Android epistemology for babies

Synthese 122 (1-2):53-68 (2000)
Abstract
_Words_, _Thoughts and Theories _argues that infants and children discover the physical and psychological features of the world by a process akin to scientific inquiry, more or less as conceived by philosophers of science in the 1960s (the theory theory). This essay discusses some of the philosophical background to an alternative, more popular, “modular” or “maturational” account of development, dismisses an array of philosoph- ical objections to the theory theory, suggests that the theory theory offers an undeveloped project for artificial intelligence, and, relying on recent psychological work on causation, offers suggestions about how principles of causal inference may provide a developmental solution to the “frame problem”.
Keywords Causal  Frame  Inference  Inquiry  Metaphysics  Psychology
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