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Ken Chavez

Ken Chavez

Podcast Content
This article discusses the concept of human nature and its various interpretations. It argues that a causal essentialist view is correct, and that human nature refers to properties that are the focus of much current behavioural, psychological and social science research.
Human nature can be seen as an organism-environment system that constitutes organisms partaking in a group of properties that are unique to the human species. This view is supported by several authors such as Paul Griffiths, who equated causal conceptions of human nature with properties that are universal to all humans and necessary for human development. Thus, it explains the spectrum of similarity and difference between humans, providing support for the view that there is a unifying set of properties for all humans. This view is further supported by research in behavioural, psychological and social science which suggests that these properties are necessary for human development. In conclusion, human nature can be seen as a causal essentialist concept which explains the spectrum of similarity and difference between humans, supports research in behavioural, psychological and social science and supports the view that there is a unifying set of properties for all humans.
Philosophers have proposed a nomological account of human nature which suggests that all humans share the same intrinsic phenotypic traits, however this has been met with criticism from those who argue that such traits are too general and do not take into account more superficial properties which are also relevant to humans. As such, it is difficult to conceive of a unifying set of properties or ‘human nature’ which will apply to all humans. Philosopher Henry Samuels has raised the issue of how we can reconcile the various objects and properties seen as regularities in humanity without resorting to causal explanatory functions. He suggests that science should focus on understanding the mechanisms and processes underlying these objects and properties rather than simply try to explain them in terms of a unifying concept of ‘human nature’.
He argues that the concept of human nature is an artificial one and yields a statistical notion which yields only limited explanatory import. Thus, a traditional package of features such as independence, rationality, and self-determination are insufficient to fully realise the form of human intentional action.
In the 19th century, Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory raised the notion of a darwinian thinker where other animals could also be considered to possess traits that influence their spiritual character. Rousseau and others argued that philosophers should consider human characteristics as species traits, which would affect behavior and welfare. Karl Marx would go on to raise humans further, arguing that divine influence need not necessarily be taken into account when assessing human behavior in response to circumstance or physical characteristics.
Humans are rational social animals, and this simple selfishness is often the primary motivation for our behavior. However, what sets us apart from other species is our souls' ability to be affected by good ones and to be connected to our nature in ways that go beyond materialistic needs. This can be seen in the way that we have created just societies through civil law and social contracts, allowing us to reach a higher level of functioning. Plato was one of the first philosophers to note this remarkable capacity, attributing it to divine influence and assuming that people could reason better than any other species. However, despite these more social aspects of human nature, there are also bad characteristics that have been noted throughout history such as greed and selfishness. In order for us to reach a higher level of functioning as a society, we must recognize both the good and bad aspects of our souls and strive for justice on an individual level as well as through civil law in order for us all to benefit from living in just societies.
Scientific research suggests that we tend towards our intuitive responses first, and if rewarded cooperation, the result can be human goodness. Experiments have been conducted to understand how many of our interactions suggest results of an intuitively selfish creature or a good creature, and it is often seen that those who are regularly rewarded for their traits are those who provide a single set of good actions. While our first impulse might be to think of ourselves first in any given situation, this does not necessarily provide a definitive answer for how we should act in every instance. The challenge is to find the balance between being selfish and providing benefit to others so that everyone can live in harmony with each other. Human nature is complex and cannot easily be defined by one set of rules or expectations.
It is the interaction of people with nature that derives beneficial effects for human health and wellbeing. When positive interactions occur between people and nature, people obtain beneficial outcomes from their relationship with their environment. From a management or conservation perspective, the importance of biodiversity has been widely recognised and the benefits that it can provide to people are now widely accepted. From a human perspective, peoples attitudes towards nature have an important impact on how they interact with it, and this in turn can affect their health and wellbeing.
Conservation bodies are working hard to minimize the negative consequences of human activities, particularly on common species and biodiversity. Rapid urbanization also cause significant challenges for people, as does the loss of natural habitats. In order to maximize positive outcomes and minimize hazards, it is important that people understand the benefits of nature and its importance in relation to human health and wellbeing. This can be done by increasing awareness of their impacts on wildlife and understanding how people can com-mit to protecting nature while still enjoying its benefits. By encouraging sustainable practices such as reducing our reliance on resources, conserving water and land use, promoting green energy sources, reducing pollution, we can ensure that our health is not compromised.
We can also influence our yard vegetation, and the benefits of visitation ecosystems. While some conservationists may disagree with the idea of humans having an influence on nature, it is clear that our actions have an impact on urban form. This can be seen in examples such as the newly built rainforest in Singapore, or the Hawaiian research station which aims to move humankind closer to nature.
Human nature has been a topic of great thinkers for centuries, and with the advances in genetic engineering and editing DNA, talking scientists are now able to bring this sensational topic to life. From documentaries that discuss designer babies, to 3D animated sequences that explore how viruses work, Human Nature brings old footage and newscasts together with the help of scholars and smiling parade-style primers.