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Human and Human Nature: Aristotle and Sartre Essay

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It is only natural for humans to question why we have been put on this wonderful earth of ours. What does it mean to be these lucky ones called humans? Do we really have a human nature that is all our own? Are there really living beings that kind find something within this world to call our life purpose? And if there are, how do may we achieve it? It is happiness or simple the drive to survive that propel us forward? These are just some of the types of questions that philosophers have been wrestling with for centuries. Some argue that human nature is very much a real thing and that it is essential to living a happy fulfilled life, while others reject that idea completely. However, despite the completely opposite stances that philosophers can take when it comes to human nature, it’s not uncommon to see some surprising similarities between those who support it, and those who do not. One of the biggest examples of this, would be in regards to the Aristotle and his books on Nicomachean Ethics and Sartre with his writing of Existentialism Is a Humanism. When it comes to these two philosophers in particular it would appear on the surface that they are nothing alike. Aristotle being quite the supporter of human nature and it’s ability to give humans fulfilling lives, and Sartre who rejects the human nature completely for the idea that we as humans are essentially just going through life and making choices. Having said this, I would now like to discuss the individual views and arguments that both men have in regards to their views on human nature, it’s relationship to purpose, free will, and politics, and show that within these both Aristotle and Sartre give us the ability to see, that maybe to a certain that we are in fact responsible fo...


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...on their situation, and that for me seemed unfair. So for Sartre to show that humans can create their own lives, versus having it prearranged for them on some deeper level, seems much more appealing.
Ultimately, though both philosophers have had a huge impact on the idea of human nature and the answering the questions of like “What does it mean to be a human? Is there really a human nature?” I may I may personally find Sartre more attractive at the end of the day, but like this paper hopefully showed, everyone has some ability to make their own choices, and with that in mind may have come up with a completely different opinion.



Works Cited

Aristotle, and Martin Ostwald. Nicomachean ethics. New York London: Macmillan Collier Macmillan, 1962. Print.

Sartre, Jean-Paul, and Philip Mairet. Existentialism and Humanism. London: Methuen, 1948. Print.



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