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  1. Andre Ariew, Innateness.
    As Paul Griffiths [2002] puts it, “innateness” is associated with different clusters of related ideas where each cluster depends on different historical, cultural and intellectual contexts. In psychology innateness is typically opposed to learning while the biological opposite of innate is ‘acquired’. ‘Acquired’ and ‘learned’ have different extensions. Learning is one way to acquire a character but there are others. Cuts and scratches are unlearned yet acquired; if we could acquire languages by popping a pill, then languages would be unlearned (...)
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  2. Andre Ariew (1999). Innateness is Canalization: In Defense of a Developmental Account of Innateness. In , [Book Chapter] (in Press). MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. S19-S27.
    Lorenz proposed in his (1935) articulation of a theory of behavioral instincts that the objective of ethology is to distinguish behaviors that are “innate” from behaviors that are “learned” (or “acquired”). Lorenz’s motive was to open the investigation of certain “adaptive” behaviors to evolutionary theorizing. Accordingly, since innate behaviors are “genetic”, they are open to such investigation. By Lorenz’s light an innate/acquired or learned dichotomy rested on a familiar Darwinian distinction between genes and environments. Ever since Lorenz, ascriptions of innateness (...)
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  3. Francisco Ayala (2010). What the Biological Sciences Can and Cannot Contribute to Ethics. In Francisco José Ayala & Robert Arp (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell Pub..
    The question whether ethical behavior is biologically determined may refer either to the capacity for ethics (i.e., the proclivity to judge human actions as either right or wrong), or to the moral norms accepted by human beings for guiding their actions. I herein propose: (1) that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature; and (2) that moral norms are products of cultural evolution, not of biological evolution. Humans exhibit ethical behavior by nature because their biological makeup (...)
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  4. Mark C. Baker (2006). The Innate Endowment for Language: Underspecified or Overspecified? In Peter Carruthers (ed.), The Innate Mind: Culture and Cognition. New York: Oxford University Press New York.
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  5. Jonathan Birch (2009). Irretrievably Confused? Innateness in Explanatory Context. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 40 (4):296-301.
    The hunt for a biologically respectable definition for the folk concept of innateness is still on. I defend Ariew’s Canalization account of innateness against the criticisms of Griffiths and Machery, but highlight the remaining flaws in this proposal. I develop a new analysis based on the notion of environmental induction. A trait is innate, I argue, iff it is not environmentally induced. I augment this definition with a novel analysis of environmental induction that draws on the contrastive nature of causal (...)
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  6. Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen P. Stich (eds.) (2005). The Innate Mind. Oxford University Press.
    This is the first volume of a projected three-volume set on the subject of innateness. The extent to which the mind is innate is one of the central questions in the human sciences, with important implications for many surrounding debates. By bringing together the top nativist scholars in philosophy, psychology, and allied disciplines these volumes provide a comprehensive assessment of nativist thought and a definitive reference point for future nativist inquiry. The Innate Mind: Structure and Content, concerns the fundamental architecture (...)
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  7. John Collins (2011). Innateness, Canalization, and the Modality-Independence of Language: A Reply to Griffiths and Machery. Philosophical Psychology 24 (2):195-206.
    Griffiths and Machery (2008) argue that innateness is a ?folk biological? notion, which, as such, has no useful reconstruction in contemporary biology. If this is so, not only is it wrong to identify the vernacular notion with the precise theoretical concept of canalization, but worse, it would appear that many of the putative scientific claims for particular competences and capacities being innate are simply misplaced. The present paper challenges the core substantive claim of Griffiths and Machery's position, namely, that innateness (...)
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  8. Edwin L. Cooper, Ellen Kauschke & Andrea Cossarizza (2002). Digging for Innate Immunity Since Darwin and Metchnikoff. Bioessays 24 (4):319-333.
