Nativism = psychology results from what is present at birth: in the extreme there is no such thing as learning. (page 6 of handout)

Very Nativist points from Piatelli-Palmarini (1989)

“Most biologists and some cognitive scientists have independently reached the conclusion that there is no such thing as learning............ .......I agree with those who maintain that we would gain in clarity if the scientific use of the term were simply discontinued. .. .... .. ..........

....What now replaces learning.. <is>. mechanisms of internal selection and filtering affecting a pre-programmed chain of multiple internal recombinations and internal ‘switches’.” (pp.2-3)

“Learning” a specific language (English, Japanese, Italian, etc) is setting these parameters according to a specific set of choices and acquiring the lexicon of that language.. (p.21)


“But if the mind has a complex innate structure, that does not mean that learning is unimportant.” (Pinker, 1998; p. 32)


Pinker, S. (2002) The Blank Slate

p. 31. “The first bridge between biology and culture is the science of mind, cognitive science.”

p. 78. Of course “the wonderful diversity of the human species is not hard-wired in our genetic code,” but we don't need to count genes to figure that out.