Innateness and domain-specificity

Philosophical Studies 105 (2):191-210 (2001)
There is a widespread assumption in cognitive science that there is anintrinsic link between the phenomena of innateness and domainspecificity. Many authors seem to hold that given the properties ofthese two phenomena, it follows that innate mental states aredomain-specific, or that domain-specific states are innate. My aim inthis paper is to argue that there are no convincing grounds forasserting either claim. After introducing the notions of innateness anddomain specificity, I consider some possible arguments for theconclusion that innate cognitive states are domain-specific, or viceversa. Having shown that these arguments do not succeed, I attempt toexplicate what I take to be the connection between innateness and domainspecificity. I argue that it is simply easier to determine whether andto what extent domain-specific cognitive capacities are innate. That is,the relation between innateness and domain specificity is evidential orepistemic, rather than intrinsic.
Keywords Cognitive Science  Domain  Innateness  Metaphysics  Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1010300709123
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
John M. Collins (2005). Faculty Disputes. Mind and Language 19 (5):503-33.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Steven Gross & Georges Rey (forthcoming). Innateness. In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2002). Nature and Nurture in Cognition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):251-272.
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.
Richard Samuels (2004). Innateness in Cognitive Science. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):136-141.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

82 ( #57,613 of 1,940,985 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #115,059 of 1,940,985 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.