The Blank Slate Essay

This study was about our concepts of human nature affects every aspect of our lives, from the way we raise our children to the political movements we embrace. Pinker in the article states, “On one side is a militant denial of human nature, a conviction that the mind of a child is a blank slate that is subsequently inscribed by parents and society. ” Then he goes to explain, the modern sciences of mind, brain, genes, and evolution are showing that there is something to the commonsense idea of human nature.

I do agree on parenting has a big part in how you raise your children. Pinker believed the fact that parents provide their children with genes, not just an environment. He did a study on children born to natural parents showed a better child well as, the adopted child only gets environment from their parents with no genes. He stated,” That genes make all the difference, that parenting makes all the difference, or anything in between. ” There is a phrase in article “Blank Slate” is a loose translation of the Latin term tabula rasa.

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This term meaning that individuals are born without built in mental content and that their knowledge comes from experience and perception. According to Pinker point, any differences we see among races, ethnic groups, sexes, and individuals come not from differences in their innate constitution but from differences in their experiences. The experience by reforming parenting, education, the media, and social rewards and you can change the person. He also states, if there is no such thing as human nature, society will be saddled with such nasty traits as aggression, selfishness, and prejudice.

Franz Boas wrote that differences among human races and ethnic groups come not from their physical constitution but from their culture. They insisted not just that differences among ethnic groups must be explained in terms of culture, but that every aspect of human existence must be explained in terms of culture. Ashley Dargin-Article # 1 In the article it goes to talk about twins Identical and Fraternal, with me being a twin I don’t know if I still will ever believe the other may feel or know what the other twin may be doing or feeling. The Identical twin in rticle think and feel in such similar ways that they sometimes suspect they are linked by telepathy. In The case of Abigail van Buren and the late Ann Landers, writing indistinguishable syndicated advice columns. The crags and valleys of the EEG (brain waves) are as alike of a single person recorded on two occasions, and the wrinkles of their brains and the distribution of gray matter across cortical areas are similar as well stated in article. Identical twins (who share all their genes) are far more similar than fraternal twins (who share just half their genes).

The study of the brains of twins has shown that much of the variation in the amount of gray matter in the prefrontal lobes is genetically caused. And these variations are not just random differences in anatomy like fingerprints; they correlate significantly with difference in intelligence. The doctrine of the blank slate had been thought to undergird the ideals of equal rights and social improvement, so it is no surprise that the discoveries undermining it have often been met with fear and loathing.

One is the fear of inequality. Blank is blank, so if we are all blank slates, the reasoning goes, we must be equal. The fear is that if people do not turn out to be different it would open the door to discrimination, oppression, or eugenics. Regardless of IQ or physical strength, all human beings can be assumed to have certain traits in common. A second fear of human nature comes from a reluctance to give up the age-old dream of the perfectibility of man.

If we are forever saddled with fatal flaws and deadly sins, according to this fear, social reform would be a waste of time. Parents often discover that their children are immune to their rewards, punishments, and nagging. Over the long run, a child’s personality and intellect are largely determined by genes, peer groups, and chance. The philosopher Peter Singer of Princeton University has shown that moral improvement has proceeded for millennia because people have expanded the mental dotted line that embraces the entities considered worthy of sympathy.

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