Nature Versus Nurture
Philosophers and psychologists have debated the relative roles of nature and nurture in human development for centuries. The seventeenth century English philosopher John Locke described a young child's mind as a tabula rasa upon which the child's experiences are written. Jean-Jacques Roseau, and eighteenth century French philosopher, also argued that human development was primarily a function of experience. He believed in the existence of a natural, unspoiled state of humankind that is altered and corrupted by modern civilization. In contrast, nineteenth century scientists such as Gregory Mendel, Charles Darwin, and Sir Francis Galton highlighted the importance of heredity in shaping development. While all of these scientists provided meaningful insights into the role of heredity and the environment, modern researchers have sought to further explore the dynamic interactions between nature and nurture that shape human development.
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