Freewill and Determinism - Nature or nurture

  • Created by: Alasdair
  • Created on: 19-04-17 11:15
Francis Galton (1822-1911): Bio-behaviourism
Aimed to "improve the racial qualities of future generations, whether physically or mentally".
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Francis Galton (1822-1911): Bio-Behaviourism
Wrote: "we might introduce into the world prophets and high priests of civilisation, as surely as we can produce idiots by mating cretins"
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Francis Galton (1822-1911): Bio-Behaviourism
He chillingly anticipated Nazi doctrine by arguing that "the feebler nations of the world are necessarily giving way before the nobler varieties of mankind"
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Soft genetic determinists
Genes interact with environment
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Soft genetic determinists
View of Richard Dawkins, who argues humans have developed an altruistic (kindness) gene
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Soft genetic determinists
Children from unstable and violent homes how different brain development. Seen in Bulger case, Darrow's defence and studies into children from broken homes having less empathy.
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Soft genetic determinists
So human personality seems to be complex interaction between genes and environment.
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Craig Venter's views (Genome mapper)
"We simply don't have enough genes for biological determinism to be right. Our environments are critical"
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Craig Venter's views (Genome Mapper) - opposition
Others fear social inequality will eventually transfer to genetic inequality with creation of "inferior" human, as in film Gattaca.
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Science and society comments:
"Nature is organic, dynamic and interconnected. There are no linear causal chains linking genes and characteristics of organisms, let alone the human condition. The discredited paradigm is perpetuated by a scientific establishment consciously or....
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Science and society comments: (cont.)
"...unconsciously serving the corporate agenda"
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Caplan
Rejects arguments presented by geneticists that we are wholly determined by our genes, which is the evidence and argument used to support Hard Determinism.
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Caplan
Argues addictions do not prevent individuals exercising freewill.
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Caplan
"Those Behaviourists that argue in favour of Hard Determinism on grounds of significant influence of Surroundings, Environment and Upbringing are wrong. Nurture is not a significant argument in the Freewill debate."
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Mapping the genome: hard genetic determinism
Only 0.2% of human genetic makeup determines human differences, e.g. skin colour.
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Mapping the genome: hard genetic determinism
Humans have 30,000 genes, but chimps have only 2% difference in DNA sequence
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Mapping the genome: hard genetic determinism
Some geneticists believe sexual orientation, intelligence, criminality, aggression and addiction can be traced to the genome.
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Mapping the genome: hard genetic determinism
Hard determinists believe genes control all human action and freewill is an illusion.
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Uses of gene therapy
By selective breeding, New York Jewish community entirely eradicated an inherited disease.
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Uses of gene therapy
Diseases such as Huntingdon's disease, which brings on presenile dementia, has been proved to be entirely genetic, and some evidence suggests violent criminals have an extra male chromosome, XYY.
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Nature or nurture?
Biology and genetics or upbringing and environment
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Eugenics (Galton)
Francis Galton believed evolution suggested strongly nature over nurture. Argued for eugenics (selective breeding) to improve human rights. Twin studies - brought up in one environment.
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Eugenics (Locke)
John Locke: 'Blank slate' view of human behaviour. Force behind empiricism - notion almost all knowledge comes from experience.
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What is the main role of the Human Genome Project?
To identify and map 60,000-80,000 genes in human body. Scientists studying difference between genetic makeup of ethnic populations and comparing results with data on presence and absence of disease in these populations.
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What is the main concern regarding the Human Genome Project?
Selective breeding, designer babies
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What is the difference between Reductionism and Determinism? (1/2)
Reductionism assumes human person can be reduced fundamentally to sets of genetic structures and nothing more (can be countered by Dawkins - genes interact with environment).
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What is the difference between Reductionism and Determinism? (2/2)
Determinism by genetic composition and people are capable of affecting this only to a comparatively small extent.
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Why can't scientific enquiry reduce Human beings to genes and nothing more? (1)
Human freedom is manifest in the actual decision to pursue scientific enquiry. Scientific enquiry cannot reduce human beings to genes and nothing more because in scientific enquiry itself there always has to be present human subject...
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Why can't scientific enquiry reduce Human beings to genes and nothing more? (2)
....the thinking scientist, who is researching genes and whose activity transcends genes he or she is researching. Human Genome Project can help us to see enquiring human spirit at work, uncovering material, bodily structures of human being, which...
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Why can't scientific enquiry reduce Human beings to genes and nothing more? (3)
...spirit must then acknowledge, as physical basis of its own existence and activity.
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What are the implications of Human Genome Project on FW and determinism debate?
Humans must have freewill to do research in the first place; behaviour is determined by genetics; we could use it to determine our genes.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

Wrote: "we might introduce into the world prophets and high priests of civilisation, as surely as we can produce idiots by mating cretins"

Back

Francis Galton (1822-1911): Bio-Behaviourism

Card 3

Front

He chillingly anticipated Nazi doctrine by arguing that "the feebler nations of the world are necessarily giving way before the nobler varieties of mankind"

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Genes interact with environment

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

View of Richard Dawkins, who argues humans have developed an altruistic (kindness) gene

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
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