Human Nature, By Edward O. Wilson Essay

1537 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 7 Pages
A question of human nature cannot evade the consideration of the one establishment of mankind through which we must strive to understand our behaviors, instincts, and desires. This establishment is civilization, and it must be taken into account as the context through which our nature readily exists. Our relation to and attitude towards civilization has the potential to reveal a lot about our natural inclinations, but it is also possible to look at our relation to civilization in retrospect and use our assumptions of human nature to create an amicable relation between man and civilization. In The Fitness of Human Nature, Edward O. Wilson characterizes human nature as a resultant of cultural influences, and argues that with understanding, man can avoid conflicts of war and benefit from the establishment of civilization. Sigmund Freud, in The Future of an Illusion, presents that civilization is a necessary restriction that is limited in its agreeability by man’s inability to surrender instincts that civilization must suppress. The pliability of human understanding is an aptitude that is not to be underestimated if one seeks to establish a civilization that is not at conflict with man’s natural instincts, as ultimately active thought and effort can take precedence over what we consider to be in our nature. First and foremost, it is assumed in both texts that there are certain faculties of man that directly foster the construction of a civilization. The nature of these…

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