5.1995 40 x 30 cm Oil on canvas May 2022 Signed and dated on the reverse
Human nature is a concept that denotes the fundamental dispositions and characteristics — including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting — that humans are said to have naturally. The term is often used to denote the essence of humankind, or what it ‘means’ to be human. This usage has proven to be controversial in that there is dispute as to whether or not such an essence actually exists.
Arguments about human nature have been a central focus of philosophy for centuries and the concept continues to provoke lively philosophical debate. While both concepts are distinct from one another, discussions regarding human nature are typically related to those regarding the comparative importance of genes and environment in human development (i.e., ‘nature versus nurture’). Accordingly, the concept also continues to play a role in academic fields, such as the natural sciences, social sciences, history, and philosophy, in which various theorists claim to have yielded insight into human nature. Human nature is traditionally contrasted with human attributes that vary among societies, such as those associated with specific cultures.