Overview[ edit ] The concept of nature as a standard by which to make judgments is traditionally said to have begun in Greek philosophyat least as regards the Western and Middle Eastern languages and perspectives which are heavily influenced by it.
That was the question raised recently by psychologist Judith Rich Harris, author of the controversial book, The Nurture Assumption. If they turn out to be bums, it certainly is not your fault. How much credit do parents deserve when their children turn out well?
How much blame when they turn out badly? This electrifying book explodes some of our deepest beliefs about children and parents and gives us something radically [an appropriate term!
With eloquence and wit, Judith Harris explains why parents have little power to determine the sort of people their children become.
It is what children experience outside the home, in the company of their peers, that matters most. Whether intended or not, this dogma accommodates parental delinquency.
Harris confesses that she used to believe this. The more appropriate query might be: Her approach is totally wrong-headed, even though the current conditions of society are not wholly at variance with her conclusions.
First, it is fundamentally flawed because it is constructed upon an erroneous premise. The psychologist has had her brain baptized in Darwinism. She contends, for instance, that humans are the product of the evolutionary process—from molecules to man.
My [view] is based on a consideration of what kind of mind the child is equipped with, which requires, in turn, a consideration of the evolutionary history of our species emphasis added. Harris alleges that environment—virtually every influence other than parents—is responsible for the way we are; our childhood associates are especially influential.
Second, from a methodological viewpoint, her reasoning is skewed. She frequently yields to unwarranted extrapolation. Here is one of her examples: Children in a Boston family, being reared by parents who speak Russian principally, can converse in good English—with a Bostonian accent, rather than with a Russian accent.
Thus they are being influenced more by their peers than by their parents. This woefully limited example does not mean, however, that Boston society must necessarily exert a greater influence upon the children than the parents do in every area of life.
There are some issues with which parents are considerably more flexible. Moreover, it is just possible that these immigrant parents encouraged their children to speak a purer form of English!
Third, as journalist Roy Maynard noted, Ms. In other words, she adjusts the facts to fit her foregone conclusion. Harris has been taken to the proverbial woodshed by some respected heavyweights in the field of psychology. Telling parents that they have little influence on their children, in light of scientific evidence and their daily encounters, is a little like declaring on a foggy September morning that all the trees have disappeared because you cannot see them.
The Harris theory is contradicted by two basic biblical propositions: The Scriptures provide ample evidence, in the form of precedent, that parents can and do influence their children significantly. Parents are placed under divine mandate to fashion the character of their offspring.
Let us briefly develop these two points. Biblical Precedent and Parental Influence The Scriptures are replete with examples which demonstrate the power of parental influence—both for good and bad. Reflect upon the following cases: Concerning Abraham, God said: For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of Jehovah, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that Jehovah may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him Genesis Joshua could confidently affirm: This great leader was not oblivious to the influence he exerted in his household.
Eli was one of the great judges of the Old Testament era. A stain on his record, however, was his conduct as a father. He had two incorrigible sons, Hophni and Phinehas 1 Samuel 1: Eli was aware of their rebellion, but he restrained them not. Though he had many admirable qualities, David, king of Israel, was weak as a father.Buy Beyond Human Nature: How Culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind on timberdesignmag.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders.
Yet while many experts would now have to acknowledge the importance of both nature and nurture, the two worlds were generally treated as being quite independent.
Both Nature and Nurture Influence Human Behaviour Essays ‛BOTH NATURE AND NURTURE INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR’ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English defines Nature as “persons or animal’s innate character, and innate meaning inborn”. Human nature is a bundle of fundamental characteristics—including ways of thinking, feeling, and acting—which humans tend to have naturally..
The questions of whether there truly are fixed. Nature and nurture are different in several ways but share one similarity which is the fact that they both have an influence on child development. Both of them play an important role in how children develop as well as the type of people they will grow.
Nevertheless, despite our restrictions on setting up human-based experiments, we do see real-world examples of nature-nurture at work in the human sphere—though they only provide partial answers to .