Words, Thoughts, and Theories / Edition 1

Words, Thoughts, and Theories / Edition 1

by Alison Gopnik, Andrew N. Meltzoff
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262571269

ISBN-13: 9780262571265

Pub. Date: 07/31/1998

Publisher: MIT Press

Words, Thoughts, and Theories articulates and defends the "theory theory" of cognitive and semantic development, the idea that infants and young children, like scientists, learn about the world by forming and revising theories, a view of the origins of knowledge and meaning that has broad implications for cognitive science.

Gopnik and Meltzoff interweave

Overview

Words, Thoughts, and Theories articulates and defends the "theory theory" of cognitive and semantic development, the idea that infants and young children, like scientists, learn about the world by forming and revising theories, a view of the origins of knowledge and meaning that has broad implications for cognitive science.

Gopnik and Meltzoff interweave philosophical arguments and empirical data from their own and other's research. Both the philosophy and the psychology, the arguments and the data, address the same fundamental epistemological question: How do we come to understand the world around us?

Recently, the theory theory has led to much interesting research. However, this is the first book to look at the theory in extensive detail and to systematically contrast it with other theories. It is also the first to apply the theory to infancy and early childhood, to use the theory to provide a framework for understanding semantic development, and to demonstrate that language acquisition influences theory change in children.The authors show that children just beginning to talk are engaged in profound restructurings of several domains of knowledge.
These restructurings are similar to theory changes in science, and they influence children's early semantic development, since children's cognitive concerns shape and motivate their use of very early words. But, in addition, children pay attention to the language they hear around them and this too reshapes their cognition, and causes them to reorganize their theories.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262571265
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
07/31/1998
Series:
Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Series Foreword xi
Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
The Other Socratic Method
1(10)
Socrates' Problem
1(3)
Augustine's Problem
4(3)
A Road Map
7(4)
I The Theory Theory 11(62)
The Scientist as Child
13(36)
But Surely It Can't Really Be a Theory?
13(2)
A Cognitive View of Science
15(3)
Naturalistic Epistemology and Development: An Evolutionary Speculation
18(2)
Science as Horticulture
20(2)
Objections: Phenomenology
22(2)
Objections: Sociology
24(2)
Objections: Timing and Convergence
26(1)
Objections: Magic
27(2)
Empirical Advances
29(3)
What Is a Theory?
32(2)
Structural Features of Theories
34(2)
Functional Features of Theories
36(3)
Dynamic Features of Theories
39(2)
Theories in Childhood
41(1)
Theories as Representations
42(7)
Theories, Modules, and Empirical Generalizations
49(24)
Modules
50(3)
Theories and Development
53(1)
Modules and Development
54(2)
Modularity in Peripheral and Central Processing
56(3)
Empirical Generalizations: Scripts, Narratives, and Nets
59(4)
Interactions among Theories, Modules, and Empirical Generalizations
63(5)
Nonconceptual Development: Information Processing and Social Construction
68(5)
II Evidence for the Theory Theory 73(114)
The Child's Theory of Appearances
77(48)
The Adult Theory
77(5)
The Initial Theory
82(4)
The Paradox of Invisible Objects
86(6)
An Alternative: A Theory-Change Account
92(3)
The Nine-Month-Old's Theory
95(3)
The A-Not-B Error as an Auxilliary Hypothesis
98(3)
The Eighteen-Month-Old's Theory
101(4)
Other Evidence for the Theory Theory
105(4)
Semantic Development: "Gone" as a Theoretical Term
109(6)
Later Developments: From Object Permanence to Perspective Taking
115(4)
Later Semantic Developments: "Gone" and "See"
119(2)
Conclusion
121(4)
The Child's Theory of Action
125(36)
The Adult Theory
126(2)
The Initial Theory
128(10)
The Nine-Month-Old's Theory
138(7)
The Eighteen-Month-Old's Theory
145(6)
Other Evidence for the Theory Theory
151(2)
Semantic Development: "No," "Uh-oh," and "There"
153(3)
Later Developments: From Actions to Desires
156(3)
Later Semantic Developments: "Want"
159(1)
Conclusion
159(2)
The Child's Theory of Kinds
161(26)
The Adult Theory
161(4)
Categories and Kinds
165(3)
The Initial Theory
168(2)
The Nine-Month-Old's Theory
170(6)
The Eighteen-Month-Old's Theory
176(3)
Other Evidence for the Theory Theory
179(2)
Semantic Development: The Naming Spurt
181(2)
Later Developments
183(1)
Conclusion
184(3)
III Theories and Language 187(38)
Language and Thought
189(22)
Prerequisites
189(2)
Interactions
191(2)
A Theory-Theory View
193(2)
Methodological Issues: Specificity and Correlation
195(3)
Developmental Relations between Language and Cognition
198(3)
Theories and Constraints
201(3)
Crosslinguistic Studies
204(3)
Individual-Difference Studies
207(1)
Conclusion
208(3)
The Darwinian Conclusion
211(14)
Who's Afraid of Semantic Holism?
211(5)
A Developmental Cognitive Science
216(2)
Computational and Neurological Mechanisms
218(2)
After Piaget
220(2)
Sailing in Neurath's Boat
222(3)
Notes 225(4)
References 229(22)
Index 251

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