Wednesday, June 29, 2022

nature vs. nurture: false dichotomy?

Have you ever noticed how, in the debate over nature versus nurture, there's one thing missing? Think about it: one side says nature determines what you do. The other side says nurture (outside, environmental influences) determines what you do. So where's human freedom in all this? Both sides assume we aren't free. 

I suppose a more nuanced version of the debate could factor freedom in: the nature side would say nature influences character; the nurture side would say nurture influences character. But this is very watered down and trivial, and it should be obvious, in such a debate context, that both nature and nurture exercise some measure of influence over one's actions. That's probably where most normal people stand, anyway. For most of us, freedom exists, but it's not absolute: it's subject to various internal and external influences. 

1 comment:

John Mac said...

You are free to believe that if you want. It is not my nature to argue about nurture. Besides, I agree with you on this.