History of Nature vs. Nurture

Historyof Nature vs. Nurture

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Historyof Nature vs. Nurture

Aperson’sbehaviorandappearanceare subjectto influencesthatan individualhas nodirectinfluenceover them. Over theyears,peoplehavebeenawarethatthedifferentsourcesof characteristicsthat manifestin individuals.Thedebateover thesourcesof theseinstigators of personalfeaturesandbehavioral tendencieshas beenthesubjectof scholars’debateandseveralfindingsresulted.Aperson’sappearanceis attributable to his heredity,andthisearnsthetermnature.Theenvironmentthat one dwellsin composedof both themicro andthemacro environmentshapethebehaviorof andindividual.Scholarsreferto thisas nurture.Scholarshadvariousopinionson thetwo phenomena,andan agreementcould not easilyfindgroundon which of thetwo predestined a person’sdevelopment.Since 1869 whenFrancis Galton coinedthetwo words,thescientisthadan arrayof articlescriticizingeachother’sfindings.Todayitis wellknownthatthetwo playan importantrolein humandevelopment.However,none can b usedsolelyto givea comprehensiveexplanationof thebehaviorortheappearanceof an individual.Whenusedtogether,scientistscan havetwo approachesto explainingindividual’sbehaviorsandtraits(Badcock, 2015).

Thehistoryof natureandnurtureextendsway backthousands of yearswhenphilosophydefinedthesociety.In theGreek era,Plato cameup with thethemeof intelligencewhich hebelievedthatitwasan inborntrait.Accordingto him, intelligencecould not be achievedby everyone simplybecauseitwasa genetical characteristic.His sentimentshitthemindof Aristotle, butthelatterdeferredslightlyby assertinga humanbeingenteredtheworldwith senses,andtheenvironmentturnsitto a mind.Plato’s definitioninclinedto nature whileAristotle gaveroomfornature.Evenduring suchearlyages,thedebatewasstillstrong(Tuana, 1983). Scientistsbuiltusedthepremisesto doa studyandcomeup with morerefinedandvalidexplanations.

Thepioneerscientist,Francis Galton, questionedthetraitsobservedin individuals.Peoplecould not explainwherethesecamefrom, andtheexistingexplanationswereonlyhypothetical.Through extensiveresearch,Galton foundout that,andindividualappearanceandintelligenceborroweda lotfrom theparent’sgeneticmakeup.Accordingto him, natureplayeda veryimportantrolein shapinga person’sdevelopment.Theinherited characteristicsmakeup to 25% of an individual’straits.Galton wassomuchinclinedto nature andto a largeextentheoverlookedtheeffectof theenvironmenton humandevelopment.However,his beliefthatevolutioncontributedt theformationof betterspeciesthrough theapplicationof naturalselectionandactionshowsthathedidnot havean absoluterefuteof nurture(Badcock, 2015).

Galton’sassertionandfindingsheldforalongperioddue to theinabilityof otherscholarsto tangibly criticizehim. During his era,naturewasapplicablein identifyinga person’sbehaviorandintelligence.Theideaseemsto haverootsin theGreek erascholarslike Plato, whobelievedthatknowledgewasinheritable. John Locke cameup with anotherexplanationforthetendenciesof humanbeings.Althoughhedidnot refutethefactthatindividualsinherita setof characteristicsfrom parents,heenteredthearenawith anotherapproach.Accordingto his schoolof thought,an individualenterstheworldwith a blankmind.Theforcesin theenvironmentare responsibleforshapingan individual’sbehavior.Unlike thecommonmisconceptionthat nurturetakesover at birth,Locke providesinformationthatitbeginsrightafter conception.Thedifferentexperiencesthatthemotherundergoes,forexample,thefoodsheeats,thetraumasheundergoesthroughandtheconditionssurroundingtheconceptionhavean effecton thedevelopmentof theunbornchild.Nurture,therefore,getsan upperhandover naturebecauseunlike naturescientistscan deliberatelycontrolit(Badcock, 2015).

Accordingto thefindingsof thephysician,an individual’smindis blankat thetimeof birth.Thefuturebehaviorandmentalabilityof anyindividualare shapeable at thispoint.Due to thelackof priorknowledgeabout theenvironmentortheworld,itis possibleto bringup a childthewayone wants.Locke claimedthathecould anyprofessionfrom a childat birth.Hecould makea thief,a physicianoran artist.His schoolof thoughtthatmanyotherscholarsprofessedreferredto natureas irrelevantin explainingpeople’sbehavior.Locke’s findingspavedthewayto acceptingtheroleof theenvironmentin shapingpeople`sbehaviors.

Despitethestrongrevelationsmadeby Locke, scientistscontinuedto doa studyto reconcilethetwo issuesbecausetheybothexplainhumanbehaviorto someextent.The21st centurycameup with severalacceptablefindings.First,bothnatureandnurtureplayan importantrolein a person’sdevelopment.None of thetwo is absolutedespite beingin existenceforthousands of years.Secondly,at birth,thehumanmindis blankbutthere are alreadypresentcharacteristicsemanatingfrom theparents(Lux, 2014).

Borrowingfrom theearlyphilosophers’explanationof thesourceof intelligence,thetwo are reconcilable. Drawingfrom Plato whoclaimedthatintelligenceis inheritable thecharacteristiccannot manifestitself fullyin an environmentthat is not conducive.Aristotle’s hada strongpremisethattheminddevelopsfrom theexperiencesgainedfrom theenvironment.Individualshavetheinnateability,buttherightenvironmentis crucialto ensurethedevelopmentof thedesiredtraits(Coll et al., 2014).

Accordingto thediscussionsraisedby thedifferentscientists,itis easyto takesidesregardingthetwo issueson thebasisof theextensiveresearchconductedover theyears.Thedebatesurroundingnatureandnurtureshould not be hotanymore. Thecontroversysurroundingtheindependencethetwo in forginga behaviorshould be an obsoletequestionby now.Natureplaysan importantroleby givingindividualshereditarytraitsto about25% as putacross by Galton. However,thedesiredtraitscannot manifestthemselves unless theenvironmentbringsthem to maturity.Nurtureis, therefore,importantin fillingtheblankmindwith ideasthat leadto differentcapabilities.Thetwo havea mutualrelationship,andnone is autonomous(Coll et al., 2014).

Conclusively,natureandnurturehavea richhistoryandscholarshavegiventhem enoughattentionto raisethefactsandclearthegrayareassurroundingthem. Modernscholarshavea softspotforthetwo, andtheygivethem equalweightwhenitcomesto explainingthecharacteristicsof individuals.Thewayhumanbeingsleadtheir livesis subjectto thetwo factors.Theyinheritseveralfeaturesfrom thefamilyline.Ifdesirablecharacteristicsneedto be developed,thegenetical make-up is not enoughto completethetaskwithout triggering theabilitiesof individualsthrough theenvironmentin which theylive.

References

Badcock,C. R. (2015). Nature-Nurture Controversy.International Encyclopedia of the Social &amp Behavioral Sciences,340-344.

Coll,C. G., Bearer, E. L., &amp Lerner, R. M. (Eds.). (2014). Natureand nurture: The complex interplay of genetic and environmentalinfluences on human behavior and development.Psychology Press.

Lux,V. (2014). Nature and Nurture. Encyclopediaof Critical Psychology,1225-1231.

Tuana,N. (1983, December). Re-fusing nature/nurture. In Women`sStudies International Forum6 (6), 621-632.