Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus

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The argument for linguistic nativism appears to be solidly supported by the distinctive patterns of generalization that learners adopt in the absence of systematic negative evidence a limitation that Pullum and Scholz exclude from APS. We argue that innate knowledge of how to represent natural language facts is necessary in order for learners to extract from their input the information that it does contain.

Pullum and Scholz themselves rely on Universal Grammar in just this role when they make specific suggestions as to how learners arrive at the right generalizations.

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My Content 1 Recently viewed 1 Understanding stimulus Show Summary Details. More options …. The Linguistic Review. Editor-in-Chief: van der Hulst, Harry. See all formats and pricing. Online ISSN See all formats and pricing Online. Prices are subject to change without notice.

Understanding stimulus poverty arguments : The Linguistic Review

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Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus

Volume 23 Issue 4 Dec , pp. Volume 22 Issue Dec , pp. Volume 21 Issue Sep , pp. Volume 20 Issue Nov , pp. Volume 19 Issue 3 Nov , pp. Volume 18 Issue 4 Dec , pp. Innate Concepts in Philosophy of Mind. Metaphilosophical Views, Misc in Metaphilosophy. Naturalism and Intentionality in Philosophy of Mind. Poverty of the Stimulus in Philosophy of Language. A nativist moral psychology, modeled on the successes of theoretical linguistics, provides the best framework for explaining the acquisition of moral capacities and the diversity of moral judgment across the species. After a brief presentation of a poverty of the moral stimulus argument, this chapter sketches a view according to which a so-called Universal Moral Grammar provides a set of parameterizable principles whose specific values are set by the child's environment, resulting in the acquisition of a moral idiolect.

The principles Moral Judgment, Misc in Meta-Ethics. Universal Grammar in Philosophy of Language. My paper defends the use of the poverty of stimulus argument POSA for linguistic nativism against Cowie's counter-claim that it leaves empiricism untouched. I first present the linguistic POSA as arising from a reflection on the generality of the child's initial state in comparison with the specific complexity of its final state.

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In this light, I first argue that the data Cowie Noam Chomsky's Poverty of the Stimulus Argument is one of the most famous and controversial arguments in the study of language and the mind. Though widely endorsed by linguists, the argument has met with much resistance in philosophy. Unfortunately, philosophical critics have often failed to fully appreciate the power of the argument. In this paper, we provide a systematic presentation of the Poverty of the Stimulus Argument, clarifying its structure, content, and evidential base. We defend the argument against a variety This paper advocates a dispositional account of innate cognitive capacities, which has an illustrious history from Plato to Chomsky.

The advantage of this model of innateness is that it does not make a problematic reference to normal conditions and avoids relativizing innate traits to specific populations, as biological models of innateness are Relativization can be avoided in the case of cognitive capacities precisely because informational content is involved.

Even though one cannot measure output relative to input in a precise way, there are indirect and approximate ways of assessing the degree of innateness of a specific cognitive capacity. Mental States, Misc in Philosophy of Mind. 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 and Samuels , 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.

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Hence, the challenge is to demonstrate how the input can be I argue that there are robust methods of comparing input to output without measuring them quantitatively. Innateness in Philosophy of Biology. Candidates for such invariances include the structure dependence of grammatical rules, and in particular, certain constraints on question formation. Recently, several researchers have tried to rebut these POS arguments. In response, we illustrate why POS arguments remain an important source of support for appeal to a priori structure-dependent constraints on the grammars that humans naturally acquire.

Cognitive Sciences. Griffiths and Machery have argued that innateness is a folk notion that obstructs inquiry and has no place in contemporary science. They support their view by criticizing the canalization account of innateness Ariew, , In response, I argue that the criticisms they raise for the canalization account can be avoided by another recent account of innateness, the triggering account, which provides an analysis of the concept as it applies to cognitive capacities Khalidi, , ; Stich, I also I conclude that they have not made the case that the notion of innateness ought to be eliminated from a scientific account of the mind.

Ever since Chomsky, language has become the paradigmatic example of an innate capacity. Infants of only a few months old are aware of the phonetic structure of their mother tongue, such as stress-patterns and phonemes. They can already discriminate words from non-words and acquire a feel for the grammatical structure months before they voice their first word. Language reliably develops not only in the face of poor linguistic input, but even without it.

In recent years, several scholars have extended this The main aim of this paper is not to discuss whether or not language is an adaptation, but rather, to examine the concept of modularity with respect to the evolution and development of natural language. Knowledge of Language in Philosophy of Language. Linguistic Innateness, Misc in Philosophy of Language.

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