Philosophical Anthropology

Essay by skatelad123High School, 12th gradeA-, November 2008

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Understanding the behaviour of humans as both creatures of their social environments and creators of their own values is a controversial dispute that is still debated today. This attempt at uniting the contrasting ways is known as philosophical anthropology. Thomas Hobbes was a famous 17th century philosopher that believed “self interest is a human being’s true nature.” After proficient examination Thomas Hobbes’ view on human nature is by far the most scrupulous.

Human being’s by nature are awfully competitive, Thomas Hobbes assumed “men have no pleasure... in keeping company.” When people do get together, their motivation is a desire to dominate. I believe this statement is unquestionably correct, humans whether light-heartedly or not, are cut-throat and aggressive. This is true because co-operation amounts to nothing but self-interest. One does not succeed for the team, they prevail for their own self-pride.

One man attempted to prove Thomas Hobbes’ theory on philosophical anthropology incorrect, his name was Joseph Butler.

Butler thought that “people do good for no reason.” His theory was that “people can’t take pleasure in something they have never done.” He believed at one point humans acted in a polite and kind way under no self-interest. Although in theory this belief seems correct, it’s only when in practice one reveals the true egoistic nature of humans. An individual may act in which seems to be a polite manner, for example standing up and letting an elderly person sit. The true rationale for this action is to better themselves in front of others. So without a doubt humans truly only act out of self-interest.

To conclude Thomas Hobbes’ theory on philosophical anthropology which may come off as harsh and unjust to human nature, but deep down is the truth. A human’s life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and...