Pinker and De Waal on the Nature/Nurture Debate
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The paper discusses how Steven Pinker, in his article "Why the Nature/Nurture Debate Won't Go Away," responds to three "reasonable beliefs" offered by radical moderates and presents his belief in "chance events", where an individual's uniqueness determines his responses to events and shapes his personality and destiny. The paper then looks at how De Waal, in his article "The End of Nature vs. Nurture," rejects genetic determinism as the force behind the dynamics of the human mind and society with his belief that a continuity exists between the culture of primates and marine animals and human beings. The paper provides a comparison of both authors' beliefs and points out that both authors visualize an oncoming integrated approach to the opposition between nature and nurture.
From the Paper:"In an attempt at understanding which between nature and nurture is responsible for the human mind and society, Steven Pinker (2002) responds to three "reasonable beliefs" offered by radical moderates. The first states that the mind begins as a black slate. The second states that the human personality is determined or influenced partly by nature and partly by nurture. And the third states that nature and nurture should not be disentangled. About the first "reasonable belief," many contend that a person's make-up is largely influenced by his parenting. Considerate, respecting and loving parents bring up confident, strong and upright children. Selfish, harsh, or overprotective parents produce insecure and unfit children. It is largely the parents' fault if children do not turn into productive and fulfilled adults. But Pinker argues that parents not only nurture children but also supply them with their genes. The belief that good parenting produces good children only explains the same genes only incline children to be similar to their parents. This has not been proven in the case of adopted children. Existing evidence even dispels the assumption that stepparents are necessarily caring less for a child just because they do not have the same genes (Pinker)."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Pinker, Steven. Why the Nature/Nurture Debate Won't Go Away. Boston Globe: Globe Newspaper Company, October 13, 2002
- Waal, Frans de. The End of Nature vs Nurture. Scientific American, December, 1999
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Pinker and De Waal on the Nature/Nurture Debate (2011, November 22) Retrieved May 23, 2022, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/pinker-and-de-waal-on-the-nature-nurture-debate-149058/
"Pinker and De Waal on the Nature/Nurture Debate" 22 November 2011. Web. 23 May. 2022. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/pinker-and-de-waal-on-the-nature-nurture-debate-149058/>