Infer with care: A critique of the argument from animals

Rachael L. Brown*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Non-human animal evidence is frequently invoked in debates in cognitive science. Here, I critically assess one use of such evidence in the form of the “argument from animals,” a prominent positive argument for nativism, which roughly states that non-human cognitive development is largely nativist, and thus human cognitive development is most likely largely nativist too. I offer a number of reasons to reject this argument, and in doing so derive some important broader lessons concerning the appropriate role of non-human animal evidence in a science of the human mind.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)21-36
    Number of pages16
    JournalMind and Language
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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