This chapter examines the extent to which there are continuities between the cognitive processes and epistemic practices engaged in by human hunter-gatherers, on the one hand, and those which are distinctive of science, on the other. It deploys anthropological evidence against any form of 'no-continuity' view, drawing especially on the cognitive skills involved in the art of tracking. It also argues against the 'child-as-scientist' accounts put forward by some developmental psychologists, which imply that scientific thinking is present in early (...) class='Hi'>infancy and universal amongst humans who have sufficient time and resources to devote to it. In contrast, a modularist kind of 'continuity' account is proposed, according to which the innately channelled architecture of human cognition provides all the materials necessary for basic forms of scientific reasoning in older children and adults, needing only the appropriate sorts of external support, social context, and background beliefs and skills in order for science to begin its advance. (shrink)
Developmental and clinical psychological findings on infancy over the past twenty years and more refute in striking ways both Piaget's and Lacan's negative characterizations of infants. Piaget's thesis is that the infant has an undifferentiated sense of self; Lacan's thesis is that the infant is no more than a fragmented piece of goods — a corps morcelé. Through an examination of recent and notable analyses of infancy by infant psychiatrist Daniel Stern, this paper highlights important features within the (...) radically different accounts. In particular, it examines Stern's account of self-agency —a facet of the core self. In doing so, the paper brings to light corporeal matters of fact and shows :how recent developmental-clinical data on infants accord with facets of bodily life described by Husserl. The paper contrasts these corporeal matters of fact and facets of bodily life with Piaget's and Lacan's notion of an infant as incompetent and deficient. On the basis of its empirical-phenomenological findings, the paper underscores the need to recognize the richness of nonverbal life and to give movement and the tactile-kinesthetic body their conceptual due. (shrink)
This paper examines the ways in which Luce Irigaray and Jean-François Lyotard critique western metaphysics by drawing on notions of birth and infancy. It shows how both thinkers position birth as an event of beginning that can be reaffirmed in every act of initiation and recommencement. Irigaray's reading of Diotima's speech from Plato's Symposium is positioned as a key text for this project alongside a number of essays by Lyotard in which he explores the potency of infancy as (...) the condition of philosophy itself. Despite this potency, however, Lyotard suggests that metaphysics is haunted by a melancholia that is inseparable from the limits of thought. I argue that Irigaray is able both to explain why western metaphysics is constitutively melancholic and to offer a shift in perspective that means we are not inevitably condemned to melancholia. The paper concludes that while Lyotard's account of infancy challenges the terms of western metaphysics from within, Irigaray's reassessment of our beginnings in birth offers the possibility of an alternative metaphysical horizon. (shrink)
Four-month-old infants sometimes can perceive the unity of a partly hidden object. In each of a series of experiments, infants were habituated to one object whose top and bottom were visible but whose center was occluded by a nearer object. They were then tested with a fully visible continuous object and with two fully visible object pieces with a gap where the occluder had been. Pattems of dishabituation suggested that infants perceive the boundaries of a partly hidden object by analyzing (...) the movements of its surfaces: infants perceived a connected object when its ends moved in a common translation behind the occluder. Infants do not appear to perceive a connected object by analyzing the colors and forms of surfaces: they did not perceive a connected object when its visible parts were stationary, its color was homogeneous, its edges were aligned, and its shape was simple and regular. These findings do not support the thesis, from gestalt psychology, that object perception first arises as a consequence of a tendency to perceive the simplest, most regular configuration, or the Piagetian thesis that object perception depends on the prior coordination of action. Perception of objects may depend on an inherent conception of what an object is. (shrink)
Poverty of the Stimulus Arguments have convinced many linguists and philosophers of language that a domain specific language acquisition device (LAD) is necessary to account for language learning. Here we review empirical evidence that casts doubt on the necessity of this domain specific device. We suggest that more attention needs to be paid to the early stages of language acquisition. Many seemingly innate language-related abilities have to be learned over the course of several months. Further, the language input contains rich (...) stochastic information that can be accessed by domain-general learning mechanisms. Computer simulation has shown how mechanisms that are not domain specific can exploit the information contained in language. We conclude that (i) Poverty of the Stimulus Arguments need to be conceptually clarified and (ii) more empirical research needs to be carried out before we can rule out that data driven general purpose mechanisms can account for language learning. (shrink)
I make three related proposals concerning the development of receptive communication in human infants. First, I propose that the presence of communicative intentions can be recognized in others' behaviour before the content of these intentions is accessed or inferred. Second, I claim that such recognition can be achieved by decoding specialized ostensive signals. Third, I argue on empirical bases that, by decoding ostensive signals, human infants are capable of recognizing communicative intentions addressed to them. Thus, learning about actual modes of (...) communication benefits from, and is guided by, infants' preparedness to detect infant-directed ostensive communication. (shrink)
Three visual habituation studies using abstract animations tested the claim that infants’ attachment behavior in the Strange Situation procedure corresponds to their expectations about caregiver–infant interactions. Three unique patterns of expectations were revealed. Securely attached infants expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to provide comfort. Insecure-resistant infants not only expected infants to seek comfort from caregivers but also expected caregivers to withhold comfort. Insecure-avoidant infants expected infants to avoid seeking comfort from caregivers and expected caregivers to (...) withhold comfort. These data support Bowlby’s (1958) original claims—that infants form internal working models of attachment that are expressed in infants’ own behavior. (shrink)
We contrast two positions concerning the initial domain of actions that infants interpret as goal-directed. The 'narrow scope' view holds that goal-attribution in 6- and 9-month-olds is restricted to highly familiar actions (such as grasping) (). The cue-based approach of the infant's 'teleological stance' (), however, predicts that if the cues of equifinal variation of action and a salient action effect are present, young infants can attribute goals to a 'wide scope' of entities including unfamiliar human actions and actions of (...) novel objects lacking human features. It is argued that previous failures to show goal-attribution to unfamiliar actions were due to the absence of these cues. We report a modified replication of showing that when a salient action-effect is presented, even young infants can attribute a goal to an unfamiliar manual action. This study together with other recent experiments reviewed support the 'wide scope' approach indicating that if the cues of goal-directedness are present even 6-month-olds attribute goals to unfamiliar actions. (shrink)
Four-month-old infants can perceive bimodally speciiied events. They respond to relationships between the optic and acoustic stimulation that carries information about an object. Infants can do this by detecting the temporal synchrony of an object’s sounds and its optically specified impacts. They are sensitive both to the common tempo and to the simultaneity of such sounds and visible impacts. These findings support the view that intermodal perception depends at least in part on the detection of invariant relationships in patterns of (...) light and sound. (shrink)
Various dichotomies have been proposed to characterize the nature and development of human mindreading capacities, especially in light of recent evidence of mindreading in infants aged 7 to 18 months. This article will examine these suggestions, arguing that none is currently supported by the evidence. Rather, the data support a modular account of the domain-specific component of basic mindreading capacities. This core component is present in infants from a very young age and does not alter fundamentally thereafter. What alters with (...) development are the interactions between core mindreading and other systems, including executive systems, and forms of learning that do not require radical conceptual change. (shrink)
