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VALUES EDUCATION

Philosophy of Man

Cesar Chester O. Relleve, Edd, RGC

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Philosophy of Man
Modern Philosophers

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view of human is founded on his
Rene Decartes idea of substance. As a
substance, human is both
thinking substance and
extended substance. As
thinking substance and an
extended substance. As
thinking substance, human can
know and think apart from the
body. As an extended
substance, human assumes life
and move through the animal
spirits, not through the soul. For
him, man is a machine and a
thinking being, a thing that
thinks.

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view on human nature is derived
from labor since nature is the
totality of human activity, and
considering that labor is in itself a
human activity, in fact, the highest
form of activity, then, human
nature is derives its existence from
labor. For him, human nature rests
on labor, therefore, the human
person should be productive, if not,
he/she loses his/her nature.

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Human beings are
physical objects,
sophisticated machine
all of whose functions
and activities can be
described and explained
in purely mechanistic
terms.

Sensation, for example, involves a series of


mechanical processes operating within the human
nervous system, by means of w/c the sensible
features of material things produce ideas in the brains
of the human beings who perceive them.

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Thomas Hobbes
Specific desires and appetites arise in the human
body and are experienced as discomforts or pains
that must be overcome. Thus, each of us is
motivated to act in such ways as we believe likely
to relieve our discomfort, to preserve and promote
our well-being. Everything we choose to do is
strictly determined by this natural inclination to
relieve the physical pressures that impinge upon
our bodies. Human volition is nothing but the
determination of the will by the strongest present
desires.

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Thomas Hobbes
As Hobbes acknowledged, this account of human
nature emphasizes our nature, leaving each of us
to live independently of everyone else, acting only
in his or her own self-interest, w/out regards for
others. This produces what Hobbes called the
“state of war,” a way of life that certain to prove
“solitary, poor, nasty. Brutish, and short,” the only
escape is by entering into contracts with each other
mutually beneficial agreements to surrender our
individual interest in order to achieve the
advantages of security that only asocial existence
can provide.

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the human person is
not only an individual
being but also a social
being. He applied the
principle of personalism
in his theory of humans
interrelatedness to
others.
He believes that the human person establishes a
relationship with his/her fellowmen in the three levels: I-
It, T-He/She, and I- Thou. The highest level of the
human persons relatedness is the I-Thou relationship.
This relationship happens when the “I” and the “Thou”
are bound together in the context of love.

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Human is born well and evil
arise from developing “civilized”
societies. In a state of nature,
people are basically good, and
they tend to compassionate to
each other. But these condition
do not last, and indeed people
need to live in society that to
become fully. His political theory
aimed at creating an
environment in w/c what is right
dictates how might is employed
rather than letting the desire to
maintain the power prescribed
what was done.

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Jean Jacques Rousseau
Instead of being together, people should be linked
by a social contract, a pact resulting in a political
order to w/c reasonable persons would freely given
their allegiance. He believed that God is te source
of all justice. He also believed that it is in the
nature of the human consciousness itself to be free
from all others. Human is unique in the world…
one`s being, one`s existence, is different from all
others.

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Philosophy of Man
Existentialist Philosophers

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For JEAN PAUL SARTRE,
the meaning of human
existence is found in
human`s exercise of
freedom and responsibility
in the scope oh human`s
individual and social
undertakings.

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human existence can only be attained
when the human person lives his/her life
authentically.
Authentic existence requires human to
do the ff:
1. Human has to be free himself/herself from
his/her inauthentic existence with the “they”
so that the human can own his/her existence.
2. As a human owns his/her existence,
he/she has to project his/her possibilities;
human has to make himself/herself.
3. As a human person, he/she has to experience dread, care, concern,
guilt. Besides, man has to listen to the voice of conscience, so that
he/she can resolve to live authentically;
4. With human`s resolute decision to live authentically, human has to
accept death as his/her own most inevitable possibility.

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For KARL JASPERS, the
attainment of human existence
is possible when he/she is
seen as a whole or as the
‘Encompassing”. Seen this
way, human can be the
Encompassing when he/she
sees himself/herself as an
existent being, as a conscious
being, as a spirit, and as
existence.

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For VIKTOR FRANKL,
human can find meaning in
his/her existence in a three-
fold manner, namely:
1. By doing a life-project
2. By experiencing value,
particularly in the context of
love; and
3. By finding meaning in
suffering

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JOHN STUART MILL
(utilitarianism) fully accepted
Bentham`s devotion to greatest
happiness principle as the basic
statement of utilitarianism value: “
… actions are right in proportion as
they tend to promote happiness,
wrong as they to produce pain. By
happiness are intended pleasure,
and the absence of pain; by
unhappiness, pain and the privation
of pleasure, “

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But Mill did not agree that all
differences among pleasure could be
quantified. To him, some kinds of
pleasure experienced by human beings
also differ from each other in qualitative
ways, and only those who have
experienced pleasure of both sorts are
competent judges of their relative
quality. This establishes the moral
worth of promoting higher (largely
intellectual) pleasures among sentient
beings even their momentary intensity
may be less than that of alternative
lower (largely bodily) pleasures.

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JEREMY BENTHAM. His moral theory
was found on the assumption that it is the
consequences of human actions that
count in evaluating their merit and that
the kind of consequences that matters for
human happiness is just the achievement
of pleasure and advanced pain. He
argued that the hedonistic value of any
human action is easily calculated by
considering how intensely its pleasure is
felt, how long that the pleasure lasts, how
certainly and how quickly it follows upon
the performance of the action and how
likely it is to produce collateral benefit
and avoid collateral harms.

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All that remains, Bentham
supposed, is to consider the extent
of this pleasure, since the
happiness of the community as a
whole is nothing other the sum of
individual human interests. The
principle of utility, defines the
meaning of moral obligation by
references to the greatest
happiness of the greatest number
of people who are affected by
performance of an action…

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DAVID HUME (naturalism)
believed that our beliefs and
actions are the products of custom
or habit. Since all our scientific
beliefs have exactly the same
foundation. This account
preserves the natural dignity of
moral judgements. According to
him, it is our feelings or sentiments
that exerts practical influence over
human volition and action. He
also claimed that a constant
conjunction between having a
motive (not reason) for acting and
performing the action in question.

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• So a proper science of human
nature will account for human
actions as well as for human
beliefs, be reference to the
natural formation of habitual
associations with human
feelings.
• Clearly, rationality had no place
in this account of morality. All
human actions flow naturally
from human feelings, w/out any
interference from human
reason.

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• FREDRICH NIETZCHE insists that
there are no rules for human life, no
absolute values, no certainties on
w/c they rely. If the truth can be
achieve at all, it can come only from
an individual who purposefully
disregards everything that is
traditionally taken to be important.
He also rejects traditional values
including religion. Nietzche`s
declaration of “the death of god”
draws attention to our culture`s
general abandonment of any
genuine commitment to the
Christian faith.

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Reference
• A Reviewer for the Licensure Examination
for Teachers, PNU 2006
• https://www.google.com.ph/search (for
philosopher images)

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