David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In The Monist. 105-130 (2002)
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 there is a plausible reconstruction of the notion of innateness. This involves defining it sufficiently broadly to cover most of the current usages as well as making it an informational rather than a causal property. This has two consequences. Firstly, innateness becomes a matter of degree. Secondly, we have to abandon the idea, originally proposed by ethologists, that innate traits are necessarily the products of genetic information.
|Keywords||Innateness information parity principle|
|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
Nicholas Shea (2007). Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems. Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
Shane Nicholas Glackin (2011). Universal Grammar and the Baldwin Effect: A Hypothesis and Some Philosophical Consequences. Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):201-222.
James Maclaurin (2011). Against Reduction. Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):151-158.
Similar books and articles
Jonathan M. Weinberg & Ron Mallon (2006). Innateness as Closed Process Invariance. Philosophy of Science 73 (3):323–344.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). Should We Eliminate the Innate? Reply to Griffiths and Machery. Philosophical Psychology 22 (4):505 – 519.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2001). Innateness and Domain-Specificity. Philosophical Studies 105 (2):191-210.
Nicholas Shea (2012). Genetic Representation Explains the Cluster of Innateness-Related Properties. Mind and Language 27 (4):466-493.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2002). Nature and Nurture in Cognition. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 53 (2):251-272.
Steven Gross & Georges Rey (forthcoming). Innateness. In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press
David Wendler (1996). Innateness as an Explanatory Concept. Biology and Philosophy 11 (1):89-116.
Added to index2009-02-23
Total downloads145 ( #25,331 of 1,902,050 )
Recent downloads (6 months)42 ( #20,696 of 1,902,050 )
How can I increase my downloads?