Critically Compare How the Nature-Nurture Debate Has Been Addressed by Three Different Researchers or Schools or Thought in Psychology and/or Philosophy. at Least One of the Researchers/Schools Must Have Been Active Before the 20th Century.

Topics: Nature versus nurture, Eugenics, Tabula rasa Pages: 6 (2285 words) Published: March 15, 2013
Critically compare how the nature-nurture debate has been addressed by three different researchers or schools or thought in Psychology and/or Philosophy. At least one of the researchers/schools must have been active before the 20th century.

Theories whose fundamental understanding of human behaviour focuses on characteristics in which, we are born with like our genetic make-up, stable personality traits, and physical predispositions are Naturists. In contrast theorists who are on the nurture side of this debate argue that human behaviour is a result of life experiences that mould and change through one’s life such as how one is reared by their parents, what one is educated in school and one’s culture. The nature vs. nurture debate can be traced all the way to 13th century France and to a manuscript, Silence. 17th century philosopher Descartes was also a major influence on nature and nurture debate and argued that we do not come into the world completely void of any conceptions about it. On the other spectrum to his line of thinking was Sir Francis Galton who argued that we come into the world completely ignorant. It is widely accepted in the scientific world that Darwin had the most profound effect on the nature and nurture debate and Galton had a cumbersome effect on his pupil and relative Darwin who stated that most of one’s qualities are innate and the environment effect is minimal. In this essay I will attempt to show the parallels that different thinkers; Darwin, Dawkins and Locke have taken in the nature vs. nurture debate. Silence, is allegedly the work of Heldriss of Cornwall. During the course of the novel, on two occasions the characters nature and nurture, metaphorical personifications of the effect of heredity and environment, engage in an energetic debate (cited in Phillip Groff & Laura McRae). In one of a number of motifs that may have influenced the idea of nature and nurture debate can be seen in Sarah Roche-Mahdi edition of the Silence and argues that a number of the plot devices appear to be from Dolopathos (seven Sages of Rome) in which, a discussion of the training of a young boy who maintains that the prowess given him by nature has been greatly enhanced by his education and upbringing. Watson believed that at any given situation the different facets involved in the upbringing of a child can be manipulated and thereby change their identity to a desired persona (Schwartz). However Darwin argued “I am inclined to agree with Francis Galton in believing that education and environment produce only a small effect on the mind of any one, and that most of our qualities are innate (Darwin, quoted in Barlow, 1958 p. 43).” Often Darwin is coined as the fathers of the evolutionary perspective with his work with finches in the Galapagos Islands a personal highlight. Darwin was a naturist who argued that what one knows of the world was innate and that environment merely acted as a modification apparatus via the family, education religion and society. Darwin believed that through natural selection humans had developed survival mechanisms that they successfully passed down to their offspring and that was the base for one’s understanding of the world and that once the child had matured different selection pressures would make them succumb to the pressures or their innately given genes would yield them a more favourable outcome. Alfred Russel Wallace who is a forgotten biologist is arguably just as important as Darwin was, and he was on the nurture side of this argument, and debated that "An individual is, of course, a product of nature and nurture, but it is one-tenth the former and nine-tenths the latter." Wallace argued from a teleology perspective and said that the development of the universe has had a direction, and that course is towards the perfection of man. These great thinkers of their time both understood that nature and nurture both had a role to play in a human’s development. Fast-growing understanding...
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