  9. Denise D. Cummins & Robert C. Cummins (2005). Innate Modules Vs Innate Learning Biases. Cognitive Processing.
    Proponents of the dominant paradigm in evolutionary psychology argue that a viable evolutionary cognitive psychology requires that specific cognitive capacities be heritable and “quasi-independent” from other heritable traits, and that these requirements are best satisfied by innate cognitive modules. We argue here that neither of these are required in order to describe and explain how evolution shaped the mind.
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  10. Helen De Cruz & Pierre Pica (2008). Knowledge of Number and Knowledge of Language: Number as a Test Case for the Role of Language in Cognition. Philosophical Psychology 21 (4):437 – 441.
    The relationship between language and conceptual thought is an unresolved problem in both philosophy and psychology. It remains unclear whether linguistic structure plays a role in our cognitive processes. This special issue brings together cognitive scientists and philosophers to focus on the role of language in numerical cognition: because of their universality and variability across languages, number words can serve as a fruitful test case to investigate claims of linguistic relativism.
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  11. Stanislas Dehaene, Véronique Izard, Cathy Lemer & Pierre Pica (2007). Quels Sont les Liens Entre Arithmétique Et Langage ? Une Étude En Amazonie. In Jean Bricmont & Julie Franck (eds.), Cahier Chomsky. L'Herne.
  12. Stanislas Dehaene, Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke (2009). Response to Comment on "Log or Linear? Distinct Intuitions on the Number Scale in Western and Amazonian Indigene Cultures&Quot;. Science 323 (5910):38.
    The performance of the Mundurucu on the number-space task may exemplify a general competence for drawing analogies between space and other linear dimensions, but Mundurucu participants spontaneously chose number when other dimensions were available. Response placement may not reflect the subjective scale for numbers, but Cantlon et al.'s proposal of a linear scale with scalar variability requires additional hypotheses that are problematic.
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  13. Stanislas Dehaene, Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke (2006). Examining Knowledge of Geometry : Response to Wulf and Delson. Science 312 (5778):1309-1310.
    La connaissances noyau de la géométrie euclidienne est liée au raisonnement déductif et non à la reconnaissance de motifs perceptuels.
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  14. Claudia Lorena García (2005). Innatismo Y Biología: Hacia Un Concepto Biológico de Lo Innato (Innateness and Biology: Towards a Biological Concept of Innateness). Theoria 20 (2):167-182.
    En el presente artículo examino algunas propuestas recientes que pretenden caracterizar una noción de lo innato coherente y teóricamente útil usando conceptos e ideas de la biología del desarrollo o de la biología evolucionista (o ambas), y argumento que la mayoría de elIas o bien padecen serios problemas conceptuales, o bien no pueden capturar de maneras biológicamente interesantes algunas de las connotaciones más importantes asociadas al termino ‘innato’ tal y como se usa en algunas disciplinas cognitivas de corte evolucionista. Asimismo, (...)
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  15. Adam Hochman (2013). The Phylogeny Fallacy and the Ontogeny Fallacy. Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):593-612.
    In 1990 Robert Lickliter and Thomas Berry identified the phylogeny fallacy, an empirically untenable dichotomy between proximate and evolutionary causation, which locates proximate causes in the decoding of ‘genetic programs’, and evolutionary causes in the historical events that shaped these programs. More recently, Lickliter and Hunter Honeycutt (Psychol Bull 129:819–835, 2003a) argued that Evolutionary Psychologists commit this fallacy, and they proposed an alternative research program for evolutionary psychology. For these authors the phylogeny fallacy is the proximate/evolutionary distinction itself, which they (...)
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  16. M. Hocutt (2003). Review of “the Blank Slate” by Steven Pinker. [REVIEW] Consciousness and Emotion 4 (1):135-143.
  17. Véronique Izard, Stanislas Dehaene, Pierre Pica & Elizabeth Spelke (2008). Response to Nunez. Science 312 (5803):1310.
    We agree with Nuñez that the Mundurucu do not master the formal propreties of number lines and logarithms, but as the term "intuition" implies, they spontaneously experience a logarithmic mapping of number to space as natural and "feeling right.".
