What do you have to say about Human Nature?
I hope you will explore this website and read some of the other thoughts and ideas on the topic of human nature and add your own in a reply below.
The following are some of my initial thoughts on human nature. Take a look at the blog page for more.
I think that as humans we do have many similarities with each other especially in our biology and genetics but also in our basic physical and psychological needs.
At the same time I think that we should always assume that everyone else is different than we are and try to understand how they are different.
Do you think that our human similarities are more or less important than our differences?
I think it is impossible to even discuss human beings without a shared understanding of what it means to be human — just as it’s impossible to discuss chairs if we don’t all agree on the meaning of the word. That said, even chairs are wildly diverse — and we can argue over whether the nature of chairs extends to include sofas or daybeds, or whether some chairs are naturally superior to others as a result of their relative comfort, cost, design, or size.
It seems quite daunting to try to describe our human similarities. (Donald L. Brown gave it a go: https://joelvelasco.net/teaching/2890/brownlisthumanuniversals.pdf)
Also, it can be quite difficult to separate what is human from the rest of the animal kingdom.
Putting all of that aside for a second and focusing on what we feel most strongly, assuming that if you are reading this and you passed the Captcha test that you are human, seems like a fairly straight forward approach. Like a desire to create art.
From a psychological standpoint, you touch upon a fundamental concept known as schema, which refers to a cognitive framework or blueprint that helps us organize and interpret information. In essence, when we talk about “chairs” or “human beings,” we are referencing our individual schemas of these concepts. Just as we have diverse schemas for physical objects, our schemas for understanding humanity are equally diverse and influenced by cultural, social, and individual experiences.
This brings us to the social identity theory, which suggests that individuals classify themselves and others into various social categories, like ‘us’ and ‘them’, to understand the social environment and ascertain their place within it. A core tenet of this theory is that people tend to favor groups they belong to, which can inadvertently lead to biases against those that don’t fit into their specific schema or group.
Thank you Dr. Williams! Is there a list of commonly used schemas that are observed in how people structure their understanding of their place in the world? What reference sources would you recommend on this topic?