The nature/culture debate is still a hot and much debated topic in cognitive science. However, the notion of innateness is a big issue in itself, which affects the entire nature/culture debate.
Nativism is a highly controversial topic in cognitive science. Nativist programs, such as, perhaps first of all, Chomsky’s in linguistics, but also Fodor’s in philosophy, evolutionary psychology or the so-called core knowledge research program, have been and still are of great importance for cognitive science.
However, the way innateness has to be defined as a concept is not clear at all. This confusion leads a number of philosophers and cognitive psychologists to criticize the notion of innateness and to claim that it is more harmful than useful and must be eliminated.
This contrast constitutes a kind of paradox, which has to be solved. Actually, the problem is that if nativist debates are genuine empirical scientific debates, a way should be found to give sense to the notion of i...