HTP Prints

The Nature-Nurture Debate in Thirteenth-Century France

Groff, Philip and McRae, Laura (1998) The Nature-Nurture Debate in Thirteenth-Century France. In Proceedings The Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Chicago.

Full text available as:


It is commonly reported that the use of the terms nature and nurture as a convenient catch-phrase for the roles of heredity and environment respectively, in human development can be traced to the writings of Francis Galton (See, for example, Fancher, 1996). The current paper will endeavour to show that this debate, and indeed this usage, predates Galton by at least 600 years. A thirteenth century French romance entitled Silence, presents the personifications of Nature and Noreture (nature and nurture) engaged in a series of lively debates over the rightful claim to the allegiance of the protagonist, a young girl, raised as a boy to circumvent unjust laws of inheritance.

EPrint Type:Conference Paper
Keywords:Nature Nurture Development Medieval Literature
Subjects:Chronology > Medieval
History > Social
Psychology > Child/Developmental
ID Code:14
Deposited By:Groff, Philip
Deposited On:10 July 2001