What Is Human Nature?

Good Essays

1. By observing and analyzing the context of previous time periods, anthropology was certainly not created by accident or mistake. At the end of the 18th century, the Enlightenment period was occurring. This produced two products during the time period. First, humans were able to possess a newfound understanding of general principals in which the world works. They wanted to know all about universal human nature, such as why all human beings are alike. Secondly, out of the Enlightenment, we have an intellectual ability to understand the world through science. Defined, science is an empirical methodology in which accurate descriptive data is logically analyzed, resulting in defensible, logical conclusions. The dilemma with answering the …show more content…

2. According to Edward Burnett Tylor, anthropology is considered a “reformer science”. Tylor means to say this, since anthropology (a science) itself, is meant to benefit reformers. Defined, a reformer is an individual who wants to improve conditions of human beings. Tylor himself suggests that the science of anthropology can provide a service to reformers. One specific problem that reformers face is constituting what actually is improvement to society. Tylor states that both subjective opinion and objective opinion are often confused. From class, we learned all about the Shakers during the early 19th century America. The Shakers planned to improve the quality of marriage by abolishing marriage completely. Meanwhile, the Perfectionists planned to improve marriage by expanding it to everyone (quite the opposite of the Shaker’s motives). All of the men would be married to all of the women. By viewing these two opposing standpoints, which will actually show improvement? According to Tylor, reformers need an objective mechanism to determine what improvement actually is. Tylor also goes onto say that the scientology of anthropology is used to determine human nature. Once human nature is physically discovered, we can use that as a scale to evaluate reform projects. During mid-19th century America, there was widespread segregation and slavery that evolved on the basis that race is a definitive

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