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  18. Véronique Izard, Pierre Pica, Elizabeth Spelke & Stanislas Dehaene (2008). The Mapping of Numbers on Space : Evidence for a Logarithmic Intuition. Médecine/Science 24 (12):1014-1016.
  19. Machiel Keestra (2011). Understanding Human Action: Integrating Meanings, Mechanisms, Causes, and Contexts. In Repko Allen, Szostak Rick & Newell William (eds.), Interdisciplinary Research: Case Studies of Integrative Understandings of Complex Problems. Sage.
    Humans are capable of understanding an incredible variety of actions performed by other humans. Even though these range from primary biological actions, like eating and fleeing, to acts in parliament or in poetry, humans generally can make sense of each other’s actions. Understanding other people’s actions is called action understanding, and it can transcend differences in race, gender, culture, age, and social and historical circumstances. Action understanding is the cognitive ability to make sense of another person’s action by integrating perceptual (...)
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  20. Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2007). Innate Cognitive Capacities. Mind and Language 22 (1):92-115.
    This paper attempts to articulate a dispositional account of innateness that applies to cognitive capacities. After criticizing an alternative account of innateness proposed by Cowie (1999) and Samuels (2002), the dispositional account of innateness is explicated and defended against a number of objections. The dispositional account states that an innate cognitive capacity (output) is one that has a tendency to be triggered as a result of impoverished environmental conditions (input). Hence, the challenge is to demonstrate how the input can be (...)
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  21. Joshua Knobe & Richard Samuels (2013). Thinking Like a Scientist: Innateness as a Case Study. Cognition 126 (1):72-86.
  22. Maria Kronfeldner (2009). Genetic Determinism and the Innate-Acquired Distinction. Medicine Studies 1 (2):167-181.
    This article illustrates in which sense genetic determinism is still part of the contemporary interactionist consensus in medicine. Three dimensions of this consensus are discussed: kinds of causes, a continuum of traits ranging from monogenetic diseases to car accidents, and different kinds of determination due to different norms of reaction. On this basis, this article explicates in which sense the interactionist consensus presupposes the innate?acquired distinction. After a descriptive Part 1, Part 2 reviews why the innate?acquired distinction is under attack (...)
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  23. James Maclaurin (2006). The Innate / Acquired Distinction. In Sahotra Sarkar & Jessica Pfeifer (eds.), The Philosophy of Science: An Encyclopedia. Routledge.
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  24. James Maclaurin (2002). The Resurrection of Innateness. In The Monist. 105-130.
    The notion of innateness is widely used, particularly in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and linguistics. Despite this popularity, it remains a controversial idea. This is partly because of the variety of ways in which it can be explicated and partly because it appears to embody the suggestion that we can determine the relative causal contributions of genes and environment in the development of biological individuals. As these causes are not independent, the claim is metaphysically suspect. This paper argues that (...)
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  25. Gary F. Marcus (2012). Musicality: Instinct or Acquired Skill? Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (4):498-512.
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  26. Gary F. Marcus (2005). What Developmental Biology Can Tell Us About Innateness. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. 23.
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  27. Adee Matan & Sidney Strauss (1998). Relations Between Innate Endowments, Cognitive Development, Domain Specificity, and a Taxonomy-Creator. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (4):584-584.
    Atran proposes that humans have a unique, innate, domain-specific tendency to create taxonomies of biological kinds. We show that: (1) in ontogenesis, children develop a notion Atran claims to be innate; (2) what Atran claims is unique to biological kinds may be found in artifact kinds; and (3) although Atran proposes a domain-specific mental construct for biological rank, it can be explained in domain- general terms.
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  28. Mohan Matthen (2011). Art, Sexual Selection, Group Selection (Critical Notice of Denis Dutton, The Art Instinct). Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (2):337-356.
    The capacity to engage with art is a human universal present in all cultures and just about every individual human. This indicates that this capacity is evolved. In this Critical Notice of Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct, I discuss various evolutionary scenarios and their consequences. Dutton and I both reject the "spandrel" approach that originates from the work of Gould and Lewontin. Dutton proposes, following work of Geoffrey Miller, that art is sexually selected--that art-production is a sign of a fit (...)
