Human nature refers to the distinguishing characteristics, including ways of thinking, feeling and acting, that humans tend to have naturally, independently of the influence of culture. .
- Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.
- Jane Austen (1841) Emma: A Novel. p. 159
- Il est dans la nature humaine de penser sagement et d'agir d'une façon absurde.
- Human nature, as manifested in tribalism and nationalism, provides the momentum of the machinery of human evolution.
- Arthur Keith (1946) Essays on Human Evolution. p. 68
- Someone who thinks well of himself is said to have a healthy self-concept and is envied. Someone who thinks well of his country is called a patriot and is applauded. But someone who thinks well of his species is regarded as hopelessly naïve and is dismissed.
- Alfie Kohn, The Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism and Empathy in Everyday Life, 1990.
- Human nature is not of itself vicious.
- Thomas Paine The Rights of Man: 1779 - 1792, p. 149 (2007)
- The needs of man, if life is to survive, are usually said to be four -- air, water, food, and in the severe climates, protection. But it is becoming clear today that the human organism has another absolute necessity... This fifth need is the need for novelty -- the need, throughout our waking life, for continuous variety in the external stimulation of our eyes, ears, sense organs, and all our nervous network.
- John R. Platt (1959) "The Fifth Need of Man," in: Horizon 1 (July 1959), p.109.
- Human nature is governed by general self-interest and affected by genetic predisposition, which implies that there are likely to be limits to our moral sensitivities.
- Nayef Al-Rodhan (2008) “emotional amoral egoism:” A Neurophilosophical Theory of Human Nature and its Universal Security Implications. Berlin: LIT, p.15
- Human nature is the same now as when Adam hid from the presence of God; the consciousness of wrong makes us unwilling to meet those whom we have offended.
- Matthew Simpson (1885) Sermons. p. 202
- It belongs to human nature to hate those you have injured.
- Tacitus as cited in: William Shepard Walsh (1909) Handy-book of Literary Curiosities. p. 392
- "But a conception of human nature, and its connections to other fields such as politics and the arts, have been there from time immemorial." ~ Steven Pinker
- "Human nature is doing whatever works out best for you." ~ Gregory House, House, M.D.
- "It's human nature to be curious about people, and to be more curious about young people than old people. We want to cheer something on at the same time we want to tear it down. That's just so normal." ~ Amy Grant
- "It's human nature to start taking things for granted again when danger isn't banging loudly on the door." ~ David Hackworth
- "Knowledge of human nature is the beginning and end of political education." ~ Henry B. Adams
- "Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
- "Poor human nature, what horrible crimes have been committed in thy name!" ~ Emma Goldman
- "Race hate isn't human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature." ~ Orson Welles
- "Shakespeare reveals human nature brilliantly: he shines a light on our instinctive desire to dominate each other." ~ Edward Hall
- "Something in human nature causes us to start slacking off at our moment of greatest accomplishment. As you become successful, you will need a great deal of self-discipline not to lose your sense of balance, humility, and commitment." ~ Ross Perot
- "Squeeze human nature into the straitjacket of criminal justice and crime will appear." ~ Karl Kraus
- "The principle that human nature, in its psychological aspects, is nothing more than a product of history and given social relations removes all barriers to coercion and manipulation by the powerful." ~ Noam Chomsky
- "There is no such thing as an inhuman act, for there is no act so vile that you cannot find a human willing, even eager, to commit it." ~ Anonymous
- "To the intelligent man with an interest in human nature it must often appear strange that so much of the energy of the scientific world has been spent on the study of the body and so little on the study of the mind." ~ Edward Thorndike
- "What sick ridiculous puppets we are / and what gross little stage we dance on / What fun we have dancing and fucking / Not a care in the world / Not knowing that we are nothing / We are not what was intended." ~ John Doe (Se7en)
- "...and that is what it means to be Human: To make yourself more than you are" ~ Captain Picard (Star Trek: Nemesis)
- "Many of our moral and political policies are designed to preempt what we know to be the worst features of human nature. The checks and balances in a democracy, for instance, were invented in explicit recognition of the fact that human leaders will always be tempted to arrogate power to themselves. Likewise, our sensitivity to racism comes from an awareness that groups of humans, left to their own devices, are apt to discriminate and oppress other groups, often in ugly ways. History also tells us that a desire to enforce dogma and suppress heretics is a recurring human weakness, one that has led to recurring waves of gruesome oppression and violence. A recognition that there is a bit of Torquemada in everyone should make us wary of any attempt to enforce a consensus or demonize those who challenge it." ~ What is Your Dangerous Idea? (2007) ed., John Brockman, "Introduction," Steven Pinker, p. xxxi.
- "A recognition that there is a bit of Torquemada in everyone should make us wary of any attempt to enforce a consensus or demonize those who challenge it." ~ What is Your Dangerous Idea? (2007) ed., John Brockman, "Introduction," Steven Pinker, p. xxxi.
- "The tale of humanity was never its ultimate domination of a thousand galaxies, or its mysterious exit into the unknown. The essence of being human was none of that. Instead, it lay in the very life you lead in the moment." ~ Nemo Ramjet 
- "It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates" (Nathan Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter).
- "We're just like other people: We love to sing, we love to dance, we admire beautiful women. We are human, and sometimes very human." ~ Professor Siletsky in To Be or Not to Be" (1942)