In this article, I examine the literature from three domains of cognitive development in the first years of life — mathematics, categorization and induction — to determine whether infants possess concepts that allow them explicitly to reason and make inferences about the objects and events in the world. To achieve this aim, I use the distinction between procedural and declarative knowledge as a marker for the presence of access consciousness. According to J.M. Mandler, infants' early concepts are represented as accessible (...) declarative knowledge. However, the evidence discussed in this article indicates that infants' early concepts are best depicted as procedural, perceptually-based knowledge that are inaccessible to consciousness. I conclude by speculating about the role of language development on the emergence of consciousness towards the end of the second year of life. (shrink)
The present study investigated whether infants learn the effects of other persons' actions like they do for their own actions, and whether infants transfer observed action-effect relations to their own actions. Nine-, 12-, 15- and 18-month-olds explored an object that allowed two actions, and that produced a certain salient effect after each action. In a self-exploration group, infants explored the object directly, whereas in two observation groups, infants first watched an adult model acting on the object and obtaining a certain (...) effect with each action before exploring the objects by themselves. In one observation group, the infants' actions were followed by the same effects as the model's actions, but in the other group, the action-effect mapping for the infant was reversed to that of the model. The results showed that the observation of the model had an impact on the infants' exploration behavior from 12 months, but not earlier, and that the specific relations between observed actions and effects were acquired by 15 months. Thus, around their first birthday infants learn the effects of other persons' actions by observation, and they transfer the observed action-effect relations to their own actions in the second year of life. (shrink)
Looking is a fundamental exploratory behavior by which infants acquire knowledge about the world. In theories of infant habituation, however, looking as an exploratory behavior has been deemphasized relative to the reliable nature with which looking indexes active cognitive processing. We present a new theory that connects looking to the dynamics of memory formation and formally implement this theory in a Dynamic Neural Field model that learns autonomously as it actively looks and looks away from a stimulus. We situate this (...) model in a habituation task and illustrate the mechanisms by which looking, encoding, working memory formation, and long-term memory formation give rise to habituation across multiple stimulus and task contexts. We also illustrate how the act of looking and the temporal dynamics of learning affect each other. Finally, we test a new hypothesis about the sources of developmental differences in looking. (shrink)
This was originally written and presented at the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College Teachers on Folk Psychology vs. Mental Simulation: How Minds Understand Minds, run by Robert Gordon at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, June-July 1999. It has been only lightly revised since, and should be considered a rough draft. Needless to say, the ideas herein owe a lot to what I learned at the seminar from Robert Gordon and the other participants, particularly Jim (...) Garson. However, any errors are my responsibility alone. (shrink)
Recent work in neuroscience accords with research in attachment and developmental psychology in enabling us to understand both consciousness and the Freudian unconscious in the context of the Bayesian brain.
Infants apparently start to understand their experience via the linked concepts of numerical identity and spatio-temporally continuous objects during the forth month of life. As described by Piaget and Klein, this development requires them to synthesise their experience in a new ways: in particular they must start to acknowledge that the main target of their anger at frustration and the main target of their gratitude and love are the same person, who is unique and irreplaceable. This seems to have an (...) immediate consequence in the onset of separation distress and stranger anxiety, and apparently has far-reaching psychological consequences later. (shrink)
This paper constitutes a critical exploration of the functional features underpinning the unconscious of institutional attachment—namely an attachment which is understood in terms of the subject-infant’s love for his institutional parent-power holder, and the indefinite need for a subject to remain within its infantile condition under the parenthood of the State. We venture beyond the Paternal metaphor and move towards the neglected metaphor of the Mother, so focal in the individual process of identification, assumption of language and the permanent attachment (...) to the space of prohibition and Law. A new position in Language is defined. To understand how the psychic space of the infant is artfully subjugated in the making of the Western culture and domination of the Western system of legal interpretation, an enquiry into the legal emblematic history of representations is necessary to map the process through which the subject learns its legal self and relationship with otherness through what Pierre Legendre coined as the Occidental Mirror and the triangular logic of reflexivity. A final enquiry interrogates the way the legal institution places itself in the position of the specular image that captivates the subject-infant within a procreated legal order, a law-giving and law abiding life starting from the laws of the familial structure reinforced by the role of the parents and by analogy, by the State assuming that role in the institutional life of the ad infinitum infant. (shrink)
Obiettivo di questo intervento è indagare due soglie della soggettività: l’infanzia e l’animalità. Bambini e animali condividono il loro essere “assoggettati”: mentre l’adulto è soggetto tout court , il bambino lo deve ancora diventare e l’animale è trattato come polo opposto alla soggettività (oppure, ma non è molto diverso, come soggetto surrogato). Il punto di partenza è la domanda “che cosa è un bambino?”; apertamente socratica, questa domanda serve a incrinare i sedimenti di sapere depositatisi sul senso comune circa la (...) “vera natura” del soggetto. (shrink)
The metaphysics of relations (unlike their logic) is still in its infancy. We use the idea of truthmaking to gain purchase on this metaphysics. Assuming a modest supervenience conception of truthmaking, where true relational predications require multiply dependent truthmakers, these are indispensable relations (relational tropes). Though some such relations are required, none are needed for internal relatedness, nor for several other kinds of relational predication. Discerning the metaphysically basic kinds of relations is fraught with uncertainties, but must be tackled (...) if progress is to be made. (shrink)
The problem of other minds has a distinguished philosophical history stretching back more than two hundred years. Taken at face value, it is an epistemological question: it concerns how we can have knowledge of, or at least justified belief in, the existence of minds other than our own. In recent decades, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and primatologists have debated a related question: how we actually go about attributing mental states to others (regardless of whether we ever achieve knowledge or rational (...) justification in this domain). Until the mid-nineties, the latter debate – which sometimes goes under the name of the “mindreading” debate – was characterized by a fairly clear-cut opposition between two theoretical outlooks: “theory-theory” (TT) and “simulation theory” (ST). Theory-theorists typically argued that we attribute mental states to others on the basis of a “theory of mind” that is either constructed in early infancy and subsequently revised and modified (Gopnik 1996), or else is the result of maturation of innate mindreading “modules” (Baron-Cohen 1995). Simulation theorists, on the other hand, held that it is by creating simulated “pretend states” in ourselves that we understand the mental states of others (Goldman 1995; Gordon 1995). Recently, a number of theorists have suggested another explanation of our understanding of others as having mental states – an explanation that, at least prima facie, seems very different from the TT and ST paradigms. Drawing on the approach to other minds defended by classical phenomenologists such as Max Scheler (1954: 238-64) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty (2002: 214-16, 403-25), recent participants in the mindreading debate have maintained that we often see, or perceive in some other modality, that another is in the grip of a particular emotion, say. In other words, the processes involved in our detection of others’ emotions and other mental states are often perceptual processes that are not supplemented by any extra-perceptual cognitive mechanisms (e.g., inferential processes, conscious simulation routines, or the like).. (shrink)
