The Concept of Human Nature

Thomas Hurka

in Perfectionism

Published in print June 1996 | ISBN: 9780195101164
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833276 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

The Concept of Human Nature

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Discusses different possible understandings of human nature, e.g., that it consists in the properties distinctive of humans, essential to them, or distinctive –and essential. In the end, it defends a version of perfectionism mandating the development of those properties essential to humans and conditioned on their being living things. It then uses this version to answer standard objections to perfectionism, e.g., that human nature includes trivial or morally repellent properties; it also rejects the traditional view that each person's perfection necessarily involves acting morally or virtuously toward others.

Keywords: distinctiveness; essence; human nature; perfectionism; virtue

Chapter.  7525 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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