That is the basic question underlying the fifth (and, believe it or not, second-to-last), unit in my Philosophy of Human Nature course. Today we had to submit our initial thoughts on this overarching question, and so I’m now releasing my assignment here for your reading pleasure. As always, I actively welcome discussion in the comments on the content of my responses, or your own responses to this question. Since we’re only required to write 4 of the 6 longer essays, and I’ll have done that already (a longer essay on question 4 will be turned in/posted here later this week), it is unlikely that you’ll see any further and deeper responses from me on here regarding this question, but that is all the more reason to have a lively discussion in the comments. Even if I don’t write a formal essay I may well either write an extensive comment to this post at the end of the unit or write a follow-up post with thoughts on how my thinking on this question has advanced.