Followers of the socialist and philanthropist mill-owner Robert Owen (1771-1858) would claim that human beings where wholly the products of their social enviroment. But to Idealists such as T.H. Green, the act of reflection upon ourselves offered a point from which we cannot and need not simply be identical with our histories, the amoral sum of our experiences and inheritances. To Green, the thoughts and influences that pass through our passive minds are not yet ours, and are never wholly us, until and unless the consciousness that present us to ourselves accepts them as such.
(Philip Davis, The Victorians, p. 182, grifos do texto)