Posted: June 4th, 2022

07D1-08 – Nature versus Nurture – See Details

As public figures, public administrators in many roles are constantly scrutinized. Their actions, words, and deeds are seen as either evidence of greatness or examples of poor judgment.

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For this discussion, select two well-known public figures who have worked in the public sector in the past 20 years. One should be generally deemed to be a good person in public opinion, and the other a bad person. In this discussion, you are allowed to use sources that are not peer-reviewed to describe the circumstances of their triumphs or failures. Discuss the extent to which their goodness or badness was determined by forces over which they had no control, such as genetics, childhood circumstances, or socio-demographics. After you have explained their cases, examine your own viewpoint on determinism and its influence on public administrators.



1.Thiroux and Krasemann, read Chapter 6, “Freedom Versus Determinism,” pages 91–105.

2.Stillman, read Chapter 4, Reading 4 and Case 4 on the Columbia disaster, pages 105–116. Pay particular attention to issues of power and ethics.

Power can be handled with grace or without honor, and the results can be equally varied. Accidents happen—or do they?

“The Columbia Accident,” paying particular attention to the issues it raises about power and ethics

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