The problem of other minds has a distinguished philosophical history stretching back more than two hundred years. Taken at face value, it is an epistemological question: it concerns how we can have knowledge of, or at least justified belief in, the existence of minds other than our own. In recent decades, philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, anthropologists and primatologists have debated a related question: how we actually go about attributing mental states to others (regardless of whether we ever achieve knowledge or rational (...) justification in this domain). Until the mid-nineties, the latter debate – which sometimes goes under the name of the “mindreading” debate – was characterized by a fairly clear-cut opposition between two theoretical outlooks: “theory-theory” (TT) and “simulation theory” (ST). Theory-theorists typically argued that we attribute mental states to others on the basis of a “theory of mind” that is either constructed in early infancy and subsequently revised and modified (Gopnik 1996), or else is the result of maturation of innate mindreading “modules” (Baron-Cohen 1995). (shrink)
The issue of meaningful yet unexpressed background-to language and to our experiences of the body-is one whose exploration is still in its infancy. There are various aspects of ''invisible,'' implicit, or background experiences which have been investigated from the viewpoints of phenomenology, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. I will argue that James's concept of the phenomenon of fringes, as explicated by Gurwitsch, provides a structural framework from which to investigate and better understand ideas and concepts that are indeterminate, particularly those (...) experienced in the sense of being sought-after. Johnson's conception of the image-schematic gestalt (ISG) provides an approach to bridging the descriptive gap between phenomenology and cognitive psychology. Starting from an analysis of the fringes, I will turn to a consideration of the tip-of-tongue (TOT) state, as a kind of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) state, from a variety of approaches, focusing mainly on cognitive psychology and phenomenology. I will then integrate a phenomenological analysis of these experiences, from the James/Gurwitsch structural viewpoint, with a cognitive/phenomenological analysis in terms of ISGs, and further integrate that with a cognitive/functional analysis of the relation between consciousness and retrieval, employing Anderson et al's theory of inhibitory mechanisms in cognition. This synthesis of these viewpoints will be employed to explore the thesis that the TOT state and similar experiences may relate to the gestalt nature of schemas, and that figure/ground and other contrast-enhancing structures may be both explanatory and descriptive characterizations of the field of consciousness. (shrink)
In this paper I defend interaction theory (IT) as an alternative to both theory theory (TT) and simulation theory (ST). IT opposes the basic suppositions that both TT and ST depend upon. I argue that the various capacities for primary and secondary intersubjectivity found in infancy and early childhood should not be thought of as precursors to later developing capacities for using folk psychology or simulation routines. They are not replaced or displaced by such capacities in adulthood, but rather (...) continue to operate as our ordinary and everyday basis for social cognition. I also argue that enactive perception rather than implicit simulation is the best model for explaining these capacities. (shrink)
Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic marks the initial appearance of the multi-volume Handbook of the History of Logic. Additional volumes will be published when ready, rather than in strict chronological order. Soon to appear are The Rise of Modern Logic: From Leibniz to Frege. Also in preparation are Logic From Russell to Gödel, The Emergence of Classical Logic, Logic and the Modalities in the Twentieth Century, and The Many-Valued and Non-Monotonic Turn in Logic. Further volumes will follow, including Mediaeval and (...) Renaissance Logic and Logic: A History of its Central. In designing the Handbook of the History of Logic, the Editors have taken the view that the history of logic holds more than an antiquarian interest, and that a knowledge of logic's rich and sophisticated development is, in various respects, relevant to the research programmes of the present day. Ancient logic is no exception. The present volume attests to the distant origins of some of modern logic's most important features, such as can be found in the claim by the authors of the chapter on Aristotle's early logic that, from its infancy, the theory of the syllogism is an example of an intuitionistic, non-monotonic, relevantly paraconsistent logic. Similarly, in addition to its comparative earliness, what is striking about the best of the Megarian and Stoic traditions is their sophistication and originality. Logic is an indispensably important pivot of the Western intellectual tradition. But, as the chapters on Indian and Arabic logic make clear, logic's parentage extends more widely than any direct line from the Greek city states. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that for centuries logic has been an unfetteredly international enterprise, whose research programmes reach to every corner of the learned world. Like its companion volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic is the result of a design that gives to its distinguished authors as much space as would be needed to produce highly authoritative chapters, rich in detail and interpretative reach. The aim of the Editors is to have placed before the relevant intellectual communities a research tool of indispensable value. Together with the other volumes, Greek, Indian and Arabic Logic, will be essential reading for everyone with a curiosity about logic's long development, especially researchers, graduate and senior undergraduate students in logic in all its forms, argumentation theory, AI and computer science, cognitive psychology and neuroscience, linguistics, forensics, philosophy and the history of philosophy, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
First published in 1995, The Visual Brain in Action remains a seminal publication in the cognitive sciences. It presents a model for understanding the visual processing underlying perception and action, proposing a broad distinction within the brain between two kinds of vision: conscious perception and unconscious 'online' vision. It argues that each kind of vision can occur quasi-independently of the other, and is separately handled by a quite different processing system. In the 11 years since publication, the book has provoked (...) considerable interest and debate - throughout both cognitive neuroscience and philosophy, while the field has continued to flourish and develop. -/- For this new edition, the text from the original edition has been left untouched, standing as a coherent statement of the authors' position. However, a very substantial epilogue has been added to the book in which Milner and Goodale review some of the key developments that support or challenge the views that were put forward in the first edition. The new chapter summarizes developments in various relevant areas of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour. It notably supplements the main text by updating the reader on the contributions that have emerged from the use of functional neuroimaging, which was in its infancy when the first edition was written. Neuroimaging, and functional MRI in particular, has revolutionized the field over the past 11 years by allowing investigators to plot in detail the patterns of activity within the visual brains of behaving and perceiving humans. The authors show how its use now allows scientists to test and confirm their proposals, based as they then were largely on evidence accrued from primate neuroscience in conjunction with studies of neurological patients. (shrink)
Competition obscures the realities and significance of play, in particular, the bodily play originating in infancy and typical of young children. A multidisciplinary perspective on child's play elucidates the nature of child's play and validates the distinction between competition and play. The article begins with a consideration of ethological research on play in young human and nonhuman animals, proceeds to a consideration of psychological research on laughter as a primary kinetic marker of play, and ends with a philosophical examination (...) of the foundational moral significances of child's play. (shrink)
