Tuesday 9
Conceptual Tools for Neurobiology B (submitted papers)

› 11:00 - 11:20 (20min)
› 003
Re-Thinking Neuroconstructivism through Dynamic (neuro)-Enskilment: a critique of Neo-Nativism
Mirko Farina  1@  
1 : Macquarie University  -  Website
NSW 2006 Australia -  Australia

In this paper I discuss three views - 1) Gary Marcus' neo-nativism, 2) standard neuroconstructivism, and 3) dynamic neuro-enskilment - that explain human cognitive and cortical development from different standpoints. I then compare these views and critically analyse the links between them. I do so with two goals in mind. First, I wish to demonstrate that neo-nativism is not that distinct from standard neuroconstructivism: and second, I want to show that standard neuroconstructivism, in order to fully account for recent empirical findings, needs to be updated and radicalized along the lines envisaged by the dynamic neuro-enskilment view.

In section 1, I offer the reader a short description for each of the three accounts at stake, provide some general philosophical background for each of the three understandings discussed, and thus briefly contextualize them within the current philosophical literature. In section 2, I assess Marcus' attempt to reconcile nativism with developmental flexibility. In section 3, I argue that in structurally reconfiguring nativism, Marcus ends up transforming it out of a recognizable form, and claim that his view can be accommodated within the more general framework provided by standard neuroconstructivism. In section 4, I focus on recent empirical findings in neuropsychology and cultural/social neuroscience, and propose a significant revision to standard neuroconstructivism, thus developing the dynamic neuro-enskilment view. I conclude the paper (section 5) by analyzing the implications of the results discussed in section 4 for both neo-nativism and standard neuroconstructivism.


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