Concept Nativism and Neural Plasticity

In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), The Conceptual Mind: New Directions in the Study of Concepts. MIT Press. pp. 117-147 (2015)
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One of the most important recent developments in the study of concepts has been the resurgence of interest in nativist accounts of the human conceptual system. However, many theorists suppose that a key feature of neural organization—the brain’s plasticity—undermines the nativist approach to concept acquisition. We argue that, on the contrary, not only does the brain’s plasticity fail to undermine concept nativism, but a detailed examination of the neurological evidence actually provides powerful support for concept nativism.

Author Profiles

Eric Margolis
University of British Columbia
Stephen Laurence
University of Sheffield


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