Nativism: In defense of a biological understanding
In recent years, a number of philosophers have argued against a biological understanding of the innate in favor of a narrowly psychological notion. On the other hand, Ariew ((1996). Innateness and canalization. Philosophy of Science, 63, S19–S27. (1999). Innateness is canalization: in defense of a developmental account of innateness. In V. Hardcastle (Ed.), Where biology meets psychology: Philosophical essays (pp. 117–138). Cambridge, MA: MIT.) has developed a novel substantial account of innateness based on developmental biology: canalization . The governing thought of this paper is that the notion of the innate, as it re-emerged with the work of Chomsky, is a general notion that applies equally to all biological traits. On this basis, the paper recommends canalization as a promising candidate account of the notion of the innate.
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