Biology and Philosophy 21 (4):559-573 (2006)

David Papineau
CUNY Graduate Center
Gary Marcus has written a very interesting book about mental development from a nativist perspective. For the general readership at which the book is largely aimed, it will be interesting because of its many informative examples of the development of cognitive structures and because of its illuminating explanations of ways in which genes can contribute to these developmental processes. However, the book is also interesting from a theoretical point of view. Marcus tries to make nativism compatible with the central arguments that anti-nativists use to attack nativism and with many recent discoveries about genetic activity and brain development. In so doing, he reconfigures the nativist position to a considerable extent.
Keywords Mativism  Immateness  Molecular genetics  Developmental neuroscience  Learning  plasticity
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DOI 10.1007/s10539-005-1800-7
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