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Human Nature and its Consequences

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After looking at top-models in computer graphics last time, we make a 90° turn and look to the 'top-models' of human nature. What did some famous philosophers think? Is the human nature 'bad' (Hobbes) or 'good' (Rousseau)? Do these models agree with today's society and how we live today? Can they explain how we behave in daily life (e.g. why we are lazy or why we help each other)?

I will give give several initiatory insights, giving us lots of material to discuss at Koerner's.

From the Un-Distinguished Lecture Series (http://ws.cs.ubc.ca/~udls/). The talk was given Apr. 13, 2007.

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Human Nature and its Consequences

  1. 1. Un-distinguished Lecture Series (UDLS) Human Nature and its consequences Marcus Rohrbach Computer Science Department University of British Columbia 1
  2. 2. Human Nature and its consequences Front note: This talk might be generalizing Best to my knowledge - Might not be always scientific Controversial topic - Consequences • Political, economic theory • Religion •… UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 2
  3. 3. Human Nature and its consequences Experts or novice? Have you heard of - Human nature? - Hobbes? - Rousseau? UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 3
  4. 4. Human Nature and its consequences Robin Hood alive: Good in nature? University of California Experiment - 120 students - Each has virtual amount of money [tagesschau.de, picture-alliance/ dpa] - See each others amount - Move money of other people in 5 rounds Result - 70% took money from rich and gave to poor UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 4
  5. 5. Human Nature and its consequences Outline Definition Historic Overview - Hobbes - Rousseau - Discussion Recent work - E. O. Wilson Consequences Flashlight feedback UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 5
  6. 6. Human Nature and its consequences Definition What do think when you say Human Nature? UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 6
  7. 7. Human Nature and its consequences Definition Merriam-Webster - the fundamental dispositions and traits of humans Wikipedia - Fundamental nature and substance of humans - and behavior - Invariant • Long time • Cultural context UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 7
  8. 8. Human Nature and its consequences Outline Definition Historic Overview - Hobbes - Rousseau - Discussion Recent work - E. O. Wilson Consequences Flashlight feedback UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 8
  9. 9. Human Nature and its consequences Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) Idea - homo homini lupus „man is man‘s wolf“ - Man is ‘bad’ - Leads to war all against all. Political Theory - Social contract [public domain, see wikipedia] - Transfer power to Sovereign • To have peace • Sovereign all power, misuse ‘OK’ UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 9
  10. 10. Human Nature and its consequences Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778) Idea - Man is good by nature - But corrupted by society Political Theory - Social contract - People have sovereignty - Volonté générale [public domain, see wikipedia] • General will • Not equal to will of all (Volonté de tous) UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 10
  11. 11. Human Nature and its consequences State of nature Inherently good - John Locke - Rousseau Inherently bad - Hobbes - Original sin (Christianity) • Lack of holiness (Psalm 51:5) Neutral - Social/biological determinism • Human determined by social/biological factors UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 11
  12. 12. Human Nature and its consequences Discussion What do you think about - Human nature? - State of nature? UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 12
  13. 13. Human Nature and its consequences Outline Definition Historic Overview - Hobbes - Rousseau - Discussion Recent work - E. O. Wilson Consequences Flashlight feedback UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 13
  14. 14. Human Nature and its consequences Edward O Wilson (* 1929) Human nature - epigenetic rules • “Development after DNA inheritance” - Does not include • Artworks - Includes • Art appreciation • Fear for snakes [Copyrighted, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ • Incest taboo Image:Edward_O_Wilson.jpg] Exploration by all sciences UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 14
  15. 15. Human Nature and its consequences Consequences Political/social system - Monarchy vs. direct democracy Economical system - Capitalism vs. common ownership Human traits Free will vs. determinism Why do we do things we do? - Loving, killing, hating, helping… … UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 15
  16. 16. Human Nature and its consequences Flashlight Feedback Everyone gives a short uncommented statement UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 16
  17. 17. Human Nature and its consequences Flashlight Feedback - Initiator Interesting topic? - Was it new for you? - Do you think its relevant? - Was it well presented? - UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 17
  18. 18. Human Nature and its consequences “If history and science have taught us anything, it is that passion and desire are not the same as truth.” [Edward Osborne Wilson - Consilience, p 262] Let’s forget about passion and fulfill our desire at Koerner’s to find the real truth. Thank you for your attention! Questions? UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 18
  19. 19. Human Nature and its consequences Reverences All the important terms in this talk @ - http://de.wikipedia.org/ - http://en.wikipedia.org/ http://www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/meldun gen/0,1185,OID6616094,00.html www.m-w.com UDLS - Marcus Rohrbach - 2007-04-13 19

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