Moral nativism: A sceptical response

Kim Sterelny*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


In the last few years, nativist, modular views of moral cognition have been influential. This paper shares the view that normative cognition develops robustly, and is probably an adaptation. But it develops an alternative view of the developmental basis of moral cognition, based on the idea that adults scaffold moral development by organising the learning environment of the next generation. In addition, I argue that the modular nativist picture has no plausible account of the role of explicit moral judgement, and that no persuasive version of the 'poverty of the stimulus' applies to moral cognition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-297
Number of pages19
JournalMind and Language
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


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