The overall goal of this target article is to demonstrate a mechanism for an embodied cognition. The particular vehicle is a much-studied, but still widely debated phenomenon seen in 7–12 month-old-infants. In Piaget's classic “A-not-B error,” infants who have successfully uncovered a toy at location “A” continue to reach to that location even after they watch the toy hidden in a nearby location “B.” Here, we question the traditional explanations of the error as an indicator of infants' concepts of objects (...) or other static mental structures. Instead, we demonstrate that the A-not-B error and its previously puzzling contextual variations can be understood by the coupled dynamics of the ordinary processes of goal-directed actions: looking, planning, reaching, and remembering. We offer a formal dynamic theory and model based on cognitive embodiment that both simulates the known A-not-B effects and offers novel predictions that match new experimental results. The demonstration supports an embodied view by casting the mental events involved in perception, planning, deciding, and remembering in the same analogic dynamic language as that used to describe bodily movement, so that they may be continuously meshed. We maintain that this mesh is a pre-eminently cognitive act of “knowing” not only in infancy but also in everyday activities throughout the life span. Key Words: cognitive development; dynamical systems theory; embodied cognition; infant development; motor control; motor planning; perception and action. (shrink)
It has long been claimed that Homo sapiens is the only species that has language, but only recently has it been recognized that humans also have an unusual pattern of growth and development. Social mammals have two stages of pre-adult development: infancy and juvenility. Humans have two additional prolonged and pronounced life history stages: childhood, an interval of four years extending between infancy and the juvenile period that follows, and adolescence, a stage of about eight years that stretches (...) from juvenility to adulthood. We begin by reviewing the primary biological and linguistic changes occurring in each of the four pre-adult ontogenetic stages in human life history. Then we attempt to trace the evolution of childhood and juvenility in our hominin ancestors. We propose that several different forms of selection applied in infancy and childhood; and that, in adolescence, elaborated vocal behaviors played a role in courtship and intrasexual competition, enhancing fitness and ultimately integrating performative and pragmatic skills with linguistic knowledge in a broad faculty of language. A theoretical consequence of our proposal is that fossil evidence of the uniquely human stages may be used, with other findings, to date the emergence of language. If important aspects of language cannot appear until sexual maturity, as we propose, then a second consequence is that the development of language requires the whole of modern human ontogeny. Our life history model thus offers new ways of investigating, and thinking about, the evolution, development, and ultimately the nature of human language. (shrink)
Our Own Minds presents an account of the nature and development of self-consciousness. Bogdan describes the mind of the infant as outward looking, turning in on itself only at a relatively late stage of development. This it does as a response to the increasingly sophisticated sociocultural pressures it faces throughout infancy and early childhood. The book is difficult to follow (about which, more later) but the main line of argument is this: to begin with, infants are attuned to their (...) physical and sociocultural environment, employing an early form of intuitive psychology, a practical capacity to interact with conspecifics, referred to by Bogdan as 'naïve psychology' (129). However, infants are faced with a series of sociocultural tasks (109-12), the implementation of which requires them to develop various executive capacities (105-9) which 'install' a form of self-consciousness, dubbed by Bogdan 'extrovert self-consciousness' (99-100). The increasingly demanding nature of these sociocultural tasks has the consequence that, around the age of 4, intuitive psychology undergoes a shift, becoming 'commonsense psychology' (129-30). This enables children to represent others' propositional attitudes and to think 'offline' (129-30). These new abilities and associated executive capacities, in their turn, 'install' a new form of self-consciousness, 'introvert self-consciousness' (159). Whilst the child's intuitive psychology and self-consciousness continue to develop until adolescence (33), this is where the book's central argument ends. (shrink)
The issue of meaningful yet unexpressed background - to language, to our experiences of the body - is one whose exploration is still in its infancy. There are various aspects of "invisible," implicit, or background experiences which have been investigated from the viewpoints of phenomenology, cognitive psychology, and linguistics. I will claim that James, as explicated by Gurwitsch and others, has analyzed the phenomenon of fringes in such a way as to provide a structural framework from which to investigate (...) and better understand those ideas or concepts that are unexpressed, particularly those experienced in the sense of being sought-after. I will consider Johnsons conception of the image-schematic gestalt (ISG) as a way of bridging the descriptive gap between phenomenology and cognitive psychology. Starting from an analysis of the fringes, I will turn to a consideration of the of tip-of-tongue (TOT) state, as a kind of feeling-of-knowing (FOK) state, from a variety of approaches, focusing mainly on cognitive psychology and phenomenology. I will then integrate a phenomenological analysis of these experiences, from the James/Gurwitsch structural viewpoint, with a cognitive/phenomenological analysis in terms of ISGs; and further integrate that with a cognitive/functional analysis of consciousness. I will employ this synthesis of three viewpoints to explore the thesis that the TOT state and similar experiences may relate to the gestalt nature of schemas as well as to particular cues, and may thus be experienced as an aspect of the continuum to the general background to all our conscious experiences. (shrink)
Our objectives in this article are to bring some theoretical order into developmental sequences and simultaneities in children’s ability to appreciate multiple labels for single objects, to reason with identity statements, to reason hypothetically, counterfactually, and with beliefs and desires, and to explain why an ‘implicit’ understanding of belief occurs before an ‘explicit’ understanding. The central idea behind our explanation is the emerging grasp of how objects of thought and desire relate to real objects and to each other. To capture (...) this idea we make use of the notion of discourse referents, as did Perner and Brandl (2005), to explain the developmental link between understanding beliefs and alternative naming. We present confirming evidence of the prediction from this analysis that children should have comparable problems with understanding identity statements. We explain the precociously correct answers in ‘implicit’ false belief tests based on indirect measures in the following way: From infancy children are able to keep track of other people’s experiences, to reason about counterfactual circumstances, and to reason about goal-directed (rational) action depending on given circumstances. Indirect tasks reduce the bias to use actual circumstances for reasoning about goal directed action compared to the traditional task, which leads to more correct answers. An emerging metarepresentational understanding helps overcome these biases and enables not only correct action prediction but also the explanation of erroneous actions. The common metarepresentational element explains why false belief tasks and the alternative naming task are mastered at the same time as children understand identity statements. (shrink)
I examine the role of mutual gaze in social cognition. I start by discussing recent studies of joint visual attention in order to show that social cognition is operative in infancy prior to the emergence of theoretical skills required to make judgments about other people's states of mind. Such social cognition depends on the communicative potential inherent in human bodies. I proceed to examine this embodied social cognition in the context of Merleau-Ponty's views on vision. I expose some inner (...) difficulties within Merleau-Ponty's position as well as to point out the ways of resolving them by means of combined insights from developmental psychology and the analyses of self-other relations from philosophies of dialogue. (shrink)
Experimental research on folk intuitions concerning free will is still in its infancy. So it is especially helpful to have such an excellent set of commentaries, and I greatly appreciate the work of the commentators in advancing the project. Because of space limitations, I can’t respond to all of the comments. I will focus on just a few issues that emerge from the comments that I think are especially promising for illumination.
