Chapter

Nativism

Jerry A. Fodor

in LOT 2

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548774
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191721106 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199548774.003.0005
Nativism

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The author acknowledges that there is something wrong with the argument in LOT 1; namely, that its conclusion is too weak and the offending empirical assumption — that quotidian concepts are mostly primitive — is superfluous. What he should have said is that it is true and a priori that the whole notion of concept learning is per se confused. This chapter starts with a brief review of the LOT 1 argument, and then amends it. It considers what it shows about the status of nativism. Prolepsis: it does show that there is something radically incoherent about the thesis that concepts can be learned. But it does not quite follow that any concepts are innate.

Keywords: language of thought; nativism; quotidian concepts

Chapter.  13065 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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