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MLA
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History
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History of Human Nature According to Aristole (Essay Sample)

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A human is a being with the power of rational thought. This is an appropriate power because it is required for achieving goals and acting rationally. However, this is not the only appropriate power of human nature. Another is the power of speech. If we had no sense of rationality or ability to communicate, we would not be able to achieve our goals and act rationally—for example, by making contracts. Therefore, these two powers are integral to a good human being and so it could be said that they constitute a human's function or ‘excellence’ (Baggini 86).
Looking at Aristotle’s analogy, a knife may be either good or bad. It is good if it has the excellence of cutting well because cutting is the function of a knife. So, a knife that cuts well is good. This is easy to determine in the case of things (artifacts), but it sounds odd to ask what the function of a human being is. How does Aristotle go about determining and assessing the function of a human being?

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Introduction
A human is a being with the power of rational thought. This is an appropriate power because it is required for achieving goals and acting rationally. However, this is not the only appropriate power of human nature. Another is the power of speech. If we had no sense of rationality or ability to communicate, we would not be able to achieve our goals and act rationally—for example, by making contracts.  Therefore, these two powers are integral to a good human being and so it could be said that they constitute a human's function or ‘excellence’ (Baggini 86).
Looking at Aristotle’s analogy, a knife may be either good or bad. It is good if it has the excellence of cutting well because cutting is the function of a knife. So, a knife that cuts well is good. This is easy to determine in the case of things (artifacts), but it sounds odd to ask what the function of a human being is. How does Aristotle go about determining and assessing the function of a human being?
A human is a being with the power of rational thought. This is an appropriate power because it is required for achieving goals and acting rationally. However, this is not the only appropriate power of human nature. Another is the power of speech. If we had no sense of rationality or ability to communicate, we would not be able to achieve our goals and act rationally—for example, by making contracts.  Therefore, these two powers are integral to a good human being and so it could be said that they constitute a human's function or ‘excellence’. In this research paper, we shall attempt to answer the question: how does Aristotle go about determining and assessing the function of a human being? Considering the analogy above, a knife's function is to cut well. If a knife can't cut well, it is a bad knife. In the same way, if a human being can't use its powers of rationality and communication, it is a bad human being, unable to fulfill its purpose for existence (Meilaender 91).
Discussion
Aristotle believed that the purpose of all living creatures was to live and flourish by acting according to their nature ("phusis"). Humans, as rational animals with free will (a step above mere instinct), must determine their own "phusis" or "final cause". Humans are specifically rational animals, for this reason, they can act upon their natural impulses through deliberation. Thus, human nature is to live and flourish (and not merely survive) by acting rationally (Baggini 112). This does not mean that humans must always act according to reason; even other animals like dogs or pigs act according to their natural impulses at times. However, humans must be able to act upon their natural impulses through the rational use of their free will. To illustrate this point, Aristotle asserts that while all bats can fly, bats that are unable to fly well (due to injury or handicap) exist in lower states of goodness than those which can fly w

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