Werkmeister speaks of a distinct difference between humans and animals in regards to their birth maturity. He says that, “Socially conditioned patterns have been superimposed upon [mans] instinctive drives so that [he] can function only within a framework which is not biologically fixed” (17). Where as, with animals they are not born prematurely so their instinctive actions have not been based off of a slow curb to their ideals. Therefore, an animal does not have values like a human; it merely attains its instincts without any altered interpretation of those from the animal’s upbringing.

In addition to this, not only does it imply a difference between humans and animals, but it also impresses on Werkmeister’s idea that culture creates the human being. The socially conditioned patterns that parents impose on their children are evolutionary in nature: the patterns and morals that ones parents bestow on them have been diffused from previous generations, in a way that best suits the environment that they are living in. Hence, the child is already being brought up in a given framework rather than having the opportunity to develop its own, causing culture to create human beings values, rather than visa versa.


Reflection: This assignment along with the reading for this section of the course allowed me to think about a theory that perhaps culture is not merely created by humans, but rather culture creates them. This would be a form of external sources that create values and which in turn drive a human being to pursue those values. It has allowed me to further think that it is not only important to have values, but it is important to have strong values. Many people have values, but without them being strong, the ability to abide by them becomes weaker and less common.


Objective: Understand that values are formed from external and internal drives of an individual