In defense of nativism

Philosophical Studies 165 (2):693-718 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This paper takes a fresh look at the nativism–empiricism debate, presenting and defending a nativist perspective on the mind. Empiricism is often taken to be the default view both in philosophy and in cognitive science. This paper argues, on the contrary, that there should be no presumption in favor of empiricism (or nativism), but that the existing evidence suggests that nativism is the most promising framework for the scientific study of the mind. Our case on behalf of nativism has four parts. (1) We characterize nativism’s core commitments relative to the contemporary debate between empiricists and nativists, (2) we present the positive case for nativism in terms of two central nativist arguments (the poverty of the stimulus argument and the argument from animals), (3) we respond to a number of influential objections to nativist theories, and (4) we explain the nativist approach to the conceptual system

Similar books and articles

Innateness and moral psychology.Shaun Nichols - 2005 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. pp. 353--369.
The return of the nativist.M. J. Cain - 2004 - Philosophical Explorations 7 (1):1-20.
Nativism: In Defense of the Representational Interpretation.Glen Hoffmann - 2009 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (3):303-315.
Nativism in cognitive science.Richard Samuels - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (3):233-65.
Toward a reasonable nativism.Tom Simpson - 2005 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York. pp. 1--122.
Radical concept nativism.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 2002 - Cognition 86 (1):25-55.
Introduction: Nativism past and present.Tom Simpson, Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Amp Amp - 2005 - In Peter Carruthers, Stephen Laurence & Stephen Stich (eds.), The Innate Mind: Structure and Contents. New York: Oxford University Press New York.
Mad dog nativism.Fiona Cowie - 1998 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (2):227-252.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-06-05

Downloads
631 (#14,894)

6 months
352 (#1,144)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Eric Margolis
University of British Columbia
Stephen Laurence
University of Sheffield