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Inborn Knowledge – The Mystery Within - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Inborn Knowledge: The Mystery Within

Colin McGinn


This book presents a concise, clear, and compelling argument that the origins of knowledge are innate—that nativism, not empiricism, is correct in its theory of how concepts are acquired. The book considers the particular case of sensible qualities—ideas of color, shape, taste, and so on. It argues that these are not well explained by the empiricist account that they derive from interactions with external objects. Rather, the book contends, ideas of sensible qualities offer the strongest case for the nativist position—that a large range of our knowledge is inborn, not acquired through the sens ... More

Keywords: innate knowledge, nativism, senses, empiricism, perception, mind–body, unconscious, metaphysics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780262029391
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262029391.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Colin McGinn, author

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