Talons Philosophy

An Open Online Highschool Philosophy Course


Nature VS. Nurture

Are we programmed to act a certain way determined by our genes or are we a product of our environment and the experiences and challenges we face? The debate of nature versus nurture has been a present discussion for years regarding twins, adoption and other biological matters. Why are some infant’s calm and others uneasy and disturbed? The aim is to raise questions about nature verses nurture.

The nurture theory includes ideas of how the environment factors are the real origins of our behaviour. John Watson, a well-known psychologist, guarantees that he can train a randomly selected infant to act and be how/who he wants. On the other hand, it has been proven that fraternal twins raised apart have remarkable similarities but the environment have caused several differences in the way they behave. The coding of our genes in each cell determines physical traits such as eye colour, hair colour and etc. However, it is currently unclear whether abstract attributes such as personality, intelligence and sexual orientation are gene-coded in our DNA too. The nature theory entails that sexuality is set when you’re born. Also that criminal acts, high probability of divorce, and aggressive behaviour can be justified by the “behavioural genes” once researchers actually prove their existence.

Philosophers such as John Locke and Aristotle thought we had no initial ideas and that our minds are blank slates, upon which experience writes. On the other hand, Plato believed that all the knowledge is present at birth. Even though he theorized that environment played an important role; he didn’t think it taught anything new but reminded people of the information they already knew. In my opinion, I believe both nature and nurture are both key factors of how an infant forms to be an adult. With the theories, research and evidence provided, it is difficult to announce that only one of the dynamics affect a human beings development. This may remain a complex question to prove scientifically, however, it is important to consider both.


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