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The Vernacular Concept of Innateness

Griffiths, Paul E. and Machery, Edouard and Linquist, Stefan (2008) 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 participants to a series of realistic scenarios concerning the development of birdsong. Our results explain the intuitive appeal of existing philosophical analyses of the innateness concept. They simultaneously explain why these analyses are subject to compelling counterexamples. We argue that this explanation undermines the appeal of these analyses, whether understood as analyses of the vernacular concept or as explications of that concept for the purposes of science.


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        Item Type: Preprint
        Keywords: Innateness human nature nativism folkbiology folk psychology
        Subjects: General Issues > Thought Experiments
        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: 22 Oct 2008
        Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 11:17
        Item ID: 4245
        URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/4245

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