Short Talk

My Upbringing Made Me Do It: Environmental Determinism


Secular thinkers who reject biological determinism often embrace the view that human behavior is primarily the product of our upbringing and education.  This became a powerful current in the nineteenth century, influencing Marxism and other forms of socialism.  The behaviorist psychologists John Watson and B. F. Skinner powerfully promoted this idea in the twentieth century, claiming that humans are little more than a machine responding to stimuli.  This view still has many prominent adherents in the social sciences.