Review of What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Review 110 (1):91-94 (2001)
Fiona Cowie’s _What’s Within_ consists of three parts. In the first, she examines the early modern rationalist- empiricist debate over nativism, isolating what she considers the two substantive “strands” (67)1 that truly separated them: whether there exist domain-specific learning mechanisms, and whether concept acquisition is amenable to naturalistic explanation. She then turns, in the book’s succeeding parts, to where things stand today with these issues. The second part argues that Jerry Fodor’s view of concepts is continuous with traditional nativism in that it precludes a naturalistic story of concept acquisition. Cowie objects, however, to Fodor’s path to this conclusion and thus sees no reason to endorse it. The third part assesses Chomskyan nativism as a contemporary instance of positing domain- specific learning mechanisms. Though she is highly critical of how “poverty of the stimulus” arguments and the like have been used to lend credence to stronger conclusions, she holds that such arguments do indeed support the nativist’s domain-specificity claim. Cowie’s reconsideration of nativism thus limits itself to concepts and language (a few exceptions aside: there are two brief forays into face recognition and a mention of pathogen response). The terrain she does cover, however, is vast; and Cowie’s illuminating discussions will stimulate anyone interested in the area. As I focus on a few large-scale qualms in what follows, let me mention in particular that much of what is of interest in Cowie’s book is to be found in her detailed consideration of specific arguments.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
M. J. Cain (2006). Concept Nativism and the Rule Following Considerations. Acta Analytica 21 (38):77-101.
Fiona Cowie (1999). What's Within? Nativism Reconsidered. Oxford University Press.
Raffaella De Rosa (2002). What's Within. Nativism Reconsidered. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (1):119 – 122.
Fiona Cowie (2001). On Cussing in Church: In Defense of What's Within? Mind and Language 16 (2):231-245.
Shaun Nichols (2005). Innateness and Moral Psychology. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. 353--369.
Robert J. Matthews (2001). Cowie's Anti-Nativism. Mind and Language 16 (2):215-230.
John Sarnecki (2006). Retracing Our Steps: Fodor's New Old Way with Concept Acquisition. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 21 (40):41-73.
John M. Collins (2003). Cowie on the Poverty of Stimulus. Synthese 136 (2):159-190.
Fiona Cowie (1998). Mad Dog Nativism. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):227-252.
J. Fodor (2001). Doing Without What's Within: Fiona Cowie's Critique of Nativism. [REVIEW] Mind 110 (437):99-148.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads22 ( #87,186 of 1,413,330 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #94,221 of 1,413,330 )
How can I increase my downloads?