Friday, July 14, 2006

Nature-nurture polemics

John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, letter of 13 July 1813 (in The Adams-Jefferson Letters):

Inequalities of Mind and Body are so established by God Almighty in his constitution of Human Nature that no Art or policy can ever plain them down to a Level. I have never read Reasoning more absurd, Sophistry more gross, in proof of the Athanasian Creed, or Transubstantiation, than the subtle labours of Helvetius and Rousseau to demonstrate the natural Equality of Mankind.

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