Language Acquisition and the Theory Theory

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):447-474 (2007)
Abstract
In this paper my concern is to evaluate a particular answer to the question of how we acquire mastery of the syntax of our first language. According to this answer children learn syntax by means of scientific investigation. Alison Gopnik has recently championed this idea as an extension of what she calls the ‘theory theory’, a well established approach to cognitive development in developntental psychology. I will argue against this extension of the theory theory. The general thrust of my objection is that at the point at which children are acquiring knowledge of syntax they are not in a position to engage in far-reaching scientific investigation. Or, if they are, there are no mechanisms in place to ensure that their scientific investigations will generate a common body of knowledge so making linguistic convergence a mystery. That this is so is a product of two salient features of scientific confirmation. I will conclude that my objections to the theory theory put pressure on learning theories in general
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Stuart S. Glennan (2005). The Modeler in the Crib. Philosophical Explorations 8 (3):217-227.
    Christopher Gauker (2005). On the Evidence for Prelinguistic Concepts. Theoria-Revista De Teoria Historia y Fundamentos De La Ciencia 20 (3):287-297.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2011-01-09

    Total downloads

    3 ( #223,982 of 1,088,404 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,404 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.