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The Resurrection of Innateness

The Monist 85 (1):105-130 (2002)

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  1. Universal Grammar and the Baldwin Effect: A Hypothesis and Some Philosophical Consequences.Shane Nicholas Glackin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (2):201-222.
    Grammar is now widely regarded as a substantially biological phenomenon, yet the problem of language evolution remains a matter of controversy among Linguists, Cognitive Scientists, and Evolutionary Theorists alike. In this paper, I present a new theoretical argument for one particular hypothesis—that a Language Acquisition Device of the sort first posited by Noam Chomsky might have evolved via the so-called Baldwin Effect . Close attention to the workings of that mechanism, I argue, helps to explain a previously mysterious feature of (...)
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  • What is Innateness?Paul E. Griffiths - 2001 - The Monist 85 (1):70-85.
    In behavioral ecology some authors regard the innateness concept as irretrievably confused whilst others take it to refer to adaptations. In cognitive psychology, however, whether traits are 'innate' is regarded as a significant question and is often the subject of heated debate. Several philosophers have tried to define innateness with the intention of making sense of its use in cognitive psychology. In contrast, I argue that the concept is irretrievably confused. The vernacular innateness concept represents a key aspect of 'folkbiology', (...)
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  • Nature, Nurture and Why the Pendulum Still Swings.Brian Garvey - 2005 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):309-330.
    In both popular and technical discussion we often find the pairs of opposed terms ‘innate/acquired,’ ‘due to genes/due to environment,’ ‘nature/nurture,’ and so forth. They appear to be used as if they all captured a genuine distinction, and the same distinction at that. A related family of opposed pairs is held to describe the difference between those who attribute a certain trait to ‘nature’ and those who attribute it to ‘nurture’: ‘nativists’ versus ‘constructivists’ is one such pair. Chomsky and his (...)
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  • Against Reduction: A Critical Notice of Molecular Models: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology by Sahotra Sarkar.James Maclaurin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):151-158.
    In Molecular Models: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology, Sahotra Sarkar presents a historical and philosophical analysis of four important themes in philosophy of science that have been influenced by discoveries in molecular biology. These are: reduction, function, information and directed mutation. I argue that there is an important difference between the cases of function and information and the more complex case of scientific reduction. In the former cases it makes sense to taxonomise important variations in scientific and philosophical usage of (...)
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  • Representation in the Genome and in Other Inheritance Systems.Nicholas Shea - 2007 - Biology and Philosophy 22 (3):313-331.
    There is ongoing controversy as to whether the genome is a representing system. Although it is widely recognised that DNA carries information, both correlating with and coding for various outcomes, neither of these implies that the genome has semantic properties like correctness or satisfaction conditions, In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Sciences, Vol. II. Kluwer, Dordrecht, pp. 387–400). Here a modified version of teleosemantics is applied to the genome to show that it does indeed have semantic (...)
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  • Association but Not Recognition: An Alternative Model for Differential Imitation From 0 to 2 Months.Stefano Vincini & Yuna Jhang - 2018 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 9 (2):395-427.
    Skepticism toward the existence of neonatal differential imitation is fostered by views that assign it an excessive significance, making it foundational for social cognition. Moreover, a misleading theoretical framework may generate unwarranted expectations about the kinds of findings experimentalists are supposed to look for. Hence we propose a theoretical analysis that may help experimentalists address the empirical question of whether early differential imitation really exists. We distinguish three models of early imitation. The first posits automatic visuo-motor links evolved for sociocognitive (...)
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