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  29. John McCarthy, The Well-Designed Child.
    This article is inspired by recent psychological studies confirming that a child is not born a blank slate but has important innate capabilities. An important part of the ``learning'' required to deal with the three dimensional world of objects, processes, and other beings was done by evolution. Each child need not do this learning itself.
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  30. Slobodan Perovic & Ljiljana Radenovic (2011). Fine-Tuning Nativism: The 'Nurtured Nature' and Innate Cognitive Structures. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (3):399-417.
    S. Oyama’s prominent account of the Parity Thesis states that one cannot distinguish in a meaningful way between nature-based (i.e. gene-based) and nurture-based (i.e. environment-based) characteristics in development because the information necessary for the resulting characteristics is contained at both levels. Oyama as well as P. E. Griffiths and K. Stotz argue that the Parity Thesis has far-reaching implications for developmental psychology in that both nativist and interactionist developmental accounts of psychological capacities that presuppose a substantial nature/nurture dichotomy are inadequate. (...)
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  31. Pierre Pica, Stanislas Dehaene, Elizabeth Spelke & Véronique Izard (2008). Log or Linear? Distinct Intuitions of the Number Scale in Western and Amazonian Indigene Cultures. Science 320 (5880):1217-1220.
    The mapping of numbers onto space is fundamental to measurement and to mathematics. Is this mapping a cultural invention or a universal intuition shared by all humans regardless of culture and education? We probed number-space mappings in the Mundurucu, an Amazonian indigene group with a reduced numerical lexicon and little or no formal education. At all ages, the Mundurucu mapped symbolic and nonsymbolic numbers onto a logarithmic scale, whereas Western adults used linear mapping with small or symbolic numbers and logarithmic (...)
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  32. André Pichot (1993). Héréditaire, Inné, Génétique, Etc. Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2).
    Heriditary, innate, genetical are three different concepts of which the meanings are different but, since obviously related, are often used one for the other, for they are all three used in opposition to acquired or what is called environmental factors. What is acquired is linked to the environment: what is not innate (hereditary, genetical, ...) is acquired and what is acquired cannot be so but through the environment. Thus,innate (hereditary, genetical, ...) andacquired correspond to the usual opposition betweeninside andoutside.This is (...)
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  33. Steven Pinker, Are Your Genes to Blame?
    The discovery that genes have something to do with behavior came as a shock in an era in which people thought that the mind of a newborn was a blank slate and that anyone could do anything if only they strove hard enough. And it continues to set off alarm bells. Many people worry about a Brave New World in which parents or governments will try to re-engineer human nature. Others see genes as a threat to free will and personal (...)
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  34. Dan Ryder, Concept Acquisition: How to Get Something From Nothing.
    First I should clarify my thesis. When I say the mind starts off as a blank slate, I’m saying that it’s devoid of substantive concepts or ideas, that is non-logical concepts or ideas. Some examples of substantive concepts are: the concept of a cat, the concept of a quark, the concept of being square, and the concept of heaviness.
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  35. Dennis M. Senchuk (1986). How Not to Identify Innate Behaviors. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1986:208 - 216.
    Despite the biological turn of recent discussions of behavior, insufficient attention has been paid to methodological-philosophical issues about the experimental basis for talk of instincts, social or otherwise. This paper examines the credentials of one standard technique, the deprivation experiment, exploited by the ethologists in their efforts to provide an inventory of species-specific, innate behaviors. It is argued that, given some hypothetical facts and plausible theoretical assumptions (of D. S. Lehrman, Kurt Koffka, and others) about the role of environmental factors (...)
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  36. Nicholas Shea (2012). Genetic Representation Explains the Cluster of Innateness-Related Properties. Mind and Language 27 (4):466-493.
