Human nature forms a significant topic in philosophy. Human nature entails the different characteristics associated with human beings. These characteristics include the way they act, think, and feel. These human characteristics form an integral part of the society as they influence theology, ethics, and politics. Human nature contributes towards the norms of the society. In addition, it provides obstacles that limit the virtuous life. The Allegory of the Cave by Plato, Tao Te Ching by Lao-tzu, and The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau provide some insights on human nature. For instance, in the Allegory of the Cave by Plato, human nature depicts like been reliant on ethical values and morality. This is observable where the prisoner who escaped goes back to the cave and tries to enlighten the other prisoners who admonish him. From the poem Tao Te Ching, human nature also depicts. It also focuses on morality and views them as the hindrance factor for human beings doing the right thing. On the other hand, the Social Contract also explores human nature and asserts that it is human nature to seek your own self-preservation before taking care of others.
This paper explores human nature in relation to three texts, The Allegory of the Cave, Tao Te Ching, and The Social Contract by Rousseau.
The Allegory of the Cave depicts human nature through representing the different worlds that the human beings exist. The ‘cave’ depicts a world that offers man insecurity and impermanence. This concludes that human nature is restricted on the search for permanent existence and security. This is true because all human beings long for happiness, comfort, and contentment. Ignorance also is in the Allegory of the Cave through the people that were born, and chained in the cave. There is some movement in the fire behind the people although they cannot establish what is moving, and they have only being exposed to shadow, they assume nothing else exists besides the things exposed to them. The Allegory of the cave also depicts the way human nature is alien to the truth. The people in the cave do not believe what the other member who freed himself and experienced reality had to share with them. In fact, the chained men considered him mad. Human nature also depicts in the Allegory of the Cave where, it seems that the people in the cave feel a certain type of emptiness when they try to question themselves the purpose of their existence. The Allegory of the Cave establishes how human beings feel whenever confronted with such a question as to why they exist or what is the purpose of their existence.