the politics surrounding abortion, or the corrupt nature of humanity under pressure, but all things.
A simple event turns into a hysterical social reaction in this story of the possible return of Martians from War of the Worlds, and their impact on the nature of humanity itself.
But their unfinished feel adds poignancy to a piece about the fragmentary nature of humanity.
I am called, however, to be as hopeful about the nature of humanity and creation as Charlie Brown.