David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In the last decade it has become en vogue for cognitive comparative psychologists to study animal behavior in an ‘integrated’ fashion to account for both the ‘innate’ and the ‘acquired’. We will argue that these studies, instead of really integrating the concepts of ‘nature’ and ‘nurture’, rather cement this old dichotomy. They combine empty nativist interpretation of behavior systems with blatantly environmentalist explanations of learning. We identify the main culprit as the failure to take development seriously. While in some areas of biology interest in the relationship between behavior and development has surged through topics such as extragenetic inheritance, niche construction, and phenotypic plasticity, this has gone almost completely unnoticed in the study of animal behavior in comparative psychology, and is frequently ignored in ethology too. The main aims of this paper are to clarify the relationship between the concepts of learning, experience, and development, and to investigate whether and how all three concepts can be usefully deployed in the study of animal behavior. This will require the full integration of the psychological study of behavior into biology, and of the idea of learning into a wider concept of experience. We lay out how, in a systems view of development, learning may just appear as one among many processes in which experience influences behavior. This new synthesis should help to overcome the age-old dualism between innate and acquired. It thereby opens up the possibility of developing scientifically more fruitful distinctions.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Karola Stotz (2010). Human Nature and Cognitive–Developmental Niche Construction. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.
Similar books and articles
Rita Nolan (2009). The New Enlightenment Hypothesis: All Learners Are Rational. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 32 (2):219-220.
Effie Maclellan (2005). Conceptual Learning: The Priority for Higher Education. British Journal of Educational Studies 53 (2):129 - 147.
José E. Burgos (2001). A Neural-Network Interpretation of Selection in Learning and Behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):531-533.
Slobodan Perovic & Ljiljana Radenovic (2011). Fine-Tuning Nativism: The 'Nurtured Nature' and Innate Cognitive Structures. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 10 (3):399-417.
Dominic Scott (1995). Recollection and Experience: Plato's Theory of Learning and its Successors. Cambridge University Press.
Adina L. Roskies (2008). A New Argument for Nonconceptual Content. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 76 (3):633–659.
Colin Allen (1992). Mental Content and Evolutionary Explanation. Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):1-12.
Ingo Brigandt (2005). The Instinct Concept of the Early Konrad Lorenz. Journal of the History of Biology 38 (3):571–608..
Karola Stotz (2008). The Ingredients for a Postgenomic Synthesis of Nature and Nurture. Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):359 – 381.
Added to index2009-08-28
Total downloads15 ( #108,453 of 1,101,745 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #292,275 of 1,101,745 )
How can I increase my downloads?