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Human nature: Ancient Philosophy


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Human nature: Ancient Philosophy

  1. 1. ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY Views of Human Nature from the earliest recorded events to around the fifth century of the AD
  2. 2. PHILOSOPHY the science of the logical foundation of all knowledge
  3. 3. The Field of Philosophy has asked significant questions that led to be the understanding of what human being is and how he/she must be handled. This is why Philosophy is a very important foundation of Guidance and Counseling. Every counseling practitioner should have a philosophy of human beings and how their problems evolve in order to establish a philosophy of helping
  4. 4. Gifted thinker of ancient Athens who helped lay the foundation of western philosophy The methods he used and the concepts he proposed, along with his courageous defense of his ideas against his enemies, profoundly influenced the philosophical and moral tenor of western thought over the centuries. His refusal to compromise his intellectual integrity in the face of a death sentence set an example for the entire world to follow! (469-399 BCE) Socrates said, that the true way of human life is to love true knowledge
  5. 5. •Method of elenchus -(i.e. rigorous questioning technique) •Designed to “sting” people into realizing their own ignorance -Provoke genuine intellectual curiosity •True knowledge gained only by constantly questioning assumptions that underly all we do -To achieve truth is to engage in a permanent state of critical thinking
  6. 6. VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE Plato's understanding that the soul has three parts is at least an initially fruitful way to begin to think about human nature. Socrates was a rationalist and believed that the best life and the life most suited to human nature involved reasoning. Socrates believed that nobody willingly chooses to do wrong.
  7. 7. The being in human is an inner-self. This inner- self is divine, cannot die, and will dwell forever with the gods. Only human beings can distinguish virtue, which is knowledge, from ignorance (root of moral evil). The human being is so constituted that he "can" know the good. And, knowing it, he can follow it, for no one who truly knows the good would deliberately choose to follow the evil. Only the human being has these capabilities. The mind of man is constantly reaching out for more and more knowledge, just as his will is desirous of more and more love. VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE
  8. 8. Socrates used the claim of wisdom as his moral basis Chief goodness consists in the caring of the soul concerned with moral truth and understanding “Wealth does not bring goodness, but goodness brings wealth and every other blessing, both to the individual and to the state” “Life without examination (dialogue) is not worth living” He would want you to evaluate society and your own life regularly!
  9. 9. The unexamined life is not worth living. He is rich who is content with the least; for contentment is the wealth of nature. Death may be the greatest of all human blessings. The nearest way to glory is to strive to be what you wish to be thought to be. Enjoy yourself -- it's later than you think. One thing only I know, and that is that I know nothing.
  10. 10. (429-347 BCE) The “idealist” or “utopian” or “dreamer” Born into a wealthy family in the second year of the Peloponnesian War Name means “high forehead” Student of Socrates Left Athens when Socrates died but returned to open a school called the Academy in 385 BCE Wrote 20 books, many in the dialectic style (a story which attempts to teach a specific concept) with Socrates as the main character
  11. 11. •Idealist, believes in order and harmony, morality and self- denial •Immortality of the soul •Virtue as knowledge •Theory of Forms – the highest function of the human soul is to achieve the vision of the form of the good
  12. 12. VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE Human nature depend on Plato's theory of soul. Soul has three parts, and each part develops in different manner in different people, and the nature of man depends on how his soul is formed. This is a spontaneous affair. Rational, social animals. Plato tended to identify our nature with reason, and our souls, as opposed to our bodies. Who we are depends on what kind of a soul we have—a philosopher soul, a guardian or warrior soul, or an artisan soul. This is the general role we should play in society. Success or failure at life depends upon what sort of society we live in. Human life needs to be political for Plato, spent in the discovery of the proper manner in which sociality ought to be organized, and then in the practical implementation of that ideal in our own societies. We are rational and social creatures, but we become who we are in society. In order to become what we truly are, we must live in the true (or ideal) society. Essence is grasped by rational analysis, as it is separate from change. Theory of Human Nature (what are we?) Theory of the self (who are we?) Normative implications for human existence (How should we live) Articulating the vision: how do the normative implications follow from the theory of human nature?
  13. 13. Plato’s thinking on the immortality of the soul, Plato’s conception of a world beyond the sensory and his god- like form of good have very much shaped Christian thinking on God, the soul, and an afterlife ... Nietsche called Christianity “Plato for the people”
  14. 14. " Courage is knowing what not to fear " " The community which has neither poverty nor riches will always have the noblest principles. " " Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. " " Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance. " At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil. Thinking: the talking of the soul with itself. Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. The greatest wealth is to live content with little. For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories. We are twice armed if we fight with faith.
  15. 15. (384-322 BCE) The “real” or “encyclopedist” or “inspired common sense” or “the prince of those who know” Studied under Plato at the Academy Son of a Macedonian doctor, returned home to become the teacher of Alexander of Macedon for three years, beginning in 343 BCE Later returned to Athens to open school called the Lyceum in 335 BCE
  16. 16. •Believed in the Golden Mean -i.e. all things follow the middle course; by avoiding extremes, one will enjoy a maximum of happiness and a minimum of pain •Called the “encycolpedist” as he had a profound love of order •Numerous fields of scientific study he either invented or contributed to: -Logic, biology, zoology, botany, psychology, chemistry, a stronomy, cosmology, metaphysics, ethics, political theory, constitutional history, history of sport •Founder of scientific method -A valid and reliable process by which all scientific analyses of a given phenomenon could take place •Led to explosive advances in the Greek scientists’ capacity to conduct scientific research •Middle Ages’ scholars felt Aristotle knew almost as much as God, therefore called him “The Philosopher”
  17. 17. VIEW OF HUMAN NATURE Rational, social animals. Aristotle believed both body and soul were parts of our nature. Without a society, we wouldn’t "be" human— but a God or a beast. But the self is also something we realize by the specific way we actualize our natural potentialities—which virtues (or vices) predominate. Theory of Human Nature (what are we?) Theory of the self (who are we?) Normative implications for human existence (How should we live) Success or failure (=the wasted life) requires that we philosophize, in order to discern our true human potentialities. Once we determine that this is moral and intellectual virtue, then we must actualize these potentialities. Articulating the vision: how do the normative implications follow from the theory of human nature? Rationality is our nature, because rationality is our natural function or telos, and a thing’s telos = its nature. Rationality sets us apart from other animals, it makes us human. Natural things achieve success in life by fulfilling their function or telos. Unlike animals, we must choose our course and life, so the key human demand is determining the correct choice.
  18. 18. Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet. All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire. Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self. You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor. In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.
  19. 19. Taught us how to think Provided a great deal of insight into the natural world Provided many of the most profound and meaningful answers to the great philosophical questions that have befuddled humans since the dawn of civilization Provided a comprehensive, valid, and reliable method by which we could test whether or not a given idea is true
  20. 20. greek-philosophy guidance/ of-happiness/socrates/ crates.html g/theorieshumannature.htm apter2.pdf ocrates.html fonts.html?page=4&items=10