Cognative Development: Therories of Locke and Descartes

2328 WordsJan 23, 200610 Pages
When it comes to cognitive development, several theories have been put forth by many different philosophers, psychologists, and other scientists. The two most significant theories, which were first explored by the Greeks, were later debated between John Locke, and Rene Descartes. John Locke, a seventeenth-century English philosopher, argued against the belief that human beings are born with certain ideas already in their minds. He claimed that, on the contrary, the mind is a tabula rasa (in Latin, a "blank slate") until experience begins to "write" on it. He was quoted in saying: "the human mind begins as a white paper, void of all characters, without any ideas." (The Blank Slate, n.d.) However, according to René Descartes, a…show more content…
Still, separated twins were more alike if genetically identical than if fraternal. Separation shortly after birth (rather than, say, at age 8) didn't amplify their personality differences.(D.G. Meyers, 2005) Psychologist Nancy Segal, who specializes in twin research was quoted saying, "recent twin research showed the genetic contribution to happiness and stability are about 50% and 80% respectively, while life events have only a transitory effect on happiness" (1999.) Segal's conception is not directly concerning human intelligence, yet, if her statement is in fact true, it substantiates some importance of heredity. It also indicates that heredity certainly does have a notable effect on a person. In general, twin studies support the nature side of the debate. If environment (or nurture, for that matter) didn't play a part in determining an individual's traits and behaviors, then identical twins should, theoretically, be exactly the same in all respects, even if reared apart. But a number of studies show that they are never exactly alike, even though they are remarkably similar in most respects. Adoption studies are somewhat similar to twin studies because they are conducted for related reasons. These studies consist of monitoring and testing children who are adopted. For them, researchers study the IQs in children, their birth parents, and their adoptive parents. These studies also

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