Fine-tuning nativism: the 'nurtured nature' and innate cognitive structures

Abstract
S. Oyama’s prominent account of the Parity Thesis states that one cannot distinguish in a meaningful way between nature-based (i.e. gene-based) and nurture-based (i.e. environment-based) characteristics in development because the information necessary for the resulting characteristics is contained at both levels. Oyama as well as P. E. Griffiths and K. Stotz argue that the Parity Thesis has far-reaching implications for developmental psychology in that both nativist and interactionist developmental accounts of psychological capacities that presuppose a substantial nature/nurture dichotomy are inadequate. We argue that well-motivated abandoning of the nature/nurture dichotomy, as advocated in converging versions of the Parity Thesis in biology, does not necessarily entail abandoning the distinction between biologically given abilities necessary for the development of higher psychological capacities and the learning process they enable. Thus, contrary to the claims of the aforementioned authors, developmental psychologists need not discard a substantial distinction between innate (biologically given) characteristics and those acquired by learning, even if they accept the Parity Thesis. We suggest a two-stage account of development: the first stage is maturational and involves interaction of genetic, epigenetic and environmental causes, resulting in the endogenous biological ‘machinery’ (e.g. language acquisition device), responsible for learning in the subsequent stage of the developmental process by determining the organism’s responses to the environment. This account retains the crux of nativism (the endogenous biological structure determines the way the organism learns/responds to an environment) whilst adopting the developmentalist view of biology by characterizing environments as distinctly different in terms of structure and function in two developmental stages
Keywords Nature/nurture  Cognitive development  Nativism in psychology  Genocentrism  Gene  Environment parity thesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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: 11,399
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
Richard E. Michod (1981). Positive Heuristics in Evolutionary Biology. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 32 (1):1-36.

View all 12 references

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
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.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2010-11-18

Total downloads

55 ( #29,411 of 1,102,965 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

11 ( #18,369 of 1,102,965 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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