Innateness, canalization, and 'biologicising the mind'
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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This paper examines and rejects the claim that ‘innateness is canalization’. Waddington’s concept of canalization is distinguished from the narrower concept of environmental canalization with which it is often confused. Evidence is presented that the concept of environmental canalization is not an accurate analysis of the existing concept of innateness. The strategy of ‘biologicizing the mind’ by treating psychological or behavioral traits as if they were environmentally canalized physiological traits is criticized using data from developmental psychobiology. It is concluded that identifying innateness with environmental canalization can only result in adding unhelpful associations from ‘folkbiology’ to the relatively precise idea of canalization. 7,815 words..
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