Recent Contributions to the Theory of Innate Ideas

Summary of Oral Presentation
  • Noam Chomsky
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 3)


I think that it will be useful to separate two issues in the discussion of our present topic — one is the issue of historical interpretation, namely, what in fact was the content of the classical doctrine of innate ideas, let us say, in Descartes and Leibniz; the second is the substantive issue, namely, in the light of the information presently available, what can we say about the prerequisites for the acquisition of knowledge — what can we postulate regarding the psychologically a priori principles that determine the character of learning and the nature of what is acquired.


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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company / Dordrecht-Holland 1967

Authors and Affiliations

  • Noam Chomsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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