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Nature Vs Nurture

Essay by   •  February 10, 2013  •  Essay  •  252 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,827 Views

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Nature vs nurture

debate or controversy

How far is human behaviors, ideas, and feelings natural and how far are they all nurtured? These issues are at the center of that ongoing controversy that is referred to as the nature versus nurture debate or controversy.

The nature vs nurture debate is one of the most enduring in the field of psychology. In the 17th century the French philosopher René Descartes set out views which held that people possess certain inborn ideas that enduringly underpin people's approach to the world. The British philosophers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, on the other hand, took a more empirical approach emphasizing the role of experience as fully contributing to behavioral development.

Since the days of Descartes, Hobbes, and Locke, the empirical "nurture" approach has possibly tended to have the best of the argument but the debate is far from being settled.

Traditionally, human nature has been thought of as not only inherited but divinely ordained. Whole ethnic groups were considered to be, by nature, superior or inferior. In the 19th and 20th centuries, however, intellectuals increasingly attributed differences among races, classes, and genders to socialization (nurture), rather than to innate qualities (nature). In the 20th century, the Nazis pursued an agenda based on the concept of human nature as defined by one's race. The Communists, on the other hand, largely followed Marx's lead in defining the human identity as subject to social structures, not nature. In scientific circles, this conflict led to ongoing controversy of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology.

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