BIOLOGICAL BEGINNINGS | Historical Views of Child and Adolescent Development

Aristotle (384 – 322 BC) believed that children are born as blank slates. This is known as tabula rasa view of human nature. An English philosopher, John Locke (1632 – 1704) shared the tabula rasa view. This view of human nature sees children and their development shaped by their environment and experiences. Locke advocated for parents to be good role models for their children in order to facilitate the development of character. Children learn self-control, kindness and honesty by observing their parents exhibit these traits.

   Original sin is another view of human nature. Humans are born with the original sin of Adam and Eve. While baptism can remove this sin, the soul is still susceptible to choosing evil over good.

   The final view of human nature is referred to as innate goodness view of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778), a French philosopher. He believed that infants are born inherently good and that it is society that can corrupt them.

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