Single Idea 6649

[catalogued under 18. Thought / D. Concepts / 2. Origin of Concepts / c. Nativist concepts]

Full Idea

Chomsky now contends that not only the syntax of natural language but also the concepts expressible in it have an innate basis.


'Syntax' is sentence structure

Gist of Idea

Chomsky now says concepts are basically innate, as well as syntax


report of Noam Chomsky (Chomsky on himself [1994]) by E.J. Lowe - Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind Ch.7 n25

Book Reference

Lowe,E.J.: 'Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind' [CUP 2000], p.188

A Reaction

This seems to follow Fodor, who has been mocked for implying that we have an innate idea of a screwdriver etc. Note that Chomsky says concepts have an innate 'basis'. This fits well with modern (cautious) rationalism, with which I am happy.