Human life: genetic or social construction
Journal International de Bioéthique = International Journal of Bioethics 2005 September-December; 16(3-4): 89-96, 173-174
I am going to discuss some present-day tendencies in the development of the very old debate on nature vs nurture. There is a widespread position describing the history of this debate as a pendulum-like process. Some three decades ago there was a time of overwhelming prevalence of the position stressing social factors in determining human character and behavior; now the pendulum has come to the opposite side and those who stress the role of biology, of genes are in favor. Yet in my view rather acute opposition of both positions still exists. Its existence depends not so much on new scientific discoveries as on some social and cultural factors which are more conservative than the development of science. More than that, we can even talk about competition of these two positions.
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