Are humans innately aggressive

A fine slogan with a lot of virility to it

Are humans innately aggressive

Sigmund Freud tried to cure Viennese women of their neuroses, and Konrad Lorenz made his reputation studying birds, but the two men shared a belief that has become lodged in the popular consciousness.

The belief is that we have within us, naturally and spontaneously, a reservoir of aggressive energy. This force, which builds up all by itself, must be periodically drained off — say, by participating in competitive sports — lest we explode into violence.

This is an appealing model because it is easy to visualize. It is also false. A Social Psychological Analysis. That belief, however, has not been easily shaken. Among the arguments one sometimes hears are these: Animals are aggressive and we cannot escape the legacy of our evolutionary ancestors; human history is dominated by tales of war and cruelty; and certain areas of the brain and particular hormones are linked to aggression, proving a biological basis for such behavior.

09 – Presa Canario

The first thing to be said about animals is that we should be cautious in drawing lessons from them to explain our own behavior, given the mediating force of culture and our capacity for reflection.

He quotes one authority who has written: Organized group aggression is rare in other species, and the aggression that does exist is typically a function of the environment in which animals find themselves.

Scientists have discovered that altering their environment, or the way they are reared, can have a profound impact on the level of aggression found in virtually all species. Furthermore, animals cooperate — both within and among species — far more than many of us assume on the basis of watching nature documentaries.

When we turn to human history, we find an alarming amount of aggressive behavior, but we do not find reason to believe the problem is innate.

Here are some of the points made by critics of biological determinism: Other institutions once thought to be natural are now very difficult to find. It is true that these are hunter-gatherer societies, but the fact that any humans live without violence would seem to refute the charge that we are born aggressive.

Just the reverse seems to be true. The late Erich Fromm put it this way: If destructiveness were innate in man, the trend would have to be the opposite. In a matter of a few centuries, Sweden has changed from a fiercely warlike society to one of the least violent among industrialized nations.

This shift — like the existence of war itself — can more plausibly be explained in terms of social and political factors rather than by turning to biology. While cannibalism, for example, is sometimes thought of as aggression, it might represent a religious ritual rather than an expression of hostility.

The presence of some hormones or the stimulation of certain sections of the brain has been experimentally linked with aggression. But after describing these mechanisms in some detail, physiological psychologist Kenneth E. Moyer emphasizes that aggressive behavior is always linked to an external stimulus.

It is as if we were to assert that because there can be no fires without oxygen, and because the Earth is blanketed by oxygen, it is in the nature of our planet for buildings to burn down.

In the case of aggression, where the existence of such a drive is dubious to begin with, our ability to choose our behavior is even clearer.

Are humans innately aggressive

Even if genes are fixed, the same does not necessarily follow for their behavioral effects. The idea that war in particular is biologically determined is even more farfetched. All those aggressive people would sign up right away. In the case of the nuclear arms race, this connection is still more tenuous.

And what are the consequences of that belief? To begin with, we tend to make generalizations about the whole species on the basis of our own experience.Dogs like most creatures, are innately, naturally sexual beings.

But their sexuality is naturally oriented towards other dogs.

Are humans innately aggressive

They may not see us as sexual beings, however. One way to determine if aggression is an innate human trait is to examine other cultures.

If just one culture can be found that values cooperation and nurturing over violence, then we can conclude that aggression is a learned cultural response, not a human instinct. The Social Learning Theory denies that humans are innately aggressive and that frustration automatically leads to aggression.

Instead Bandura () argues that aggression is learned in two basic ways: (1) from observing aggressive models and (2) from receiving and/or expecting payoffs following aggression. Left: Jebel Irhoud skull (L) compared with modern humans (R). The more globular form of modern humans suggests an expansion of parietal areas and the cerebellum whose function has recently come to be more pervasive than previously appreciated.

Theory of Knowledge - Are Humans Innately Aggressive The Oxford dictionary defines aggression as “feelings of anger or antipathy resulting in hostile or violent behaviour; readiness to attack or confront”1. Hi Jack, Yes, humans have more complex brains than other creatures, but we do not have “inborn” claws or bodily features that innately enable us to kill prey.

Are Human Beings Naturally Violent And Warlike? | Issue | Philosophy Now