A famous essay in the nature versus nurture debate is "English Men of Science: Their Nature and Nurture" by Francis Galton. He coined the term "nature versus nurture" in this text, which attempted to determine whether eminent scientists are drawn to scientific endeavors due to a genetic disposition or upbringing.
Galton did not come to an affirmative answer as to whether nature or nurture was primarily responsible for the scientists career choice. He published the essay in 1873.
Other important works in the debate include "The Mind of Primitive Man" by Franz Boas, "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris and "The Nurture Assumption: Why Children Turn Out the Way They Do" by Judith Rich Harris. John Locke's "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding," published in 1690, is often credited as the first exposition of the purely nurture side of the debate.