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Conceived This Way: Innateness Defended

Northcott, Robert and Piccinini, Gualtiero (2018) Conceived This Way: Innateness Defended. Philosophers' Imprint, 18 (18). pp. 1-16.

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Abstract

We propose a novel account of the distinction between innate and acquired biological traits: biological traits are innate to the degree that they are caused by factors intrinsic to the organism at the time of its origin; they are acquired to the degree that they are caused by factors extrinsic to the organism. This account borrows from recent work on causation in order to make rigorous the notion of quantitative contributions to traits by different factors in development. We avoid the pitfalls of previous accounts and argue that the distinction between innate and acquired traits is scientifically useful. We therefore address not only previous accounts of innateness but also skeptics about any account. The two are linked, in that a better account of innateness also enables us better to address the skeptics.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Northcott, Robertr.northcott@bbk.ac.uk
Piccinini, Gualtiero
Keywords: innateness; causation; genes; environment; nature; nurture
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Dr Robert Northcott
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 14:27
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 14:27
Item ID: 15386
Journal or Publication Title: Philosophers' Imprint
Official URL: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/phimp/3521354.0018.01...
DOI or Unique Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3521354.0018.018
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Evolutionary Psychology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Molecular Biology/Genetics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Psychology
Date: September 2018
Page Range: pp. 1-16
Volume: 18
Number: 18
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15386

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