This essay will examine the various arguments that are brought up pro and against the nature and nurture debate.

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09 DECEMBER 2011


Pederson, Brian

Growing up people will have told that you look like your  father or mother, on the other hand you may notice that you have the brown eyes from your mother and you are tall as your father; but what about your knowledge your intelligence and ability? Do you get them from your parents as well or are they innate with you and you are born with your unique ability? This essay will examine the various arguments that are brought up pro and against the nature and nurture debate.

Great philosophers like Rene Descartes and John Locke argued that people acquire knowledge from the information our senses provide us with. King Solomon seems to support the nurture assumption when he suggests in the Proverbs 22:6, “Train the child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”People at the beginning start with simple ideas and then they combine them and can turn them into more complex ones.  Psychologist J. B. Watson once said “Give me a dozen healthy infants, well-formed, and my own specified world to bring them up in and I'll guarantee to take any one at random and train him to become any type of specialist I might select – doctor, lawyer, artist, merchant-chief and, yes, even beggar-man and thief, regardless of his talents, penchants, tendencies, abilities, vocations, and race of his ancestors. I am going beyond my facts and I admit it, but so have the advocates of the contrary and they have been doing it for many thousands of years. [Behaviourism (1930), p. 82]

Studies made on feral children who were kept in and raised isolated from humans support nurture; we become what we are from the things we learn. Amala and Kamala, the famous wolf like children, were raised by a she-wolf and were found by the reverend J. A. L. Singh in 1920. The girls were fond of raw meat and licked all liquids. They behaved like wolves, their tongues were always hanging out and they panted. They never slept after midnight and could move easily in the night. A child must learn how to behave and be human; a child learns how to walk erect, to talk and how to do other things in life. (The Diary of the Wolf-Children of Midnapore (India) 1920. P3-126)

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In everything we do we are always looking for who is better, and who can do an activity efficiently. There are a lot of ways applied to know who is more able in a specific subject. For example the IQ test is used to measure a person’s intelligence. But what is meant by ability? Ability some say is a quality that permits or facilitates achievement or accomplishment, it is the possession of the qualities (especially mental qualities) required to do something or get something done. A child’s capacity to learn and understand in school can be determined ...

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