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human nature

human nature A variety of sociological writers refer to the concept of human nature in different contexts. Most frequently, however, the term implies a recognition of some core and loosely determining characteristics which are assumed to underlie human action and consciousness. The exact composition of these elements is a matter of debate. Some social and political theorists (such as Thomas Hobbes, Charles Darwin (see DARWINISM), Sigmund Freud, and utilitarians generally) have invested human nature with selfish and egoistic motives, perhaps emanating from deeper biological imperatives. Others—such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Karl Marx, and Peter Kropotkin—have linked human nature in varying degrees to co-operation and altruism. The most influential perspective in sociology, typified for example by the work of Max Weber, has been to view human nature as a consequence of human histories and experience, rather than any predetermined essence. Indeed, many recent social theorists (including Michel Foucault, social constructionists, and post-modernists generally) have rejected the very notion of human nature itself.

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human nature

hu·man na·ture • n. the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans: he had a poor opinion of human nature.

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Human Nature (Journal)

Human Nature (Journal)

Early Spiritualist monthly journal founded by James Burns in 1867. It was published in London for a decade as a major forum for non-Christian or "progressive" Spiritualism.

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