    The concept of innateness is used to make inferences between various better-understood properties, like developmental canalization, evolutionary adaptation, heritability, species-typicality, and so on (‘innateness-related properties’). This article uses a recently-developed account of the representational content carried by inheritance systems like the genome to explain why innateness-related properties cluster together, especially in non-human organisms. Although inferences between innateness-related properties are deductively invalid, and lead to false conclusions in many actual cases, where some aspect of a phenotypic trait develops in reliance on (...)
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  37. Nicholas Shea (2012). New Thinking, Innateness and Inherited Representation. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367:2234-2244.
    The New Thinking contained in this volume rejects an Evolutionary Psychology that is committed to innate domain-specific psychological mechanisms: gene-based adaptations that are unlearnt, developmentally fixed and culturally universal. But the New Thinking does not simply deny the importance of innate psychological traits. The problem runs deeper: the concept of innateness is not suited to distinguishing between the two positions. That points to a more serious problem with the concept of innateness as it is applied to human psychological phenotypes. This (...)
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  38. Edward G. Slingerland (2008). What Science Offers the Humanities: Integrating Body and Culture. Cambridge University Press.
    What Science Offers the Humanities examines some of the deep problems facing current approaches to the study of culture. It focuses especially on the excesses of postmodernism, but also acknowledges serious problems with postmodernism's harshest critics. In short, Edward Slingerland argues that in order for the humanities to progress, its scholars need to take seriously contributions from the natural sciences—and particular research on human cognition—which demonstrate that any separation of the mind and the body is entirely untenable. The author provides (...)
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  39. Dan Sperber, Why a Deep Understanding of Cultural Evolution is Incompatible with Shallow Psychology.
    Human, cognition, interaction, and culture are thoroughly intertwined. Without cognition and interaction, there would be no culture. Without culture, cognition and interaction would be very different affairs, as they are among other social species. The effect of culture on mental life has always been a main concern of the social sciences and, after a long period of almost total neglect, it is more and more taken into consideration in cognitive psychology. The effect of cognition, and in particular of the ability (...)
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  40. Mikael Stenmark (2009). Three Theories of Human Nature. Zygon 44 (4):894-920.
    In The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature , Steven Pinker maintains that at present there are three competing views of human nature—a Christian theory, a "blank slate" theory (what I call a social constructivist theory), and a Darwinian theory—and that the last of these will triumph in the end. I argue that neither the outcome of such competition nor the particular content of these theories is as clear as Pinker believes. In this essay I take a critical (...)
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  41. Steve Stewart-Williams (2005). Innate Ideas as a Naturalistic Source of Metaphysical Knowledge. Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):791-814.
    This article starts from the assumption that there are various innate contributions to our view of the world and explores the epistemological implications that follow from this. Specifically, it explores the idea that if certain components of our worldview have an evolutionary origin, this implies that these aspects accurately depict the world. The simple version of the argument for this conclusion is that if an aspect of mind is innate, it must be useful, and the most parsimonious explanation for its (...)
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  42. Talia Welsh (2006). Do Neonates Display Innate Self-Awareness? Why Neonatal Imitation Fails to Provide Sufficient Grounds for Innate Self-and Other-Awareness. Philosophical Psychology 19 (2):221-238.
    Until the 1970s, models of early infancy tended to depict the young child as internally preoccupied and incapable of processing visual-tactile data from the external world. Meltzoff and Moore's groundbreaking studies of neonatal imitation disprove this characterization of early life: They suggest that the infant is cognizant of its external environment and is able to control its own body. Taking up these experiments, theorists argue that neonatal imitation provides an empirical justification for the existence of an innate ability to engage (...)
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  43. Meredith J. West & Andrew P. King (2008). Deconstructing Innate Illusions: Reflections on Nature-Nurture-Niche From an Unlikely Source. Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):383 – 395.
    Despite great advances in understanding genetic mechanisms, there still exists a bias toward equating genes with innate modules that determine important developmental events. But genes are equally relevant to understanding developmental plasticity shaped by ecological events. In other words, the term 'genetic inheritance' does not specify ontogenetic mechanisms. Here we present a case history of a species assumed to be under the control of prespecified genetic wiring to direct critical behavioral events such as communication and mating. We show, however, that (...)
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