Acquiring a Conception of Mind: A Review of Psychological Research and Theoryby Peter Mitchell
Pub. Date: 12/28/1996
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
The human intellect allows us to acquire a conception of mind. The mind has evolved into such a powerful form that we are able to go beyond knowing the world and move towards knowing the mind itself. Being able to comprehend the mind permits smooth scial interaction, since it allows us to anticipate the futue actions of thse around us. The apparently effortless quality of social co-ordination belies the complex process of conceptualization and inference that is actually at work. The odyssey of childhood, especially in the early years, presents a topic for investigation and speculation.; This text covers development from infancy to adulthood, and also considers related disorders of development especially autism. It goes beyond the narrow focus of preschool. Another purpose of the text is to challenge the widely held view that children progress to a higher stage of understanding mind following a radical shift in their thinking that supposedly takes place at four years of age. An alternative account that is presented as more plasusible, states that children have some potential from a very early age to understand about mind, but are largely trapped in the world of material reality. Development, then, seen as the quest to overcome an attentional bias to reality, that is bound to inhibit the contemplation of mind.; A vital ingredient in the success of this development is seen as the ability to use language as a vehicle for communication. Language could serve as a tool that helps the child to think more in the abstract and hypothetical, once removed fro reality.
Table of Contents
Understanding Minds. Children's Pretence. Children's Awareness of Mental Phenomena. Children's Deception. Children's Early Language and Communication. Further Developments in Language and Communication. Young Children's Difficulty with False Belief - A Conceptual Shift in the Development of Thinking? The Reality Masking Hypothesis - the Idea of a Smooth Developmental Progression. Psychopathology and the Development of a Conception of Mind. Communication and Thinking - Autism and Normal Development.
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