Sample Essay On Human Nature
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Wilson’s On Human Nature and Benedict’s Pattern Of Culture gives a comprehensive analysis on human nature, the existence of human nature, individuality as well as some of the factors contributing to individuality in detailed form.
Wilson (2004, p 145) affirms that human nature is a relatively static set of characteristics of psychology, cognition and motivation that are not the products of learning. He also reaffirms that it is the unique characteristics including how people think, feel and act which individuals tend to have naturally, self-reliantly of the consequence of culture.
According to his counterpart Benedict, the moment individuals have realized some psychological features as being part of human nature, they typically have been thinking about one of three things in mind. To begin with, these people have sometimes held that there are some innate ideas, concepts and beliefs that are hard-wired and are never learned through experiences. For instance, the concepts of time, space and causality are an essential part of any intelligent humans’ mental equipment. In addition, thinkers have at times postulated that there are some visceral emotions that come with the normal individual equipment, for instance, fear of extremely loud noises, love for infants, or even empathy. Also quite evident is that people sometimes declare that there are some important dispositions to deeds that are a part and parcel of human nature, for example, being amenable to the appeal of fairness, being self-interested, being monogamous or even its opposites (Wilson 145).
Benedict speaks her mind in page 133 confirming that the strongest case for mental characteristics that may be part of human nature concerns is what would be referred to as the foundations of social cognition and the social emotions. The social emotions may include a disposition to reciprocity, an innate receptiveness towards infants, and a deep foundation of empathy for the suffering of fellow human beings. It is not demanding to put together an analysis that would show that such psychological traits might have a variant reproductive advantage for the people who carry these personalities.
The fundamentals of social perception also seem to be suitable as candidates for characteristics of human nature as well. The capability to recognize and recall faces, the ability to read mental states and emotions in the speech and actions of others, and the ability to quickly take in for questioning a social setting, for example. There equally seem to be the elements of a selection-based elucidation of the proliferation of these behaviors through a population; such cognitive abilities for sure confer some reproductive paybacks on the individuals who hold them (Wilson 145).
Another illustration of a mental trait that may be an enduring constituent of human nature is the capacity to plan future activities, considering other possibilities and choosing a series of actions that leads to the future outcome that the individual has selected. The cognitive capabilities that underlie designing would appear to deliberate on the substantial evolutionary advantage.
Some of the factors other than genetics contributing to individuality include issues of status, reciprocal exchange, social coalitions of kinships like tribal affinity, complexities, sex and child rearing, selfishness, moral obligations, conformity and independence, friendship and nepotism, struggle for independence, benevolence and hostility.
Individuality is one of the unique things that every being possesses. Physical aspects, personality traits and influences of culture all contribute significantly to individuality. Individuality therefore refers to a process or a series of changes that starts at the molecular level and adds up over time, spurred on by the continuous flow of unique accidents, letdowns , triumphs and challenges each individual face every day, from preconscious prenatal development to the last panting breaths of old age.
The contributing issues to individuality are resultant from culture and surroundings. Individuality is somehow influenced by ethnicity but can be ascribed mostly to personality traits. It both attributes an individual to a group and at the same moment can make one independent as an individual.
According to Benedict on page 133, Aspects are counting to ones’ “coolness” come from his/her culture. Reading fashion magazines and being mindful of the decisions one makes when it comes to his shoes. It attributes an individual to the fashion culture. The decisions individuals make can almost always be ascribed to a larger group of people. How we dress, act and live does not only contribute to the perception of our respective cultures rather; our respective cultures very much contribute to who we are as special beings.
Edward Wilson’s On Human Nature elaborates on ethnicity quite explicitly. Saying the argument of whether or not black people are cooler than white people is “a dumb one”. He then traces back to the blacks historically, talking of the coolness of Ike Turner to Michael Jordan. It is a prodigious example of the extent to which culture affects our individuality. His culture demonstrates successful, cool people dressing, acting and behaving in certain ways. It inspires him to act similarly in order to be cool. Nevertheless, another person might see this comportment and lifestyle that Alexander finds cool and consider that it is not so cool at all. It though makes it questionable, what exactly is and is not cool? It can be justifiable by having a high self-esteem and being contented with ones’ individuality.
Wilson (2004, p145) is right in saying that culture and ethnicity are dynamics in one’s individuality. However, he is inappropriate for making some comprehensive generalizations of both the blacks and the whites. Not all blacks have had the same nurture and cultural upbringing and the same goes for the whites.
Experience matters a lot in individuality. Genes are clearly and critically important but even if given identical genes and environment, different involvements lead to different traits, and to the individualization of the brain. It’s a reassuring thought, in its way. Even if DNA codes the basic structure of your personality; even if the epigenetic changes began cooking up the ingredients months before one was born, one’s personal choices and proficiencies also define how those factors come together – and, to some extent, what sorts of recipes an individual passes on to their children.
It does not therefore seem reasonable to claim that individuality is some way innate at the time of conception; or at any single moment in anyone’s development. Rather, it’s a process and a series of changes that begin at the molecular level and add up over time, prompted on by the continuous flow of unique accidents, victories, letdowns and challenges each individual faces each day, from pre-conscious prenatal development to the last puffing breaths of old age. Individuality differs from “personhood” or “selfhood” rather it is, in a word, uniqueness.
Just Like the axe or ship from the riddle, even to the individuals who share the same mother, environment, genes are never exactly the same. Nor is one the same person they were yesterday, or a year ago, or at conception. Ones’ individuality grows and changes each day, and shapes the conditions that will keep making them even more unique, long into the future.
Wilson, Edward O. On Human Nature. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2004. Internet resource.
Benedict Ruth. Patterns of culture, Boston: Houghton Mifflin press, 2005. Internet resource.
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