People have wondered for a long time how their personalities and
behaviors are formed. It is not easy to explain why one person is
intelligent and another is not,or why one is cooperative and another is
Social scientists are,of course,extremely interested in these types
of questions. (61) They want to explain why we possess certain
characteristics and exhibit certain behaviors. There are no clear
answers yet,but two distinct schools of thought on the matter have
developed. As one might expect,the two approaches are very different
from each other. The controversy is often conveniently referred to as
“nature vs. nurture.”
(62) Those who support the “nature” side of the conflict believe
that our personalities and behavior patterns are largely determined by
biological factors. (63) That our environment has little,if anything,to
do with our abilities, characteristics and behavior is central to this
Behaviorists, in contrast, say
Taken to an extreme,this theory maintains that our behavior is
pre-determined to such a great degree that we are almost completely
governed by our instincts.
that differences in scores are due to the fact that blacks are often
deprivedof many of the educational and other environmental advantages
that whitesenjoy. (1990年65题)
Those who support the “nurture” theory,that is,they advocate
education,are often called behaviorists. They claim that our environment
is more important than our biologically based instincts in determining
how we will act. A behaviorist,B. F. Skinner,sees humans as beings whose
behavior is almost completely shaped by their surroundings.
(64) The behaviorists maintain that,like machines,humans respond to
environmental stimuli as the basis of their behavior.
Let us examine the different explanations about one human
characteristic,intelligence,offered by the two theories.
Those who support the “nature” side of the conflict believe that our
personalities and behaviorpatterns are largely determined by biological
(65) Supporters of the “nature” theory insist that we are born with
a certain capacity for learning that is biologically determined.
Needless to say： They don”t believe that factors in the environment
have much influence on what is basically a predetermined characteristic.
On the other hand,behaviorists argue that our intelligence levels are
the product of our experiences.
(66) Behaviorists suggest that the child who is raised in an
environment where there are many stimuli which develop his or her
capacity for appropriate responses will experience greater intellectual
The social and political implications of these two theories are
profound. (67) In the United States,blacks often score below whites on
standardized intelligence tests. This leads some “nature”proponents to
conclude that blacks are biologically inferior to whites.
And it is imagined bymany that the operations of the common mind can
be by no means compared withthese processes, and that they have to be
acquired by a sort of specialtraining. (1993年74题)
(68) Behaviorists,in contrast,say that differences in scores are due
to the fact that blacks are often deprived of many of the educational
and other environmental advantages that whites enjoy.
Most people think neither of these theories can yet fully explain
Some philosophers argue
that rights exist only within a social contract, as part of an
exchange ofduties and entitlements. (1997年72题)
The Greeks assumed thatthe structure of language had some connection
with the process of thought,which took root in Europe long before people
realized how diverse languagescould be。(2004年61题)
Darwin was convinced thatthe loss of these tastes was not only a
loss of happiness, but might possiblybe injurious to the intellect, and
more probably to the moral character。(2008年50题)
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They want to explain whywe possess certain characteristics and
exhibit certain behaviors。(1990年61题)