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Nature vs. Nurture Essay

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Nature vs Nurture


     For the past five weeks we have studied three different but influential people in our perspective on human nature class. They are Freud, Plato and Tzu. The main discussion between all of them is nature versus nurture. I will discuss the difference between nature and nurture and then I’ll apply to each of these philosophers and how they react to it.

     When looked up in the dictionary the term nature means the universe and its phenomena or one’s own character and temperament. When discussed with these philosophers it is meant as one’s own character revolved around the universe for which they live in, basically they’re surroundings. At the same time when I looked up the word nurture it said the upbringing, care or training of a child. And in this meaning it stands on its own. Meaning exactly how it’s listed in the dictionary.

     Freud’s point of view on this topic is that the human development depends on nurture and nature at the same time. Freud believes that human nature contains powerful uncontrollable innate drives and repressed memories. The only way that these can happen is by nurture, because of some of the innate drives have been brought up through one’s upbringing. In a way Freud’s point of views are definitely supported by both nature and nurture. Another reason for this is because if you look at just Freud’s Psychoanalytic Perspective they too support both. As an example look at the id, the id is all due to nature, the reason being because hunger, thirst, sex and aggression is in nature. But if you look at superego, you find out that it is supported by nurture for the simple fact that the superego is brought through the upbringing by the training of the child. Another example of Freud’s use of nature and nurture together was stated by Freud on page 15 of his book and it says, “ Originally the ego includes everything, later it separates off an external world from itself. Our present ego feeling is, therefore, only a shrunken residue of a much more inclusive indeed, an all-embracing-feeling which correspondence to a mere intimate bond between ego and the world”(15).

     In my opinion I also think that Freud’s analyses both support nature and nurture. A perfect example is the quote I left in the last paragraph. Therefore, a lot of Freud’s points support nature and nurture. Perfect examples of this are his Psych...


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...ared to accept this and flow with it, then sorrow and joy cannot touch you”(24) “ The best thing to do is leave it all to fate, even if this is not easy to do”(32).

     In reading Chuang Tzu I had felt that the things he said did not need any explanations. At the same time his view on life have deep meanings to me. His view on nature was incredible and reasonable but at the same time I feel that through the right influential nurture mankind can develop the right spiritual and psychological mind to understand why nature alone should work. In simple meanings I see nurture as way to lead to the utopia that Mother Nature provides. My reasons are that without proper understanding that would be taught by nurture, mankind wouldn’t know how to handle the freedom from nature.

     In conclusion reading these books from Plato, Freud and Tzu on nature versus nurture was very intriguing although it does leave one especially me pondering what life would be like if we lived on nature. But at the same time the reasons for wondering reasonably or realizing the reality of how it would be done is all because of nurture. Through nurture I’ve had time to rationalize and mature as one person.


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