Words, Thoughts, and Theories by Alison Gopnik
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Words, Thoughts, and Theories
By Alison Gopnik

Words, Thoughts, and Theories

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Words, Thoughts, and Theories by Alison Gopnik

Book Description

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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780262571265
ISBN-10: 0262571269
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Pages: 350
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 2-Oct-1998
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Alison Gopnik

Gardener and the Carpenter by Alison Gopnik Gardener and the Carpenter, Hardback (August 2016)

Caring deeply about our children is part of what makes us human. Drawing on the study of human evolution and her own scientific research into how children learn, the author shows that although caring for children is profoundly important, it is not a matter of shaping them to turn out a particular way.

Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik Philosophical Baby, Paperback (August 2009)

Explains psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in our understanding of very young children, transforming our understanding of how babies see the world, and in turn promoting a deeper appreciation for the role of parents.

Causal Learning by Alison Gopnik Causal Learning, Hardback (April 2007)

Causal Learning provides a compendium of research determining how, in principle, the problem of causal inference and learning can be solved, and a wealth of methods for determining how it is, in fact, solved by children, adults, and animals.

Scientist in the Crib by Alison Gopnik Scientist in the Crib, Paperback (February 2007)

Blending two worlds--science and children--this informative book by a team of pioneering researchers offers new and exciting findings from the field of developmental science about the innate knowledge of babies and the powerful bond between parents and their children that naturally fosters learning.

» View all books by Alison Gopnik

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