PHIL 1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 22: Human Nature

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Published on 15 Sep 2020
Hao Tran
Intro to Philosophy
Notes: Phil 1
Throughout history, human beings have been motivated by the same things
(jealousy, ambition, pride)
Overgeneralization, do not include from essay
If someone told us that they found a society that lacked those motives, we
wouldn't believe them
We take them to be constant features of human nature
Historians wouldn't be able to study history if they did not assume that their
motives stayed the same throughout time
Human nature
If human beings have a fixed nature, then they do not have “freedom of will” in
the sense of the capacity to act against this nature entirely
If human beings had this capacity, we would see a greater variety of randomness
in human behavior.
But the study of history teaches us that human beings act in regular ways.
While it is true that each individual is a little bit different from the next, this is
true in nature, too
Each dog behaves a little bit differently.
We can get to know someone through experience
And the more experience we have with this person, the better were able to
anticipate how he or she will act.
Otherwise, relationships like friendship would be impossible!
Cant people surprise us? Cant they act in ways that we not expect?
Yes, but that might just mean that we dont know everything that is inluencing
A friendly person is suddenly rude.
This does not mean he has freedom of will. It might just mean that he has
a toothache or is hungry.
The same is true of weather
Weather can be explained, even though we are not entirely sure of all its factors
Knowledge and action
Knowledge of human beings (humanities, social sciences,
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