Authors
Muhammad Ali Khalidi
CUNY Graduate Center
Abstract
This paper advocates a dispositional account of innate cognitive capacities, which has an illustrious history from Plato to Chomsky. The "triggering model" of innateness, first made explicit by Stich ([1975]), explicates the notion in terms of the relative informational content of the stimulus (input) and the competence (output). The advantage of this model of innateness is that it does not make a problematic reference to normal conditions and avoids relativizing innate traits to specific populations, as biological models of innateness are forced to do. Relativization can be avoided in the case of cognitive capacities precisely because informational content is involved. Even though one cannot measure output relative to input in a precise way, there are indirect and approximate ways of assessing the degree of innateness of a specific cognitive capacity.
Keywords Innateness  Nativism  Cognition  Content  Information  Chomsky, N  Stich, S  Plato
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/53.2.251
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Innateness and the Sciences.Matteo Mameli & Patrick Bateson - 2006 - Biology and Philosophy 21 (2):155-188.
Innateness in Cognitive Science.Richard Samuels - 2004 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 8 (3):136-141.
Innateness as a Natural Cognitive Kind.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (3):319-333.

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