Thinking as a Hobby

Get Email Updates
Email Me

Admin Password

Remember Me

3478243 Curiosities served
Share on Facebook

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Read/Post Comments (5)

It looks like I'll probably drop my class on computational issues in cog sci and take Issues in Innateness instead. I talked with the professor and we both felt the content of the class was probably a little too elementary for me.

So I went to the first section of the innateness class, and it does seem interesting. We were asked to come up with what we thought innateness was, and then we discussed them. Not surprisingly, I was the only one to mention genes:

Predefined in the genetic code and predictable under the normal course of development. Not acquired by learning.

I went on to say that I didn't feel any traits were purely innate, especially cognitive ones. After some discussion, I broadened my own definition to include inorganic agents as well. So I'd probably now say innateness is something predefined in the encoding of a thing, whether it be an artifact or an organism.

So if I build a robot that is hard-wired to walk up stairs, that ability is innate. If I build a robot that doesn't know how to walk up stairs, but can learn, then that facility for learning is innate.

No organism is produced as a finished adult phenotype, but unfolds under a period of development, so I think there's a better case for saying there are fewer innate abilities, and more innate capacities in biological organisms.

Anyway, it was a good discussion, and I'm looking forward to the class.

Read/Post Comments (5)

Previous Entry :: Next Entry

Back to Top

Powered by JournalScape © 2001-2010 All rights reserved.
All content rights reserved by the author.