Essence which is the intrinsic nature of man treats the various opinions that have been expressed and these opinions can be grouped into the rational, religious and scientific perspectives. The last view can be subdivided into two: the biological and the behaviorist’s views. A. RATIONAL VIEW 1 . It points out man’s capacity to understand and reason as his most unique attribute which sets him apart from other living creatures. 2. To Plato, reason is the highest part of the soul.
It is independent and immortal and it is the only faculty which enables man to penetrate the very nature of things. 3. Aristotle added that it is man’s valued possession which distinguishes him from other forms of animals. 4. Advocates of the rationalistic view assert that “man is to be understood primarily from the viewpoint of the nature and uniqueness Of his rational powers. 5. In the words Of Robinson, “mind is considered man’s chief glory and the instrument which has enabled him to accomplish all the wonders of civilization.
He can reason as no other animal and so has devised many religions and arts and institutions, built up imposing systems of philosophy and theology, knowledge of the world and its inhabitants, and sought out many inventions to feed, ways unknown to his savage ancestors. Great and essential is the mind. ” 6. For Socrates, Plato and their followers, intelligence is the basis of man’s virtue. To these philosophers the goal of human effort and the meaning of progress are “the harmonious development of all man’s functions and abilities through the supremacy and the perfection of reason in man and society.