Embodied approaches to mindreading have tended to define themselves in contrast to cognitive approaches to social mindreading. One side effect of this has been a lack of engagement with key areas in the study of social cognition—in particular the topic of how we gain an understanding of the referential nature of others’ thoughts, and how that understanding develops from infancy. I argue that embodied accounts of mindreading are well equipped to enter into this debate, by making use of the (...) notion of a joint mental state, but that doing so will require taking a less antagonistic attitude towards mainstream cognitive approach. (shrink)
Until the 1970s, models of early infancy tended to depict the young child as internally preoccupied and incapable of processing visual-tactile data from the external world. Meltzoff and Moore's groundbreaking studies of neonatal imitation disprove this characterization of early life: They suggest that the infant is cognizant of its external environment and is able to control its own body. Taking up these experiments, theorists argue that neonatal imitation provides an empirical justification for the existence of an innate ability to (...) engage in social communication. Since later imitation is taken as a benchmark for self- and other-awareness, theorists claim that a proto- or primitive self must exist in the infant. This paper takes up the issue of whether or not neonatal imitation does provide us with a ground to argue against developmental accounts that consider self-awareness to be a later acquisition. I argue that the enthusiasm over neonatal imitation is premature. Psychological studies that claim to prove neonatal imitation do not provide sufficient grounds for dismissing alternate philosophical and psychological theories about the self as being a post-birth "event" rather than an intrinsic condition. Therefore, I argue that there is no compelling reason to suppose that we come to the world with a primitive sense of self- or other-awareness. (shrink)
I engage phenomenological and empirical perspectives on dialogical relations in infancy in a mutually enlightening and challenging relation. On the one hand, the empirical contributions provide evidence for the primacy of first-to-second person interrelatedness in human sociality, as opposed to the claim of primary syncretism heralded by Merleau-Ponty, and also in distinction from the ego-alter ego model routinely used in phenomenology. On the other hand, phenomenological considerations regarding the lived affective experience of dialogical relatedness enrich and render intelligible the (...) psychological accounts of dialogue in terms of observable behavior. Phenomenological and empirical perspectives on dialogical relatedness thus combine to offer an affectively charged and conversationally patterned notion of primary intersubjectivity in the I-you mode. (shrink)
Ontogeny, specifically the role of language in the human family now and in prehistory, is central to Locke & Bogin's (L&B's) thesis in a compelling way. The unique life-history stages of childhood and adolescence, however, must be interpreted not only against an exceptionally “high quality” human infancy but also in light of the evolution of co-constructed, emotionally based communication in ape, hominid, and human infancy.
In this article, I review recent findings in cognitive neuroscience in learning, particularly in the learning of mathematics and of reading. I argue that while cognitive neuroscience is in its infancy as a field, theories of learning will need to incorporate and account for this growing body of empirical data.
In this paper I answer some concerns of the commentators on my article 'On the birth and growth of concepts'. I explain that my theory of concept formation in infancy emphasizes spatial information over bodily information but still allows the body to influence conceptual thought. I suggest that bodily feelings may be represented differently from spatial information. I do not claim that spatial image-schemas account for all conceptual thought, but I show why they are sufficient for the relatively limited (...) conceptual life of preverbal infants, making an innate propositional language of thought unnecessary. Finally, I discuss why uninterpreted percepts cannot be concepts, and clarify the mechanism of Perceptual Meaning Analysis. (shrink)
Classical phenomenology -- The transcendental tradition -- The logical investigations of the I -- From the I to the ego -- The grammar of the transcendental ego -- Strawson on the primacy of personhood -- Wittgenstein on the lure of words -- The grammar of the transcendental ego -- Zahavi on transcendental subjectivity as intersubjectivity -- Contemporary arguments for the transcendental ego : Marbach, Soffer -- Schutz, Theunissen on social phenomenology -- Husserl's later thought -- The multidiscipline of dialogical phenomenology (...) -- Sociolinguistics -- Personal pronouns : reconsidering the traditional view -- Egocentrism and polycentrism -- Person deixis and polycentrism -- Anscombe -- Wittgenstein -- Personal pronouns : reconsidering the traditional view -- I and we : a relational community -- Benveniste and I : you connectedness -- Objectification in the third person -- Castaneda's phenomeno-logic of the I -- Developmental perspectives -- Piaget's legacy -- Recent research on the sociality of children -- Proto-conversations in infancy -- The dialogic model of Jaffe and Feldstein -- From proto-conversation to conversation -- Perspectives from blindness and autism -- Polycentrism and personal pronoun acquisition: loveland and others -- An egocentric model of personal pronoun acquisition : Charney and others -- Philosophical implications and directions for future research -- Philosophy of dialogue -- Rosenstock-Huessy's grammatical method of social research -- Rosenzweig's speech-thinking -- Buber's I and you -- The primordial duality in Buber, Humboldt, Plato -- Buber and his critics -- Rosenstock-Huessy -- Levinas -- Dialogical phenomenology -- The dialogic dimension of meaning and experience -- The practice of phenomenology -- Implications for politics and feminism. (shrink)
This volume contains an array of essays that reflect, and reflect upon, the recent revival of scholarly interest in the self and consciousness. Various relevant issues are addressed in conceptually challenging ways, such as how consciousness and different forms of self-relevant experience develop in infancy and childhood and are related to the acquisition of skill; the role of the self in social development; the phenomenology of being conscious and its metapsychological implications; and the cultural foundations of conceptualizations of consciousness. (...) Written by notable scholars in several areas of psychology, philosophy, cognitive neuroscience, and anthropology, the essays are of interest to readers from a variety of disciplines concerned with central, substantive questions in contemporary social science, and the humanities. (shrink)
Mature representations of number are built on a core system of numerical representation that connects to spatial representations in the form of a ‘mental number line’. The core number system is functional in early infancy, but little is known about the origins of the mapping of numbers onto space. Here we show that preverbal infants transfer the discrimination of an ordered series of numerosities to the discrimination of an ordered series of line lengths. Moreover, infants construct relationships between individual (...) numbers and line lengths that vary positively, but not between numbers and lengths that vary inversely. These findings provide evidence for an early developing predisposition to relate representations of numerical magnitude and spatial length. A central foundation of mathematics, science and technology therefore emerges prior to experience with language, symbol systems, or measurement devices. (shrink)
A BSTRACT: I argue that theory theory approaches to autism offer a wholly inadequate explanation of autistic symptoms because they offer a wholly inadequate account of the non-autistic understanding of others. As an alternative I outline interaction theory, which incorporates evidence from both developmental and phenomenological studies to show that humans are endowed with important capacities for intersubjective understanding from birth or early infancy. As part of a neurophenomenological analysis of autism, interaction theory offers an account of interpersonal problems (...) that is fully consistent with the variety of social and nonsocial symptoms found in autism. (shrink)
A preference method probed infants` perception of object motion on an inclined plane. Infants viewed videotaped events in which a ball rolled downward (or upward) while speeding up (or slowing down). Then infants were tested with events in which the ball moved in the opposite direction with appropriate or inappropriate acceleration. Infants aged 7 months, but not 5 months, looked longer at the test event with inappropriate acceleration, suggesting emerging sensitivity to gravity. A further study tested whether infants appreciate that (...) a stationary object released on an incline moves downward rather than upward; findings again were positive at 7 months and negative at 5 months. A final study provided evidence, nevertheless, that 5-monthold infants discriminate downward from upward motion and relate downward motion in videotaped events to downward motion in live events. Sensitivity to certain effects of gravity appears to develop in infancy. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the question of whether DNA patents help or hinder scientific discovery and innovation. While DNA patents create a wide variety of possible benefits and harms for science and technology, the evidence we have at this point in time supports the conclusion that they will probably promote rather than hamper scientific discovery and innovation. However, since DNA patenting is a relatively recent phenomena and the biotechnology industry is in its infancy, we should continue to gather evidence (...) about the effects of DNA patenting on scientific innovation and discovery as well the economic, social, and legal conditions relating to intellectual property in biotechnology. We should give the free market, the courts, researchers, and patent offices a chance to settle issues related to innovation and discovery, before we seek legislative remedies, since new laws proposed at this point would lack adequate foresight and could do more harm than good. However, we should be open to new laws or regulations on DNA patents if they are required to in order to deal with some of the biases and limitations of the free market. (shrink)
Adults and infants display a robust ability to perceive the unity of a center-occluded object when the visible ends of the object undergo common motion (e.g. Kellman, P.J., Spelke, E.S., 1983. Perception of partly occluded objects in infancy. Cognitive Psychology 15, 483±524). Ecologically oriented accounts of this ability focus on the primacy of motion in the perception of segregated objects, but Gestalt theory suggests a broader possibility: observers may perceive object unity by detecting patterns of synchronous change, of which (...) common motion is a special case. We investigated this possibility with observations of adults and 4-month-old infants. Participants viewed a center-occluded object whose visible surfaces were either misaligned or aligned, stationary or moving, and unchanging or synchronously changing in color or bright- ness in various temporal patterns (e.g. ¯ashing). Both alignment and common motion con- tributed to adults' perception of object unity, but synchronous color changes did not. For infants, motion was an important determinant of object unity, but other synchronous changes and edge alignment were not. When a stationary object with aligned edges underwent syn- chronous changes in color or brightness, infants showed high levels of attention to the object, but their perception of its unity appeared to be indeterminate. An inherent preference for fast over slow ¯ash rates, and a novelty preference elicited by a change in rate, both indicated that infants detected the synchronous changes, although they failed to use them as information for object unity. These ®ndings favor ecologically oriented accounts of object perception in which surface motion plays a privileged role. Ó 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Lewis describes the developmental core of dynamic systems theory. I offer recent data from developmental neuroscience on the sequential experience-dependent maturation of components of the limbic system over the stages of infancy. Increasing interconnectivity within the vertically integrated limbic system allows for more complex appraisals of emotional value. The earliest organization of limbic structures has an enduring impact on all later emotional processing.
