Philosophy to Psychology: Nature Versus Nurture

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By lucifersown
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Running Head: Philosophy to Psychology

Philosophy to Psychology: The Question of Nature Versus Nurture

Bernard Stevens

Lux Ferre University

Senior Research

April 26, 2011


What influences more, society on the individual or collective individuals on society? Is society, thereby the individual, constructed by a set of pre-existing material conditions, or a pre-existing social condition? The philosophical origins of the question of nature versus nurture, are steeped in the ancient Greek philosophers nomos-physis debate in which the question is man the product (his actions) of conventional law or natural law? If so, is it possible to be balance of both, as suggested by Plato’s construction of the kallopolis (ideal city) in The Republic. For centuries, in Western Philosophy, the debate of which has dominion over man, nature or nurture, has been key to the establishment of many disciplines in the arts and sciences such as sociology, philosophy, and biology. Research suggest in ancient Greek civilization, the debate was termed as the Nomos-Physis debate, in which Plato challenged and/or expounded upon Pre-Socratic philosophers beliefs as to which rules man. The core subject matter is not, as in Psychology, a debate of which determines the personality traits of an individual per se, but whether or not man acts according to the laws of nature (Physis) or laws of man (Nomos). Though it appears psychology is not the essence of the ancient question of nature versus nurture, what is to be understood is that, in this debate implications of modern forms of psychology are embedded in its roots.

Plato’s The Republic, though an unlikely work to cite for psychological implications is rich of the material which psychology strives to answer. Most notably is the hypothetical society…...

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