IAAJAH - IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities
Vol. 9 No. 4, 2023
Maraizu Elechi, PhD


Human nature is complex, composite and holistic, including the corporeal, intellective, moral, spiritual, and psychophysical elements. It is described by Aristotle as rational and conceived by Antonio Rosmini-Serbati as volitional. The rational and volitional dimensions of human nature are indicative of the moral free will of human beings to make choices and take decisions. This suggests that human nature is the very essence of human action and interpersonal relationships. Binaries of human social relations in the hierarchical structure of contrasts subordinate one element to another and impose a hierarchical order on the world that connects human beings with strands that support pervasive human relations of inequality and dominance. Human nature and the binary of social relations indicate that there is a problem of inclusiveness, identity in difference, wholehearted acceptance of Africans by their Western counterparts. This negates Africans’ belief in the inter-subjectivity and participatory character of human beings in sharing in the inner richness and divine essence of existential experiences. Thus any discriminatory practice that tends to reify, objectify and marginalize anyone is provocative and unacceptable. This paper, therefore, is a critique of the maltreatment of Africans by the West. The paper ratiocinates on why and how the binary of social relations destroys the sensitivity of naturism and human cohesive rapport. In conclusion, it argues that socio-culturally constructed binaries such as transcendence and immanence need not be hierarchized between Africans and Westerners since both are only a bifurcation of humanity.

Keywords: human nature, social relations, binaries of nature, inequality, human dignity, racism

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