Innateness as closed process invariance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Controversies over the innateness of cognitive structures play a persistent role in driving research in philosophy as well as cognitive science, but the appropriate way to understand the category of the innate remains in dispute. The invariantist approaches of Stich and Sober face counterexample cases of traits that, though developing invariantly across different environments, nonetheless are not held by nativism partisans to count as innate. Appeals to canalization (Ariew) or to psychological primitiveness (Samuels) fail to handle this liberalism problem. We suggest a novel approach to innateness: closed process invariantism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-344
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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