Chapter

What Nativism Is (II) <i>The Mystery Hypothesis</i>

Fiona Cowie

in What's Within?

Published in print January 2003 | ISBN: 9780195159783
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849529 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195159783.003.0003

Series: Philosophy of Mind Series

What Nativism Is (II) The Mystery Hypothesis

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While we realize that the empiricist interpretation of nativism may in fact be able to explain some of the central cases of both belief and concept acquisition, arguments from the poverty of the stimulus still assert how some acquisitions may not be obtained through merely making use of the general-purpose learning mechanisms brought on by empiricist thinking, and that we have to realize that the mind should contain other task-specific faculties for learning. This chapter looks into another form of argument, what the author refers to as the “impossibility arguments,” to further establish the falsity of the empiricist approach. Such arguments rely greatly on the notion of self-undermining or disjointed mind–world interactions that would only support the notion of how everything in our minds is indeed innate.

Keywords: empiricist interpretation; nativism; stimulus arguments; task-specific faculties; impossibility arguments; mind–world interactions

Chapter.  10332 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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