Human Nature Theories


The human nature comprises of the core characteristics for example behavior, feelings, and psychology shared by all individuals. Different scholars plus philosophers typically inclined to discuss human life based on significant theories as well as schools of thought from human history. According to some religious scholars, the divine or spiritual natures are the crucial attributes in human nature. For instance, the Judeo-Christian belief presents humans as God’s creation that exhibits free will which gives them both dignity as well as ethical dangers. Other ideas concerning human nature have been discoursed by some historically significant figures including Karl Marx, Rene Descartes, Charles Darwin plus Sigmund Freud.

In explaining the human nature in broad terms, the discussions usually commence with Aristotle and Plato in conventional Greece. Plato believed that humans were rational, social animals, and thus he connected the individual’s nature with their souls rather than their bodies. In his belief, Aristotle argued that both body and soul added to the individual’s human identity. Therefore the theories explaining human nature are not commonly exclusive, and nonetheless, they have been established upon each other and reformed over time. There exist different theories concerning human nature, and it is good to note that, some elements of these theories are agreeable while others are disagreeable.

Therefore this paper presents discusses and analyzes in in-depth the various methods that explain human nature while presenting some of their strengths and weakness in their implementation.

Darwinian Theory

This theory exists as an experiment to the social disciplines as well as the humanities and also to the doctrine and more precisely to a Christian indulgent of the human nature. According to Darwin evolution, the way in which we observe the world as well as ourselves has been transformed significantly. Hence for the individuals who have incorporated Darwinism, human being beside any other living creature are the final products of a natural process. For them, there exists no purpose, no creator and there is just survival for the fittest, and hence humanity is typically a cosmic mishap. From Darwinism viewpoint, human beings together with other living things are the final consequence of a blind and untraced physical procedure. That is to say that we are merely animals. Moreover, the practice of natural selection has been summoned to elucidate like every feature of human conduct and culture. Majority of these stories are just unsubstantiated, but they seem to have captured the imagination of many individuals for example from religion to altruism, there is an evolutionary story for everything concerning human nature.

Critical discussion

In the Christianity perception and thinking, the above assertion is an onslaught. According to my insights and experience, I am always convinced that the whole concept of evolution was false and this is not as a result of not knowing anything about it. Relatively, I am confident of the existence of God as well as the reliability of the Bible mainly the New Testament. I believe to have adequate justification for the belief of the creation of the earth and the human being and in the work of Jesus Christ. Christianity has been dramatically challenged by a range of inferences founded on Darwin’s writings for example in his writings he challenged the acknowledged philosophies concerning God’s part in creating the world broadly, and this afterward led to some confrontations between Christianity and science.

Confucianism Theory

Confucius was enthusiastic about human potential, and thus he wanted individuals to be thinkers or intelligent individuals who instantiate the golly of the heavens inside them and therefore this is accomplished by being kind. Confucius was not vibrant regarding the issue of why so few individuals become wise, compassionate sages and however, he suggested it might be that individuals freely choose not to be good. Moreover, he thought that the environment plays a significant part in shaping people.

Confucius is well known for emphasizing that human nature is inherently good. He further elaborates that human beings are born with the capability for distinguishing between what is wrong and right. According to Confucius, by character, human beings are born with relatively the same abilities and needs.

Critical Discussion

There are some points which are agreeable in the Confucianism theory, for example, it teaches on the obedience to superiors, and this is worthy if the heads of family or state are good. If they are not the entire structure is destabilized. Therefore Confucius accentuated the proper characters of leaders. I also agree with Confucius theory as it embraces individuals to be part of nature and thus act in accord with the rules and laws of nature.

One weakness elaborated in this theory is that ordinary individuals plus wisdom seem to be excluded from the Confucian doctrine of human nature

Freud’s Theory

Freud is regarded as a noteworthy trailblazer of the contemporary philosophy established a deterministic outlook on human nature based on instinct as well as personality. His theory is distinct from other approaches as he considers us not as humans, but rather animals who possess innate biological drives: a multifaceted species with some primeval urges. These urges according to him are only reserved under control by the pressures amid the subjugation of society. Freud narrowed the word “instinct” which can relate to a wide-ranging range of impulses, into four main drives which include: self-preservation, the need for love, hostility as well as the urge to achieve pleasure and evade some pain.

