I am grateful to two anonymous referees for this journal who provided very useful feedback that led to numerous improvements. I would also like to thank the University Research Board of the American University of Beirut for two summer grants that enabled me to work on this paper.
Innate Cognitive Capacities
Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 22, Issue 1, pages 92–115, February 2007
How to Cite
KHALIDI, M. A. (2007), Innate Cognitive Capacities. Mind & Language, 22: 92–115. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2006.00301.x
- Issue published online: 31 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 31 JAN 2007
Abstract: This paper attempts to articulate a dispositional account of innateness that applies to cognitive capacities. After criticizing an alternative account of innateness proposed by Cowie (1999) and Samuels (2002), the dispositional account of innateness is explicated and defended against a number of objections. The dispositional account states that an innate cognitive capacity (output) is one that has a tendency to be triggered as a result of impoverished environmental conditions (input). Hence, the challenge is to demonstrate how the input can be compared to the output and shown to be relatively impoverished. I argue that there are robust methods of comparing input to output without measuring them quantitatively.