The study of mental illness by the methods of molecular genetics is still in its infancy, but the use of genetic markers in psychiatry may potentially lead to a Virchowian revolution in the conception of mental illness. Genetic markers may define novel clusters of patients having diverse clinical presentations but sharing a common genetic and mechanistic basis. Such clusters may differ radically from the conventional classification schemes of psychiatric illness. However, the reduction of even relatively simple Mendelian phenomena to (...) molecular genetics has been shown to be a surprisingly complex and problematic enterprise. Mental illnesses exist at many levels of including social, environmental, and developmental interactions. Reductionistic shifts in the classification of such a disease entity will have to address the interlevel dynamics that take place within the structure of theories of mental illness. The question of how molecular analysis of psychiatric disease will impact on the structure of existing theories and classification systems is the central topic of this paper. Keywords: disease, philosophy of biology, psychiatry, reductionism CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
During the seventeenth century Francisco Suárez was considered one of the greatest philosophers of the age. He was the last great Scholastic thinker and profoundly influenced the thought of his contemporaries within both Catholic and Protestant circles. Suárez contributed to all fields of philosophy, from natural law, ethics, and political theory to natural philosophy, the philosophy of mind, and philosophical psychology, and--most importantly--to metaphysics, and natural theology. Echoes of his thinking reverberate through the philosophy of Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, and beyond. (...) Yet curiously Suárez has not been studied in detail by historians of philosophy. It is only recently that he has emerged as a significant subject of critical and historical investigation for historians of late medieval and early modern philosophy. Only in recent years have small sections of Suárez's magnum opus, the Metaphysical Disputations, been translated into English, French, and Italian. The historical task of interpreting Suárez's thought is still in its infancy. The Philosophy of Francisco Suárez is one of the first collections in English written by the leading scholars who are largely responsible for this new trend in the history of philosophy. It covers all areas of Suárez's philosophical contributions, and contains cutting-edge research which will shape and frame scholarship on Suárez for years to come--as well as the history of seventeenth-century generally. This is an essential text for anyone interested in Suárez, the seventeenth-century world of ideas, and late Scholastic or early modern philosophy. (shrink)
In this response, we start from first principles, building up our theory to show more precisely what assumptions we do and do not make about the representational nature of implicit and explicit knowledge (in contrast to the target article, where we started our exposition with a description of a fully fledged representational theory of knowledge (RTK). Along the way, we indicate how our analysis does not rely on linguistic representations but it implies that implicit knowledge is causally efficacious; we discuss (...) the relationship between property structure implicitness and conceptual and nonconceptual content; then we consider the factual, fictional, and functional uses of representations and how we go from there to consciousness. Having shown how the basic theory deals with foundational criticisms, we indicate how the theory can elucidate issues that commentators raised in the particular application areas of explicitation, voluntary control, visual perception, memory, development (with discussion on infancy, theory of mind [TOM] and executive control, gestures), and finally models of learning. (shrink)
Developmental research suggests that some of the mechanisms that underlie numerical cognition are present and functional in human infancy. To investigate these mechanisms and their developmental course, psychologists have turned to behavioral and electrophysiological methods using briefly presented displays. These methods, however, depend on the assumption that young infants can extract numerical information rapidly. Here we test this assumption and begin to investigate the speed of numerical processing in five-month-old infants. Infants successfully discriminated between arrays of 4 vs. 8 (...) dots on the basis of number when a new array appeared every 2 s, but not when a new array appeared every 1.0 or 1.5 s. These results suggest alternative interpretations of past findings, provide constraints on the design of future experiments, and introduce a new method for probing infants’ enumeration process. Further experiments using this method provide initial evidence that infants’ enumeration mechanism operates in parallel and yields increasingly accurate numerical representations over time, as does the enumeration mechanism used by adults in symbolic and non-symbolic tasks. q 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Cross-domain representations provide the foundation for language and are not its unique product. Modularity of a limited kind is confined to early infancy in humans and is succeeded by domain-general thinking and speaking. Representational language becomes accessible to the cognitive system during the preschool years as a supplement to experientially based conceptual processing, resulting in a dual-process system.
Aggression, violence, and cruelty are symptoms of psychiatric illness. They reflect abnormalities in the regulation of the stress and emotion circuitries. The functioning of these circuitries depends upon the interaction between genetics and environment. Abuse and neglect during infancy, as well as maternal stress and poor quality of maternal care, are some of the causes that produce these types of abnormal behavior. Research on the neurobiological bases of emotion regulation will allow the detection of the population at risk.
Even in infancy, concept formation has to do with creating meaning, not with tracking substances. Preverbal infants can identify a substance such as a dog, but their first concept of this substance is not dog but animal. It is difficult to account for such global concepts by the perceptual processes involved in object identification, yet these concepts are the foundation on which later concepts are built.
Perhaps in addition to language being a potential medium of domain-general thought, as suggested by Carruthers, language may also play another role in conceptual development: Words are “essence placeholders.” Evidence is presented from studies on categorization, object individuation, and inductive inference in infancy. The assumption that words are essence placeholders may be a mechanism by which infants acquire kind concepts.
