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What can the semantic properties of innate representations explain?

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Keywords
  • [Shs:Phil:Action] Humanities And Social Sciences/Philosophy/Philosophy Of Action
  • [Shs:Phil:Action] Sciences De L'Homme Et Société/Philosophie/Philosophie De L'Action
  • [Shs:Phil:Mind] Humanities And Social Sciences/Philosophy/Philosophy Of Mind
  • [Shs:Phil:Mind] Sciences De L'Homme Et Société/Philosophie/Philosophie De L'Esprit
  • Causal Explanation
  • Intentional Behavior
  • Content

Abstract

Dretske has argued that, unlike the content of beliefs and desires (formed by learning), the contents of innate representations (depending directly on evolution by natural selection) cannot in principle play a role in the causal explanation of an individual's behavior. I examine this "asymmetry" and against it, I argue that the content of innate mental representations too can play a causal role in the explanation of behavior.

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