The Western Illusion of Human Nature: With Reflections on the Long History of Hierarchy, Equality and the Sublimation of Anarchy in the West, and Comparative Notes on Other Conceptions of the Human Condition by Marshall SahlinsReflecting the decline in college courses on Western Civilization, Marshall Sahlins aims to accelerate the trend by reducing Western Civ to about two hours. He cites Nietzsche to the effect that deep issues are like cold baths; one should get into and out of them as quickly as possible. The deep issue here is the ancient Western specter of a presocial and antisocial human nature: a supposedly innate self-interest that is represented in our native folklore as the basis or nemesis of cultural order. Yet these Western notions of nature and culture ignore the one truly universal character of human sociality: namely, symbolically constructed kinship relations. Kinsmen are members of one another: they live each others lives and die each others deaths. But where the existence of the other is thus incorporated in the being of the self, neither interest, nor agency or even experience is an individual fact, let alone an egoistic disposition. Sorry, beg your pardon, Sahlins concludes, Western society has been built on a perverse and mistaken idea of human nature.
Shakespeare and Montaigne
His work is noted for its merging of casual anecdotes  and autobiography with intellectual insight. His massive volume Essais contains some of the most influential essays ever written. During his lifetime, Montaigne was admired more as a statesman than as an author. The tendency in his essays to digress into anecdotes and personal ruminations was seen as detrimental to proper style rather than as an innovation, and his declaration that, "I am myself the matter of my book", was viewed by his contemporaries as self-indulgent. In time, however, Montaigne came to be recognized as embodying, perhaps better than any other author of his time, the spirit of freely entertaining doubt that began to emerge at that time.
Montaigne was one of the most prolific writers during the time of the French Renaissance. It is the period of Renaissance that most philosophers and writers differed in the majority of their views on humanity. These differences motivated many writers and philosophers to write books and other papers explaining their opinions about human identity. Montaigne had an idea that human beings are inferior to all other creatures in the Universe. In his works he states that a man claims to be the master of the Universe, however, he cannot even master himself. Concerning this assertion, Montaigne is of the view that human beings do not have the capacity for taking care and controlling the rest of the world that surrounds them.
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Open Document. Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper. Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly. As theatrical as it sounds, this thinking is customary among most people. But what really makes someone a cannibal, besides the basic act of eating human flesh.
Natural law Latin : ius naturale , lex naturalis is law that is held to exist independently of the positive law of a given political order, society or nation-state. As determined by nature, the law of nature is implied to be objective and universal;  it exists independently of human understanding, and of the positive law of a given state , political order , legislature or society at large. Historically, natural law refers to the use of reason to analyze human nature to deduce binding rules of moral behavior from nature's or God's creation of reality and mankind. The concept of natural law was documented in ancient Greek philosophy , including Aristotle ,  and was referred to in Roman philosophy by Cicero. The School of Salamanca made notable contributions during the Renaissance. Modern natural law theories were greatly developed in the Age of Enlightenment , combining inspiration from Roman law with philosophies like social contract theory.