The baby in the lab-coat: Why child development is not an adequate model for understanding the development of science
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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In P. Carruthers, S. Stich & M. Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press (2002)
Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have recently proposed a bold and intriguing hypothesis about the relationship between scientific cognition and cognitive development in childhood. According to this view, the processes underlying cognitive development in infants and children and the processes underlying scientific cognition are _identical_. We argue that Gopnik’s bold hypothesis is untenable because it, along with much of cognitive science, neglects the many important ways in which human minds are designed to operate within a social environment. This leads to a neglect of _norms_ and the processes of _social_ _transmission_ which have an important effect on scientific cognition and cognition more generally
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