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Innateness is a concept central to cognitive science. It refers to the predisposition of the brain toward certain cognitive tendencies. It does not mean “hard-wired” so much as “pre-wired.”
Jonathan Haidt quotes Gary Marcus on innateness:
The initial organization of the brain does not rely that much on experience… Nature provides a first draft, which experience then revises… ‘Built-in’ does not mean unmalleable; it means organized in advance of experience.
The concept is relevant to naturalistic spirituality in that myth and ritual may well take advantage of innate mental tendencies, such as a susceptibility to supernormal stimuli.
See also “HADD”, “Modularity of Mind”, and “Supernormal stimuli.”
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