Maddy: Conceiving Logic as an Innate Cognitive Mechanism



This chapter discusses Penelope Maddy’s Second Philosophy of Logic and thereby again questions Quine’s mature naturalized epistemology. It is reasonable to do both at the same time, since Maddy’s proposal assumes that pre-linguistic infants refer to objects and attribute properties to them (a view that I call nativism). This view is diametrically opposed to Quine’s source-empiricism. I focus on the experimental paradigm on which Maddy relies to establish her nativism. This paradigm is called habituation and preferential looking, and it was pioneered by the developmental psychologist and outspoken nativist Elizabeth Spelke. My assessment of Maddy’s case includes specific considerations of experimental set-ups and the discussion of other empirical studies as well as more general methodological considerations.


Penelope Maddy Nativism Source-empiricism Habituation Preferential looking Elizabeth Spelke 


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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