Innatism, originated from Latin words ‘in’ and ‘natus’; a theory of philosophy in which ideas, or principles, are considered to be present in the mind at birth, either fully formed or requiring some additional experience for their complete formulation.
It is a philosophical doctrine that holds that the mind is born with ideas or knowledge, and that therefore the mind is not a 'blank slate' at birth, as early empiricists such as John Locke claimed. It asserts therefore that not all knowledge is obtained from experience and the senses.
There is a question- how is it that we have certain ideas which are not conclusively derivable from our environments? Noam Chomsky has taken this problem as a philosophical framework for the scientific enquiry into Innatism. His linguistic theory attempts to explain in cognitive terms how we can develop knowledge of systems which are too rich and complex to be derived from our environment as our linguistic faculty. Our linguistic systems contain a systemic complexity which could not be empirically derived. The environment is too variable and indeterminate to explain the extraordinary ability to learn complex concepts possessed by very young children. It follows that humans must be born with a universal innate grammar, which is determinate and has a highly organized directive component, and enables the language learner to ascertain and categorize language heard into a system. In this way, linguistics has provided a window into the human mind, and has established scientific theories of innateness which were previously merely speculative.
One implication of Noam Chomsky's Innatism is that at least a part of human knowledge consists in cognitive predispositions, which are triggered and developed by the environment, but not determined by it. Parallels can then be drawn, on a purely speculative level, between our moral faculties and...