Chapter five of Kupperman’s book “Theories of human nature” looks at great philosophers, namely Plato’s and Aristotle’s points of view in trying to define humanity. Both of these great philosophers assigned reason as a central role in defining humanity. Plato came before Aristotle, and their arguments seem to agree and differ on the definition of humanity.
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Plato’s view was more complex as he used a simple word reason which has multiple definitions. Aristotle’s view, on the other hand, defined a human being as a rational creature with an ability to switch the rationality on and off. The most significant explanation offered by Plato is the logical point of understanding reason, whereby if a certain idea is preconceived to be good, then there must be a number of reasons that lead to that assumption or conclusion. The writer goes ahead and relates Freud’s explanations of human personality in three parts leading to a link between these arguments and those offered by Plato.
Plato looks at a human being as a soled creature governed by reason. The sole is spirited and is interested in studying the environment. Plato’s view of reason entailed an individual doing what he believes is correct if given a chance. The writer tries to illustrate the complexity of defining a word from Plato’s point of view. The word game is used as an example in highlighting numerous available definitions.
Aristotle being a biological scientist, uses his knowledge to try to differentiate humans from other animals by exploring their rationality. He concluded that humans are complex double-sided creatures who have both good and bad sides. The two sides of humanity are inseparable as they complement one another. Aristotle looks at life as a combination of normal life pleasures, and the use of human virtues in a moral or civic way.