Some think we are, say, 70% formed by nurture and 30% nature and since together these make 100% that together they represent the totality of that from which we are formed. Others might argue for nature to be to be predominant over nurture but again the total would for them be 100%. Some would want grace to be an ingredient. My question is not whether we agree with or what we think of how these three relate to each other. My question is: is there another ingredient which I have not mentioned?

  • Or to use a different expression, "Which one is it, Dad: heredity or environment?" – elliot svensson Jan 17 at 23:39
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    Where does "you" fit in? Don't "you" form you as you make decisions? – elliot svensson Jan 17 at 23:41
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    What do you mean by "grace"? The abilities given by God? It still would be reducible to nature/nurture. Imagine that God caused some kind of mutation in you that made you better than others in something. Or that he predestined your life in some way. But still he would operate over the matter. In short, nature = the one caused by genetics (genotype) and nurture is the one that caused by conditions (phenotype). There is nothing else outside of starting point and conditions. But, of course, you could assume another system where "ingredients" overlap with these two. – rus9384 Jan 18 at 0:03
  • Carbon and Hydrogen mainly. Actually, I was going to leave it there but it's an answer. The Human Condition is far more important in our actions than nature or nurture. We are the human animal and do what humans do. Small variations in physiology.. or schooling don't stop us from picking our noses and learning to play the guitar in a vain attempt to get laid. And in fact many philosophers have lamented our ability to be anything other than hairless apes. – Richard Jan 18 at 0:05
  • @Richard I thought nurture is the same as condition during childhood for biologists. But I agree that we should not neglect the condition after childhood. Phenotypic changes still occur then. – rus9384 Jan 18 at 0:21

"The universe is not made up of atoms; it's made up of tiny stories" - Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Nature and nurture are not seperate, they are in dialogue, through us. Events and people hand the bricks to a child, but the child builds themselves.

"Watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, because it will become your destiny." - unknown

A great deal of our perception, especially of compound things, is post hoc. A lot of our reasoning is motivated, not by open enquiry but by where we want to get or think we should get to. And there is something cumulative, a kind of inverse butterfly effect, where character is insensitivity to initial conditions, and events.

The idea of the growth mindset is an example of how a shift in story-telling style can shift behaviour, and perception of reality. Neuro-linguistic programming is also about shifting the dialogue process.

Crucially, we can choose to take up stories, to identify with archetypes or characters in them. To take up aesthetics or behaviours - like say the widespread influence of the King Arthur stories on chivalry and team decision making (round table), or Sen no Rikyu's choices and use of concepts like ichi-go ichi-e. These stories can become us, we can live and expand these stories, and their worlds.

The Buddhist perspective is that all of these stories are different kinds of karma. People often think karma is personal and essentially retributive in character. But the whole practice of Buddhism is deconstructing assumptions we have about the self, and understanding that collaboration and intersubjectivity are essential to us, to reality itself. What you do to another, you do to yourself, you make part of the world for future beings.

  • "where character is insensitivity to initial conditions, and events." Do you mean Tabula Rasa approach? – rus9384 Jan 18 at 13:50
  • @rus9384 No, more like stabilising feedback, analogous to chemical buffering. I have in mind the research on motivated and post hoc reasoning and perception. We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are. "We don't have ideas, ideas have us." - Jung – CriglCragl Jan 18 at 19:41

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