Innate Idea

Any idea which is thought to exist in the mind prior to birth.

Innate ideas are thought by rationalists (e.g., Rene Descartes) to serve as the foundation for knowledge.

Important note: the ideas which are considered ‘innate’ by rationalists are always of the a priori variety, but not every a priori idea is thought to be innate. Thus, ‘innate’ and ‘a priori’ should not be confused; they are not synonymous.