Cultural evolutionary theory, like other evolutionary theories, links individual-level and population or society-level phenomena. It provides numerous bridges between social psychology and other disciplines and sub-disciplines. The theory uses mathematical models to understand the population-level consequences of the individual-level processes of individual and social learning. The theory has been used to explain group-level behavior such as cooperation, altruism, and the cross-cultural variation associated with social institutions. The empirical study of social psychological assumptions of such models and experimental tests of cultural-evolutionary (...) hypotheses are in their infancy. (shrink)
The target article by Locke & Bogin (L&B) focuses on the evolution of language as a communicative tool. They neglect, however, that from infancy onwards humans have the ability to go beyond successful behaviour and to reflect upon language (and other domains of knowledge) as a problem space in its own right. This ability is not found in other species and may well be what makes humans unique.
situation in the sciences of man and show it to be fallacious. On the view to be 6 rejected, the sciences of man are undergoing the ﬁrst serious attempt in history to 7 thoroughly naturalize their subject matter and thus to put an end to their separate sta- 8 tus. Progress has (on this view) been quite considerable in the disciplines in charge 9 of the individual, while in the social sciences the outcome of the process is moot: 10 the (...) naturalistic social sciences are still in their infancy, and whether they will even- 11 tually engulf or at least profoundly transform the ﬁeld of social science is unclear. 12 The dichotomous conception pits two camps against one another. On the one hand, 13.. (shrink)
An increasing number of parents are electing to use daycare to assist them with their parenting from infancy onward. Strikingly, there is scant discussion of whether or not such a practice is morally permissible. In this paper, I shall discuss three different arguments that I believe are implicitly thought to support the use of daycare. I shall argue that the current widespread use of daycare, particularly with respect to infant children, often involves arbitrarily subjugating the needs of children in (...) favor of the desires of parents, and thus is often morally wrong. Finally, I consider a possible fourth argument; one that I believe stands a better chance of justifying the use of daycare, though in the final analysis I argue that it also fails to justify the current widespread use of daycare. (shrink)
Why Agamben? -- Key ideas -- Language and the negativity of being -- Infancy and archaeological method -- Potentiality and the task of the coming philosophy -- Politics : bare life and sovereign power -- The homeland of gesture : art and cinema -- The laboratory of literature -- Bearing witness and messianic time -- After Agamben.
We argue that lateralities are not merely a result of phylogenetic processes but reflect probability functions that are influenced by task characteristics and extended practice. We support our argument by empirical findings on lateral biases in early infancy in general, and footedness in particular, and on hand preferences in nonhuman primates.
Interactional expertise is said to be a form of knowledge achieved in a linguistic community and, therefore, obtained entirely outside practice. Supposedly, it is not or only minimally sustained by the so-called embodied knowledge. Here, drawing upon studies in contemporary neuroscience and cognitive psychology, I propose that ‘derived’ embodiment is deeply involved in competent language use and, therefore, also in interactional expertise. My argument consists of two parts. First, I argue for a strong relationship among language acquisition, language use and (...) the real world (i.e. the world accessible to the senses). Biological constraints in very early childhood anchor language to the body. These constraints are by-products of our evolutionary peculiarity that we gain because of our physical and psychological immaturity at birth. Thus, infancy is predominantly concerned with the bodily needs and experiences of the concrete while language acquisition takes place. Particular interest in the concrete furnishes our linguistic world and installs ‘concrete’ language as the principal constituent of competent language use. Second, I argue that well-established concrete language implicitly and explicitly elicits mental representations, namely partial reactivations of sensorimotor states that occur during experience. These are stepping stones by which we subsequently make sense of expressions in new linguistic areas. Like any competent language user, the interactional expert, therefore, prompts multimodal imagination and re-enacts concrete experiences when acquiring linguistic knowledge pertaining to a specialist field. Finally, I outline the characteristics of those imaginative powers to identify mechanisms that improve interactional expertise and discuss the obvious relation between interactional expertise and ordinary knowledge acquisition after the concrete language stage. (shrink)
This paper proposes that human expression of pain in the presence or absence of caregivers, and the detection of pain by observers, arises from evolved propensities. The function of pain is to demand attention and prioritise escape, recovery, and healing; where others can help achieve these goals, effective communication of pain is required. Evidence is reviewed of a distinct and specific facial expression of pain from infancy to old age, consistent across stimuli, and recognizable as pain by observers. Voluntary (...) control over amplitude is incomplete, and observers can better detect pain that the individual attempts to suppress rather than amplify or simulate. In many clinical and experimental settings, the facial expression of pain is incorporated with verbal and nonverbal vocal activity, posture, and movement in an overall category of pain behaviour. This is assumed by clinicians to be under operant control of social contingencies such as sympathy, caregiving, and practical help; thus, strong facial expression is presumed to constitute an attempt to manipulate these contingencies by amplification of the normal expression. Operant formulations support skepticism about the presence or extent of pain, judgments of malingering, and sometimes the withholding of caregiving and help. To the extent that pain expression is influenced by environmental contingencies, however, “amplification” could equally plausibly constitute the release of suppression according to evolved contingent propensities that guide behaviour. Pain has been largely neglected in the evolutionary literature and the literature on expression of emotion, but an evolutionary account can generate improved assessment of pain and reactions to it. Key Words: adaptation; evolutionary psychology; facial expression; pain. (shrink)
We explore three types of criticisms of our theory on the development of children's social understanding. We reject suggestions that we offer nothing new to traditional theories of development or recent “social” accounts of “theory of mind.” Second, we take the point that there are grounds for improving our account of dyadic interaction in infancy but reject claims that we have not sufficiently accounted for how we incorporate the notions of criteria and structure into the theory. Third, we accept (...) that the epistemic triangle, as defined, would benefit from an affective dimension and such a formulation could be used to describe the dynamic of developmental change from infancy to beyond early childhood. We still feel that the combination of Wittgenstein, Vygotsky, and Piaget remains as an antidote to the flaws in current “theories of mind” approaches to social understanding. (shrink)
The crying curve across early infancy may reflect the developing interaction between circadian and homeostatic processes of sleep-wake regulation. Excessive crying may be interpreted as a misalignment of the two processes. On the basis of the proposed mechanism, excessive crying may be an honest signal of need, namely, to elicit parental resources to modulate the behavioral state.
Developmental psychologists have long recognized the extraordinary influence of action on learning (Held & Hein, 1963; Piaget, 1952). Action experiences begin to shape our perception of the world during infancy (e.g., as infants gain an understanding of others’ goal-directed actions; Woodward, 2009) and these effects persist into adulthood (e.g., as adults learn about complex concepts in the physical sciences; Kontra, Lyons, Fischer, & Beilock, 2012). Theories of embodied cognition provide a structure within which we can investigate the mechanisms underlying (...) action’s impact on thinking and reasoning. We argue that theories of embodiment can shed light on the role of action experience in early learning contexts, and further that these theories hold promise for using action to scaffold learning in more formal educational settings later in development. (shrink)
Like many disciplines, the study of political philosophy has, to a large extent, been the study of modern western political philosophy, particularly liberalism, utilitarianism, and socialism. As a consequence, the study of comparative political philosophy is still in its infancy. The contributors to this volume move beyond this Eurocentric bias to facilitate and exchange perspectives originating in European, Chinese, Indian, and Islamic communities. They document the responses to the perilous transition from "tradition" to "modernity" and address the commonality of (...) human distress which characterizes such momentous transition. With respect to the central theme of transition, Comparative Political Philosophy is unusual in its coverage of so many eminent political philosophers--Aristotle, Plato, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, Voltaire, Hegel, Marx, Confucius, Mao Zedong, Kautilya, Gandhi, Farabi, and Khomeini. The book will be of interest to those interested in political theory, intellectual history, philosophy, as well as the general disciplines of political science, history, and area studies. "The book should appeal to readers across the disciplinary boundaries.". (shrink)
The uniqueness of human cognition and language has long been linked to systematic changes in developmental timing. Selection for postnatal skeletal ossification resulted in progressive prolongation of universal patterns of primate growth, lengthening infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Language emerged as communication increased in complexity within and between communities rather than from selection for some unique features of childhood or adolescence, or both.
