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Tyler McCann

DB Week 3

The Study of Human Nature, compiled by Leslie Stevenson, touches on the impact of

human nature on education, and how the cultural differences and opposing beliefs have affected

our growth in society. It can be taken from analyzing these readings and visuals that diverse

types of cultures look at the development of human beings in different ways, focusing on

different aspects. As written in Confucianism by Mencius and Hsun-Tzu, the two authors have

opposing views on the value of human nature. Mencius believes that human nature is good,

which can be concluded when he writes, “Human nature is good just as water seeks low ground.

There is no man who is not good; there is no water that does not flow downwards.” (p. 23,

Mencius) What can be interpreted from what Mencius writes here is that he believes all humans

are directed toward the path of good, just as all water flows in the same direction.

Human nature and its aspects are also analyzed in the visual of Plato’s Soul, where it is

understood that, “spirit contradicts appetite and reason, and so must be separate.” (Plato) Plato

believes that religion and logic should be separate, and that mixing the two clouds our better

judgments as human beings. This belief is like the writings in Confucianism, when Hsun-Tzu

adds that he believes religion is the root of all evil. What Hobbes believes, separate from Plato as

touched on in Hobbes’ Moral and Political Philosophy, is that the only conclusion to surviving

in our society is to submit to the authority of a monarch. Another interesting take on the aspects

of human nature is one by Sigmund Freud, where he explains his theory of Ego, ID, and

Superego. Freud uses these as explanations of different desires and personality traits we develop

as we grow as humans in our society, which affect how we interact. It can be understood after
analyzing these readings and visuals that human nature has both beneficial and hindering aspects,

and there is much more room to grow as a society.