Make poster about the different theories of the classical view on human nature. The different concepts of every philosopher must appear. This poster can be done digitally.
1. Thales- His argument finds truth in the somatic level of human nature since it is a scientific knowledge that the human brain contains 80% water and the human body 70%.
2. Anaximenes- contends that air is the world-stuff. To this philosopher, air undergoes two processes, namely: condensation and rarefaction. The former is the source of cold; while the latter of heat. In the light of understanding man as body and soul, its rarefied air.
3. Heraclitus- this philosopher maintains that everything is in constant change. “You can’t step twice in the same river”. In his consciousness of change, he believes that fire makes the world-stuff. Evidently, 37°C temperature of the somantic level of human nature us a conviction that man is grounded in the world.
4. Anaximander- posits that man is being that has evolved from animals of another species. He applies evolution to the gradual mutation of life from simple to complex until it reaches human life. Anaximander, indeed, can be called the first evolutionist though his evolutionary theory being crude and incomplete.
5. Pythagoras – Pythagoras’ view of man resembles those of later thinkers like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans down to the contemporary thoughts as it will be seen later. Depicted in the Pythagorean view is that soul is immortal, divine, and is subjected to metempsychosis.
6. Protagoras- “man is the measure of all things, of all things that are that they are, and of things that are not that they are not”. As the measure of everything, man for Protagoras is the ultimate criterion of truth.
7. Socrates- the greatest philosopher in the western civilization, maintains that man is a being who thinks and wills. He gives more value to the human soul rather than the body. Human soul should be nurtured properly through its acquisition of knowledge, wisdom, and virtue. Man should discover truth, truth about good life, for it knowing the good life that man can act correctly. Man’s attitude towards life therefore should be oriented towards knowledge. Knowledge is literally taken by Socrates as the ultimate criterion of action.
8. Plato- The nature of man is seen in the metaphysical dichotomy between body and soul. The body is material; it cannot live and move apart from the soul; it is mutable and destructible. On the contrary, the soul is immaterial; it can exist apart from the body; it is immutable and indestructible. The soul is a substance because it exists and can exist independently of the body; nevertheless, it is temporarily incarcerated in the body.
Three Parts of Soul:
- Rational Part – this part is located in the head, specifically in the brain. The soul that enables man to think, to reflect, to draw conclusion, and to analyze. This way prompts Plato to say that this part of the soul is the most important and the highest.
- Appetitive Part- this part is located in the abdomen. The soul that drives man to experience hunger, thirst, and other physical wants.
- Spiritual Part- this part is located in the chest. The soul that enables man to experience happiness, contentment, and loneliness.
9. Aristotle- known as the famous student of Plato and tutor of Alexander the Great. Man is a rational animal is his famous dictum. To understand Aristotle’s concept of human nature one must look unto one of his most important works, “De Anima” literally means on the soul. De Anima is considered as the first professional textbook in psychology. According to Aristotle’s De Anima, “the soul is the animating principle which enables living being to move on their own, and perform activities such growth, nutrition, and reproduction. Body and soul are in state of unity. In this unity, soul acts as the perfect or full realization of the body while the body is a material entity which has a potentially for life. The body has no life, it can only possess life when it is united with the soul. He speaks of a man as a single essence composed of body and soul.
THREE KINDS OF SOUL
- Vegetative Soul- for plants and vegetation, it feeds itself, it grows, and it reproduces
- Sensitive Soul- for animals or brutes, it feeds itself, it grows, and it reproduces, and it has feelings.
- Rational Soul- for man, ranks highest because it assumes the functions of vegetative and sensitive souls. Thus, man is capable of thinking, and judging aside from seeing and growing.
1. St. Augustine- Medieval Philosophy was started by Augustine.
- He is the first great Christian philosopher and the main authority in the Medieval period. According to him “God is Absolute spirit, Absolute will, Absolute Intelligence, Absolute Freedom, Absolute good, Absolute power, Absolute holiness, cannot will evil, no beginning and no end and transcendent.
- For Augustine, God created man in a mortal body with an immortal soul and gave man free will. Man is responsible for the existence of evil, not God for God cannot will it; he is Absolute goodness.
- God alone who can redeem man. God’s grace has its locus in the church. Salvation happens through conversion symbolized by one’s submission to the church and its sacrament.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas- Summa Theologica and Summa Contra Gentiles are the monumental works of Aquinas. He understands man as a whole.
- He claimed that man is the substantial unity of body and soul. Man is the point of convergence between the corporeal and spiritual substances.
- For Aquinas, man is an embodied soul, not a soul using a body, as Plato asserted. Soul is a substance, while the body is actual. The mere existence of a body makes a body complete, perfect, and actual. To Aquinas, when animation happens, the two become one.
- The soul the animator of the human body, is a substance, it is a substance because it exists by itself; it is on corporeal. Soul is a substance because it acts, it wills, it thinks, it knows.
- A soul cannot have perception in the absence of the body because perception means sensation. Aquinas explains, is meant that the soul is the body’s principle of activity.
1. Rene Descartes- His view of man is founded on his idea of substance. By substance he means anything that exists independently of other other’s existence. Descartes is saying that substance exists by itself. He draws the distinction between God as the infinite substance and man as the finite substance Descartes calls thinking substance Res Cogitans and extended substance Res Extensa.
- Res Extensa- The term refers to the body of man. By body, Descartes means anything that has a figure; it is confined to a particular space and time; it is sensible; it can be touched; kit can be felt; it has weight; and it has color. Descartes says that the extension of the body is its essential property.
- Res Cogitans – The term refers to the soul of man. The soul is a spiritual substance which is the first immediate evident fact in the finite substance. For Descartes, the essence or nature of soul is to think because of this, it cannot subscribe to any material fact. For Descartes, the soul, instead of giving man life, it gives man consciousness, thinking becomes the all-embracing reality.
1. Karl Marx- Marx’s views of human nature lies at his ideas of labor and society. For Marx the nature of man is equivalent to labor my means of his subsistence. Man becomes man only in the context of labor; hence man is intertwined with practical activity.