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  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Sabbagh, Mark A. and Bowman, Lindsay C. 2018. Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. p. 1.

    Fairfax, Hamilton 2017. Psychometric Testing. p. 175.

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  • Print publication year: 2002
  • Online publication date: November 2009

18 - The baby in the lab-coat: why child development is not an adequate model for understanding the development of science

Summary

Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have recently proposed a novel account of 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.

Introduction

In two recent books and a number of articles, Alison Gopnik and her collaborators have proposed a bold and intriguing hypothesis about the relationship between scientific cognition and cognitive development in early childhood. In this chapter we will argue that Gopnik's bold hypothesis is untenable. More specifically, we will argue that even if Gopnik and her collaborators are right about cognitive development in early childhood they are wrong about science. The minds of normal adults and of older children are more complex than the minds of young children, as Gopnik portrays them, and some of the mechanisms that play no role in Gopnik's account of cognitive development in early childhood play an essential role in scientific cognition.

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The Cognitive Basis of Science
  • Online ISBN: 9780511613517
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511613517
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