Single Idea 12662

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

Full Idea

What's learned are stereotypes. What's innate is the disposition to grasp such and such a concept (to lock to such a property) in consequence of having learned such and such a stereotype.

Gist of Idea

We have an innate capacity to form a concept, once we have grasped the stereotype


Jerry A. Fodor (LOT 2 [2008], Ch.5.4)

Book Reference

Fodor,Jerry A.: 'LOT 2: the Language of Thought Revisited' [OUP 2008], p.162

A Reaction

This is the late Fodor much ameliorated view, after a lot of scoffing about the idea of the tin-opener being innate in all of us. There may be a suspicion of circularity here, if we ask what mental abilities are needed to form a stereotype.