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Does human nature exist?

It would seem that there are animal, vegetable and inanimate natures which determine how an entity is. Is there also a human nature? Does it aid or go against experience and logic to say that human nature does or does not exist?

As words can be used in different ways, I would clarify that the word nature is used in two ways; First, to speak of nature in terms of the commonality of all of existence. (The wind, the botanical world, the sun, biological processes etc. etc. ) This is not the sense of the word that I am asking of in this discussion.

The Second sense is to note what would specify something. This is the sense of the word for this discussion. It would be of subsistent quality(s) which adhere(s) as a specifying set of characteristics and define a being according to his capabilities and the purpose towards which he exists.


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  • Sep 17 2012: Our feelings, our emotions, our experiences, our ideas, our desires, our thoughts, our temptations, our imagination; they are pointers to our human nature.

    That is why we can empathize; and sometimes we marvel at another's lack of empathy.
    That is why we we can sympathize; and sometimes we are appalled by another's lack of sympathy.
    That is why we can connect with another.
    And we love good stories because of our shared humanity.
    • J Ale

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      Sep 17 2012: Is it emotions which specifically make us human? Animals have emotions too. But they do not have thoughts.

      Interesting comment about temptations. What exactly is a temptation? Does a temptation go against our nature?
      • Sep 17 2012: Emotions: One of the numerous things I listed.
        • J Ale

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          Sep 17 2012: Right, I saw that. So you list emotions as what makes human nature in part. But animals have emotions too. That is why I am asking for clarification. Are you saying that humans and animals have the same nature? Or are you saying they have commonalities of a nature?
      • Sep 17 2012: Animals do have thoughts, just on a different level. That may seem difficult to imagine but every human has been on the thinking level of several animal species in their lives. A young child thinks like a chimpanzee.

        "Can you be more specific of what you are saying about animal thoughts? What do you mean by on different level?"

        The ability to grasp certain mathematical concepts, plan ahead, etc... (as a child you couldn't even imagine concepts you later learned). These are things our brains develop during childhood, chimpanzees stay on the level of a human child.
        • J Ale

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          Sep 17 2012: Chimpanzee young seem a lot "smarter" than very young humans. Can you be more specific of what you are saying about animal thoughts? What do you mean by on different level?
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        Sep 21 2012: I would actually reverse that... Animals have only thoughts, humans have emotions... To an animal "That's edible... I go eat"... To a human " That's edible... but do I really feel like eating that?... I do have to watch my carbs"
        • J Ale

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          Sep 21 2012: No, I believe animals have non -rational thoughts and emotions (desire for eaxample) . Such as they see a lobster dripping in butter and simply recognize it as edible but have no idea what it is in itself.

          Humans have rational thoughts (what is it?) and the same emotions as animals. So, I know it is a lobster, I want it but rationally speaking I should not eat it bc i am fat and it is not healthy to be fat which this calorie laden lobster will create more of..

          Hence our nature...rational animals.

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