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22. Metaethics / C. Ethics Foundations / 2. Source of Ethics / e. Human nature

[human nature as source of good and bad]

41 ideas
Humans are similar, but social conventions drive us apart (sages and idiots being the exceptions) [Confucius]
Hate and lust have their roots in man's lower nature [Anon (Bhag)]
The two ruling human principles are the natural desire for pleasure, and an acquired love of virtue [Plato]
Diogenes said a plucked chicken fits Plato's definition of man [Diogenes of Sin., by Diog. Laertius]
Perhaps we get a better account of happiness as the good for man if we know his function [Aristotle]
If bodily organs have functions, presumably the whole person has one [Aristotle]
To eat vast amounts is unnatural, since natural desire is to replenish the deficiency [Aristotle]
Men are physically prime at thirty-five, and mentally prime at forty-nine [Aristotle]
Aristotle never actually says that man is a rational animal [Aristotle, by Fogelin]
Human purpose is to contemplate and imitate the cosmos [Chrysippus]
Our bodies weren't created to be used; on the contrary, their creation makes a use possible [Lucretius]
Justice is each person fulfilling his function [Porphyry]
When people fall into wickedness they lose their human nature [Boethius]
Along with his pantheism, Spinoza equates ethics with the study of human nature [Spinoza, by MacIntyre]
The essence of man is modifications of the nature of God [Spinoza]
By 'good' I mean what brings us ever closer to our model of human nature [Spinoza]
If infancy in humans was very rare, we would consider it a pitiful natural defect [Spinoza]
There are two sides to men - the pleasantly social, and the violent and creative [Diderot, by Berlin]
Man is God if he raises himself, by denying his nature and finitude [Hegel]
Man's three basic ethical incentives are egoism, malice and compassion [Schopenhauer]
Man is essentially a dreadful wild animal [Schopenhauer]
Consciousness is a social product [Marx/Engels]
The nature of an individual coincides with what they produce and how they produce it [Marx/Engels]
The most important aspect of a human being is not reason, but passion [Kierkegaard, by Carlisle]
The human essence is not found in individuals but in social relations [Marx]
Each person has a fixed constitution, which makes them a particular type of person [Nietzsche, by Leiter]
I could take a healthy infant and train it up to be any type of specialist I choose [Watson,JB]
Instead of having a nature, man only has a history [Ortega y Gassett]
Man is a useless passion [Sartre]
Man is the desire to be God [Sartre]
There is no human nature [Sartre]
The rules of human decision-making converge and overlap in a 'human nature' [Wilson,EO]
Essentialism fits in with Darwinism, but not with extreme politics of left or right [Ellis]
The category of person is a weak basis for ethics, because it is not fixed but comes in degrees [Williams,B]
We can't accept Aristotle's naturalism about persons, because it is normative and unscientific [Williams,B, by Hursthouse]
When 'man' is thought of individually, apart from all roles, it ceases to be a functional concept [MacIntyre]
Evil isn't explained by nature, by monsters, by uncharacteristic actions, or by society [Kekes]
'Essentialism' is opposed to existentialism, and claims there is a human nature [Mautner]
Many think that accepting human nature is to accept innumerable evils [Pinker]
Cynics are committed to morality, but disappointed or disgusted by human failings [Fogelin]
Humans have been hunter-gatherers for 99.5% of their existence [Watson]