Freud and Aristotle’s Theories of Human Nature

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“Psychological - or more strictly speaking, psychoanalytic -investigation shows that the deepest essence of human nature, which are similar in all men and which aim at the satisfaction of certain needs... [are] self-preservation, aggression, need for love, and the impulse to attain pleasure and avoid pain...” At its simplest form, this quote perfectly explains Sigmund Freud’s theory on human nature. Human beings, according to Freud, are in a constant state of conflict within themselves; trying to satisfy their animalistic instincts, while also maintaining a socially appropriate life. Freud termed these animalistic tendencies that we have, the Id. The Id is essentially our unconscious mind, it is the part of us that has been there since the day we were born and is what drives our life’s needs and desires. The Id simply aims to satisfy our sexual or aggressive urges immediately, without taking into account any further implications. On the other hand, Freud used the term, the Superego, to describe man’s conscience and sense of morality. It is the Superego’s job to keep the Id in check by combatting the desire to satisfy urges with the feeling of guilt or anxiety. Finally, the Ego, is the conscious representation of the constant battle between the Superego and the Id. It must work to satisfy human’s instinctual tendencies while taking into account their conscience and doing what is rational and acceptable. Freud argues that these internal process that are constantly at work in our mind are what shape humans to do the things that they do. Thus, he believes, the goal of human nature is to satisfy our basic aggressive and sexual desires while adhering to cultural and social standards.
“All men by nature desire to know.” (pg. ...

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...ard for free will; objections to Aristotle’s argument are much less numerous.
I agree with Aristotle in the thought that man’s telos is to acquire knowledge and that our inherent human nature is to be “happy.” However, I believe that human nature is driven by a desire to find the answer to one question: what is the meaning of life? I believe that through everything we do, whether it seems like we are learning or not, we are being taught more and more about the world and our purpose in it. Striving to put everything together and creating a sense of understanding of the question “why” leads us to behave and act the way that we do. Although finding an answer is an unattainable goal in a human’s lifetime, the act of living out their lives in a way that was constantly questioning and searching for the meaning of our existence is enough to achieve total happiness.
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