Authors
Slobodan Perovic
University of Belgrade
Abstract
S. Oyama’s prominent account of the Parity Thesis states that one cannot distinguish in a meaningful way between nature-based (i.e. gene-based) and nurture-based (i.e. environment-based) characteristics in development because the information necessary for the resulting characteristics is contained at both levels. Oyama as well as P. E. Griffiths and K. Stotz argue that the Parity Thesis has far-reaching implications for developmental psychology in that both nativist and interactionist developmental accounts of psychological capacities that presuppose a substantial nature/nurture dichotomy are inadequate. We argue that well-motivated abandoning of the nature/nurture dichotomy, as advocated in converging versions of the Parity Thesis in biology, does not necessarily entail abandoning the distinction between biologically given abilities necessary for the development of higher psychological capacities and the learning process they enable. Thus, contrary to the claims of the aforementioned authors, developmental psychologists need not discard a substantial distinction between innate (biologically given) characteristics and those acquired by learning, even if they accept the Parity Thesis. We suggest a two-stage account of development: the first stage is maturational and involves interaction of genetic, epigenetic and environmental causes, resulting in the endogenous biological ‘machinery’ (e.g. language acquisition device), responsible for learning in the subsequent stage of the developmental process by determining the organism’s responses to the environment. This account retains the crux of nativism (the endogenous biological structure determines the way the organism learns/responds to an environment) whilst adopting the developmentalist view of biology by characterizing environments as distinctly different in terms of structure and function in two developmental stages
Keywords Nature/nurture  Cognitive development  Nativism in psychology  Genocentrism  Gene  Environment parity thesis
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-010-9180-0
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,214
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Language and Mind.Noam Chomsky - 1968 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 20 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Is Mind Extended or Scaffolded? Ruminations on Sterelney’s Extended Stomach.Jennifer Greenwood - 2013 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (3):629-650.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Ingredients for a Postgenomic Synthesis of Nature and Nurture.Karola Stotz - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (3):359 – 381.
Nativism: In Defense of a Biological Understanding.John M. Collins - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (2):157-177.
Developmental Objections to Evolutionary Modularity.John Sarnecki - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (4):529-546.
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.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-11-18

Total views
89 ( #131,098 of 2,507,638 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #416,871 of 2,507,638 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes