Synthese 122 (1-2):29-51 (2000)

Authors
Karola Stotz
Macquarie University
Paul Edmund Griffiths
University of Sydney
Abstract
The 'developmental systems' perspective in biology is intended to replace the idea of a genetic program. This new perspective is strongly convergent with recent work in psychology on situated/embodied cognition and on the role of external 'scaffolding' in cognitive development. Cognitive processes, including those which can be explained in evolutionary terms, are not 'inherited' or produced in accordance with an inherited program. Instead, they are constructed in each generation through the interaction of a range of developmental resources. The attractors which emerge during development and explain robust and/or widespread outcomes are themselves constructed during the process. At no stage is there an explanatory stopping point where some resources control or program the rest of the developmental cascade. 'Human nature' is a description of how things generally turn out, not an explanation of why they turn out that way. Finally, we suggest that what is distinctive about human development is its degree of reliance on external scaffolding.
Keywords Biology  Cognition  Development  Metaphysics  Mind
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1005215909498
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References found in this work BETA

What’s Within? Nativism Reconsidered.Fiona Cowie - 1998 - Oxford University Press USA.
A Complex Systems Theory of Teleology.Wayne Christensen - 1996 - Biology and Philosophy 11 (3):301-320.
Form and Order in Evolutionary Biology: Stuart Kauffman's Transformation of Theoretical Biology.Richard M. Burian & Robert C. Richardson - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:267 - 287.

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Citations of this work BETA

Human Nature and Cognitive–Developmental Niche Construction.Karola Stotz - 2010 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (4):483-501.
Explanatory Power of Extended Cognition.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (5):735-759.

View all 21 citations / Add more citations

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