Human Nature (Naturalism; Man is an irrational animal/Man is subject…
; Man is an irrational animal/Man is subject
application of evolutionary theory to human society. The weak are diminished, while the strong reign and succeed. "Survival of the fittest" -
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzche
Perspectivism; Perspective is the most precondition of any knowledge. All knowledge is interpreted and filtered through our values.This is based off bodily/earthly desires. To be objective is to "view from nowhere."
Critique of rationalism
The mind is called
Proving that neurotic behaviour came from early-childhood trauma. Not just from our genes.
The Tripartite theory of the unconsciousness
Basic instincts, sexual desires and aggression.
Conscious part of the mind. Takes in the impulses of the Id and the Super-ego and resolves them into coherent behaviour. (The Ego is the weakest part of the mind)
Given to us by society, it requires us to restrain our Id type instincts.
Evolutionary psychology: Most behaviours animals exhibit are done in order to survive. This also applies to humans, we are guided by our 'selfish genes'.
Optimism bias: People consciously reject facts in order to believe attractive fiction.
confirmation bias: The way we value and take in information isn't rational because we do not weighing all evidence up equally. eg. Watsons selection task, turning over cards in order to prove a rule is true. Most people got it wrong. Or paranormal and superstitious thinking.
Cognitive bias: We have bias towards acting irrationally in our brains.
Male aggression and competitiveness coming from a need for survival and reproduction. Or mating preferences; men seeking younger partners, what people find attractive is meant to indicate useful genes. Men preferring short term mating preference, while women longer ones.
3) Our conscious experience can mislead us into things are much simpler than they really are.
2) Our brain is a product of natural selection to solves problems faced by our ancestors. Our behaviour follows the same pattern.
1) The brain is a physical system whose operation is governed solely by the laws of chemistry and physics.
Charles Lyell believed that our behaviours were to complex to be explained by evolution. (Descartes) believed that the mind was irreducible, meaning it could not be constructed by tiny increments.
We can overcome our genes and per determined behaviour because we of awareness.
A behaviour that costs an organism without any apparent benefit.
According to Kin Selection theory organisms that help their closely related family members to survive as ensuring the survival of their own genes.
Evolutionary theory: In his book 'The Origin of Species' he outlined how all organisms were the product of a slow incremental development over millions of years.
If we are a product of evolution, where did our perfect soul come from?
-Argument against Platos realm of forms
; Tabla Rasa/Blank Slate
Post-structuralist or postmordernist
Foucault rejects rationalism on grounds of assumption and prejudice. Believed that claims to truth are always linked to cultural agenda. 'Truth' is relative to the discourse and culture that creates it. To claim a man is rational is dependent on the culture of the time eg. Men who were able to vote being called the only rational beings by Plato. Christian values of sin and the sensual world, of heaven(the realm of forms) are seen in Plato's work, evidence of his bias.
John B. Watson:
The only nature of man is our ability to become anything
argues that experience alone is insufficient to explain thought. (Applying both to Locke and Watson) Thought would be impossible if we only had a blank slate within our mind. Assigning meaning(Value) to information is a precondition to experience. Our sorting of information (especially sense data) must be done by some innate faculties.
Humans appear to have an innate capacity for language, termed "Universal Grammar" -If conditioning alone were the mechanism behind language acquisition we would be unprepared to use language in novel ways.
believed there must be categories present in the mind from birth. A basic set of tools for organising sense data. The two most basic categories are
time and space
All our behaviours are learned response to stimulus (Conditioning)
Rejected the notion of instinct "Everything we have been in the habit of calling an 'instinct' today is a result of largely training -belonging to man's learned behaviour.
Rejects that there is a distinction between animals and humans. Baby pigeons and rats learn in the same way humans do.
We are entirely the sum of our experiences. The reason we share behaviours with other people is because we raised in the same culture.
Beef: We still come from the same place, the same 'wax' so we have similar ideas despite having different experience.-Descartes
A philosophical and psychological approach to learning, claiming that our experiences are organised and related to one another by association. eg. when we see the shape of a cat, this brings to mind all the sights, smells, feelings ect. that we associate with the experience of a cat. (
would say that the experiences of a cat are a 'bundle of perceptions'
The mind is a white piece of paper void of all characters and this is where all ideas spring from. At birth we are an empty vessel. There is no human nature.
; Objective beings(having self control/autonomy and being able to justify beliefs)
A lot of Plato's rationalist philosophy is prescribing to a certain way of living 'the good life'. That the best way to live is in control of our desires and anyone who is not is 'base' or not fully human.
3) knowledge; most animals respond to stimuli, whereas human beings consider possibilities and select among them.
2) Objectivity; We are able to think independently of our perspectives.
1) Autonomy; Our ability to restrain actions caused by our desires.
: we are capable of thinking objectively eg our ability to do mathematics is what makes us human.
An explanation for reason
eg. "I think therefore I am" (an example of a self-evident truth)
Man can discover truth and certainties through abstract certainties
Principle of sufficient reason
: There is a sufficient explanation for everything that exists or occurs.
This links to
eg. My parents are the (sufficient) reason I exist. (Chain of causation)
David Hume critiques this saying that we assume everything is related, but there is no "necessary connection" between events.
Law of non-contradiction
: Nothing can simultaneously be and not be.
Law of identity
: A subject is equal to the sum of its predicates, or a=a.
realm of forms
If things in the world are subject to decay and change, then they cannot be real.
How can we claim that a horse is a horse if every horse if different?
-The real perfect/ideal horse only exists within the realm of forms (a place our soul returns to when we die).
(every human has a soul)
Man can make choices independent of his impuleses
Beef: Our rational self if meant to only act objectively and make decisions purely based on reason. However, if you are thirsty and want to drink water, but know the water is poison, you are using the rational part of your soul, but not drinking poison and therefore not dying is also a desire(Argument for naturalism)
; drives you to eat, have sex and protect yourself.
; How your feelings fuel your actions
;Seeks the truth and is swayed by facts and arguments.