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The Vernacular Concept of Innateness

Griffiths, Paul Edmund and Machery, Edouard and Linquist, Stefan (2007) The Vernacular Concept of Innateness. [Preprint]

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    Abstract

    The proposal that the concept of innateness expresses a ‘folk biological’ theory of the ‘inner natures’ of organisms was tested by examining the response of biologically naive subjects to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of many of the existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why all such analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We conclude that philosophers need to think more clearly about what they are trying to achieve when ‘analysing’ the concept of innateness.


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    Item Type: Preprint
    Keywords: innate innateness nativism developmental canalization folk biology naive biology essentialism experimental philosophy
    Subjects: Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
    Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Developmental Biology
    Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Psychology
    Depositing User: Paul Edmund Griffiths
    Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2007
    Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:15
    Item ID: 3384
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3384

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