Nevertheless, these impulses in themselves are neither bad nor good. The individuals typically classify them plus their expressions in that manner, rendering to their relation to the necessities and demands of the humanoid community. The civilized society which usually demands good conduct and thus seems to not distress itself concerning the instinctual base of this conduct has consequently won over to obey a large number of individuals who are not in this conduct, following their natures.

Critical Discussion

I tend to disagree with some parts of this theory since the society has allowed itself to be deceived into narrowing the ethical standard to the utmost possible degree, and as a result, has forced its members into yet another great hostility from their instinctive dispositions. In the realm of sexuality, where such subdual is most hard to conduct, the result is evident in the responsive occurrences of neurotic disorders. In the Freud’s world, the individuals who are most affected by the principles of his theory are unstable individuals. However, as a result, some positive elements are agreeable which thrived as a result of the Freud concept. Freud established his strategy for treatment which is referred to as psychoanalysis. This type of therapy has been in use for several years with many adaptations provided to it. On the positive side, psychoanalysis presents a client with the structure as well as time to resolve neurotic issues. The negative side of it is that there is always some expressed concern over the cost as the psychoanalysis process is typically expensive.

Marx’s Theory

In his discussion of human life, Marx typically contends that our nature is resolute by the type of the economic system. According to him, there is a precise manner in which individuals tend to behave because they live in a capitalist society as contrasting to a communist society or a medieval one. Marx further elaborated that if individual vicissitudes the nature of the economic system for instance from a capitalist towards a communist system, he or she changes the sociological climate in which the individuals are brought up, and subsequently, human nature also changes. The idea that human life is socially relatively than naturally produced, and that therefore it is vigorous and ever-changing, is regarded to be crucial to Marx’s concept of history plus his ideas about how the society progresses.

Critical Discussion

Agreeing with Marx’s theory of history concerning human nature requires an individual to hold the view that humanoid nature is quite malleable. Else it would be difficult for a humanoid character to progress from the economic method because the economic system changes rapidly. Therefore the thing that is already fixed cannot be definite by that which changes. This is often overlooked, and however, this contradiction within Marx’s body of work offers an excellent prospect to think critically about our notions of human nature.

Hinduism Theory

This theory is intricate as it implicates the notion of the self or soul. According to this notion, it is noted that the Atman is beyond sound and form and hence it is eternal, unchangeable as well as without beginning or the end; certainly beyond reasoning. Thus this refers to the belief by Hindus there exists a deeper self which lies within individuals. Moreover, it hides behind the individuals experienced self which is denoted as Atman. What survives the individual’s death and hence continues to be reborn again is known as Atman. According to the theory, this kind of self is continuously reincarnated into diverse bodies till it escapes the helm of rebirth. Through prayer, ascetic practices, as well as meditation, this type of self, can be known, precisely because it is fundamentally similar in the entire human beings. Due to its association with the levels of mindfulness, samsara among others, the notion behind atman inclines to be more intricate. I tend to agree with this point since ignorance is regarded as the central problem of human reality concerning the nature of absolute reality.

Another point to note is that this concept believes in Karma which is an ethical law of cause plus consequence. It thus means that the individuals’ actions are not free, and nonetheless, they are determined by their previous needs besides their actions. This point is agreeable since the human being tends to be in a psychosomatic suppression to past activities and the desires that instigated them. An excellent example of cause and effect is that for instance after excessive eating of junk food, smoking and excessive consumption of alcohol, there exists a binding nature which is characterized with health problems among this group of individuals.

Critical Discussion

Vedanta philosophy which is encompassed in the Hinduism concept is highly textual which means that it is reliant on ancient scriptures. The current philosophers incline to disagree with this concept as they reject it as a source of truth. It creates some mystical claims, and this is similarly problematic in contemporary western philosophy or practical morality. Furthermore, Vedanta is an exclusive philosophy, which usually excludes the uneducated.


In conclusion, it is evident that all the above theories discusses and analyzes a lot concerning human nature, although in different perspectives. However in these theories there exist some notions in them some which are agreeable while others are disagreeable. I tend to agree on a lot on Freud’s theory on human nature as his argument seems to be distinct from the other approaches in diverse ways. I disagree mostly on a Darwinian theory concerning human nature due to the various reasons as described above.


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