The different views on human nature represent an attempt to answer a question: What is man?
Various theories about human nature
For Plato, man’s nature is formed by a perishable body and an eternal soul that can attain knowledge. The soul has three dimensions or parts: one that meets the wishes and desires of the individual ; a rational part and one that governs our temperament . Although each of these dimensions of the soul fulfills a specific function , it is the rational part that must govern the individual.
According to the view of Christianity, human nature is a creation of God, who created us so that we can be part of Him. Consequently, the end of human life is fulfilled when we love our Creator. Our free will over good and evil is what defines us as individuals, in turn allowing us to attain eternal life. Human Nature
For Freud, the reality of the human being is governed by three mental structures: the id, the ego and the superego
The first is what governs our most primitive instincts and which are on an unconscious level. The second is of the conscious and rational type and is the one that helps us to regulate our passions and adapt them to the individual reality . Finally, the superego is the part of our mind that assimilates the moral values of society.
According to other conceptions, the question of human nature should not be considered as a uniform structure that never changes, but that there are different meanings about our essence depending on the historical moment in which we live. Thus, in the past it was accepted that certain men had an inferior nature and, therefore, it was legitimate for them to be slaves.
We don’t know what our nature is, but we know what our needs are.
We do not have a definitive answer to the question: what is man? Questions about our nature have one meaning or another depending on each individual’s perspective. Christianity sees God in us, the biologist highlights the genetic and evolutionary dimension, and the psychoanalyst believes that we are a combination of conscious and unconscious mental structures that are trapped in a body.
Despite all the advances, we continue to ignore who we really are. However, we know that there are certain needs that must be met: the need to share, to love and be loved, in addition to understanding our surroundings.