Innate cognitive capacities

Mind and Language 22 (1):92-115 (2007)
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 compared to the output and shown to be relatively impoverished. I argue that there are robust methods of comparing input to output without measuring them quantitatively.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2006.00301.x
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Stephen Mumford (1998). Dispositions. Oxford University Press.

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