PersonalIdentityAndHumanNature

PersonalIdentityAndHumanNature - Human Nature and Personal...

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Human Nature and Personal Identity Who or what are we? Plato, Aristotle, Christianity Death/Freedom-Existentialism The Influence of Western Essentialism on Women (Religion (Genesis/Politics (Aristotle/Spelman). Human Community(Menkiti).
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Who or What are we? There is an essence within us , or is there something central that contains and represents the essence of who and what we are/ There is a number of layers ; we consist entirely of our layers-genetic instructions and environmental effects. Existentialism : The Self-created Self. The key fact about human nature is that we come into being and exist without a fixed human nature. Buddhism proclaimed that there is no need to think of a solid, separate self. An African view of a fully realized human person describes the creative complementary relationship between men and women.
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There is an Essential Human Nature Two Thought systems represent the view of human nature in the West: Greek Rationalism and Hebrew Thought- Christianity: The Judaic and Christian Tradition : The Hebrew scriptures assert that we humans are made in image and likeness of God. Humans in a special way are believe to share in the divine nature. Like the Creator we know, who we are, we are self conscious and we have the capacity for love. Indeed we are moral selves obliged to love and serve our Creator. The Greek Rationalist Tradition: For Plato and Aristotle, it is our reasoning ability that sets us apart from other creatures. To be fully human and to understand reality as it is, we must use reason to become enlightened. For Plato, people are driven by three forces, appetites, emotions, and reason. The latest the highest level of humanity and highest social class one can attain.
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The Greek Rationalist Tradition: II For both Plato and Aristotle it is reason that lies at the core of the human person. For Plato the logos/soul (rational principle) is the immortal part of us. Its true home is not in this world of matter and the senses but in the higher world of pure Forms- a world that only our reason can reveal. Aristotle agrees that at our core we are rational beings. In the Metaphysics, he claims that “all men by nature desire to know.” The Forms exist and can exist only in matter. His ontology implies that souls exist only in bodies and that when the body dies the souls dies with it.
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Western philosophy has tended to separate the mind from the body and declare its superiority over the body on the basis for human essence and uniqueness. Reason is superior to emotions. Women operate with the heart and men with the mind. The Politics of Aristotle: In nature there is a “Ruling Principle:”
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This note was uploaded on 09/22/2009 for the course HUM 282927 taught by Professor Edwards during the Fall '08 term at Florida State College.

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PersonalIdentityAndHumanNature - Human Nature and Personal...

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