Carpendale & Lewis (C&L) propose that social knowledge is constructed from triadic interactions. This account generates testable predictions concerning social knowledge in infancy. Current evidence is not entirely consistent with these predictions. Infants possess action knowledge before they engage in triadic interactions, and triadic use of an action does not always precede knowledge about the action.
Global short-term medical volunteerism is growing, and properly conducted, is a tool in the fight for greater global health equity. It is intrinsically ethical (i.e., it involves ethics at every step) and depends upon ethical conduct for its success. At present, ethical guidelines remain in their infancy, which presents a unique opportunity. This paper presents a set of basic ethical principles, building on prior work in this area and previously developed guidelines for international clinical research. The content of these (...) principles, and the benchmarks used to evaluate them, remain intentionally vague and can only be filled by collaboration with those on-the-ground in local communities where this work occurs. Ethical review must additionally take into consideration the different obligations arising from the type of institution, type of intervention, and type of relationship involved. This paper argues that frequent and formalized ethical review, conducted from the beginning with the local community (where this community helps define the terms of debate), remains the most important ethical safeguard for this work. (shrink)
Ontogenetic factors constrain the evolution of species-typical traits. Because human infants are born “prematurely” relative to other primates, the development of handedness during infancy can reveal important ontogenetic influences on handedness that may have contributed to the evolution of the human species-typical trait of a population-level right-hand dominance.
Computer simulations show that an unstructured neural-network model [Shultz, T. R., & Bale, A. C. (2001). Infancy, 2, 501–536] covers the essential features␣of infant learning of simple grammars in an artificial language [Marcus, G. F., Vijayan, S., Bandi Rao, S., & Vishton, P. M. (1999). Science, 283, 77–80], and generalizes to examples both outside and inside of the range of training sentences. Knowledge-representation analyses confirm that these networks discover that duplicate words in the sentences are nearly identical and that (...) they use this near-identity relation to distinguish sentences that are consistent or inconsistent with a familiar grammar. Recent simulations that were claimed to show that this model did not really learn these grammars [Vilcu, M., & Hadley, R. F. (2005). Minds and Machines, 15, 359–382] confounded syntactic types with speech sounds and did not perform standard statistical tests of results. (shrink)
Infants were presented with an object that moved into reaching space on a path that was either continuously visible or interrupted by an occluder. Infants’ reaching was reduced sharply when an occluder was present, even though the occluder itself was out of reach and did not serve as a barrier to direct reaching for the object. We account for these findings and for the apparently contrasting findings of experiments using preferential looking methods to assess infants’ object representations, by proposing that (...) (a) object representations increase in precision over the infancy period, and (b) the precision of object representations varies in common ways at all ages as a function of object visibility and task demands. (shrink)
A dynamic systems (DS) approach uncovers important connections between emotion and neurophysiology. It is critical, however, to include a developmental perspective. Strides in the understanding of emotional development, as well as the present use of DS in developmental science, add significantly to the study of emotion. Examples include stranger fear during infancy, intermodal perception of emotion, and development of individual emotional systems.
Soltis' analysis of signal functions of young infants' cries stimulates testable questions regarding abuse, neglect, and infanticide. Nevertheless, his evolutionary perspective oversimplifies the cry event, and does little to promote developmental analysis of crying during infancy. Studies of the cry in its behavioral and developmental context are needed if we are to understand the proximate causes of optimal and suboptimal care.
The debate over how to best guide HIV-infected mothers in resource-poor settings on infant feeding is more than two decades old. Globally, breastfeeding is responsible for approximately 300,000 HIV infections per year, while at the same time, UNICEF estimates that not breastfeeding (formula feeding with contaminated water) is responsible for 1.5 million child deaths per year. The largest burden of these infections and deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using this region as an example of the burden faced more generally in (...) other resource-poor settings, we contrast the evolution of the clinical standard of care for infant feeding with HIV-infected mothers in high-income countries to the current international clinical guidelines for HIV-infected mothers and infant feeding in resource-poor settings. While the international guidelines of exclusive breastfeeding for a 6-month period seem to offer the least-worst strategy for reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV during infancy while conferring some immunity through breastfeeding post-6 months, we argue that the impact of the policy on mothers and healthcare workers on the ground is not well understood. The harm reduction approach on the level of health policy translates into a complicated, painful moral dilemma for HIV-positive mothers and those offering them guidance on infant feeding. We argue that the underlying socio-economic disparities that continue to fuel the need for a harm reduction policy on infant feeding and the harm to women and children justify: (1) that higher priority be given to solving the infant feeding dilemma with improved data on safe feeding alternatives, and (2) support of innovative, community-driven solutions that address the particular economic and cultural challenges that continue to result in HIV-transmission to children within these communities. (shrink)
Much of Halford et al.'s discussion of vector models for representing relations concerns the perceived inadequacies of alternative methods with respect to chunking, binding, systematicity, and resource requirements. Vector-based models for storing relations are in their infancy, however, and the relative merits of different schemes are not so clearly in favor of their STAR scheme as Halford et al. portray.
This commentary focuses on how Dienes & Perner's (D&P's) claims relate to aspects of development. First, I discuss recent research that supports D&P's claim that anticipatory looking in a false belief task is guided by implicit knowledge. Second, I argue that implicit knowledge may be based on exposure to regularities in the world as D&P argue, but equally, it may sometimes be based on theories that conflict with real world regularities. Third, I discuss Munakata et al.'s notion of graded representations (...) as an alternative to the implicit-explicit distinction in explaining dissociations in infancy. (shrink)
Philosophy of science arose from debates among scientists about the right method of pursuing true knowledge at times when modern science was only in its infancy. The epistemological heritage is still reflected in the corresponding terms in French, épistémologie, and in German, Wissenschaftstheorie. Another root derives from the meaning of philosophy, as in ‘natural philosophy’, which was used to denote the physical sciences still in the nineteenth century before it was split off and received its particular metaphysical meaning. Yet, (...) besides epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy has many other branches from which reflections on science are useful. One such branch is ethics, such as chemistry is a branch of the sciences. Thus, from a systematical point of view, ethics of chemistry is a proper part of philosophy of science, whether or not any of the nineteenth-century classics said anything meaningful about that. It is that systematical background against which ‘philosophy of chemistry’ receives its full meaning. Since HYLE is devoted to philosophy of chemistry, we open a discussion on ethics of chemistry with this special issue. (For a comprehensive list of topics, see our Call for Papers .). (shrink)