What Is Human Nature?

2010 Words Nov 3rd, 2016 9 Pages
Intro: What is human nature?
Recently I heard the story of Edd, a man who begin therapy after being found on a kitchen floor with a knife, several vicious wounds, and no knowledge of how he got there. In his first therapy session the therapist asked about family and medical history, and finally life events leading up to the “kitchen incident,” as Edd termed it. After Edd filled him in on his struggle with depression and suicide and explained the “kitchen incident,” The therapist exclaimed, “You’re lying.” Edd said this statement totally threw him. He restated that he really had no clue what had gone on and only realized what he was doing after he came to. The therapist exclaimed again, “you’re lying and you know it, what you’re saying is not possible.” Edd recounted, “I fell apart. I wanted to throw up, hide, die, anything, he made me feel worse, at that moment, than I had when I found myself on that kitchen floor.”
Edd’s therapist displayed a Machiavellian view of human nature, namely the idea that human are liars and deceivers. The question of the character of human nature is of critical importance for leaders today. In The Prince and Nicomachean Ethics, Machiavelli and Aristotle preach very different views of human nature, which shapes the advice they give to leaders. Machiavelli proposes that men are inherently evil, while Aristotle says men are by nature good. Which of these views is better for a leader, specifically a therapist? A leader is much better set up to…
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