Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Promiscuous Teleology, hoooooo.

I ramble a bit about the Tabula Rasa that is not a baby's mind.

What Lions are for.

This bit helps me understand why Jack seems to stare at his hands for minutes on end in marvelous stupefication:

The main source of resistance to scientific ideas concerns what children know prior to their exposure to science. The last several decades of developmental psychology has made it abundantly clear that humans do not start off as "blank slates." Rather, even one year-olds possess a rich understanding of both the physical world (a "naïve physics") and the social world (a "naïve psychology"). Babies know that objects are solid, that they persist over time even when they are out of sight, that they fall to the ground if unsupported, and that they do not move unless acted upon. They also understand that people move autonomously in response to social and physical events, that they act and react in accord with their goals, and that they respond with appropriate emotions to different situations.

Of course, that preloaded software has more significant impact down the road:

One of the most interesting aspects of our common-sense psychology is dualism, the belief that minds are fundamentally different from brains. This belief comes naturally to children. Preschool children will claim that the brain is responsible for some aspects of mental life, typically those involving deliberative mental work, such as solving math problems. But preschoolers will also claim that the brain isn't involved in a host of other activities, such as pretending to be a kangaroo, loving one's brother, or brushing one's teeth. Similarly, when told about a brain transplant from a boy to a pig, they believe that you get a very smart pig, but one with pig beliefs and pig desires. For young children, then, much of mental life is not linked to the brain.


Anonymous said...

Jack stares at his hands? Wow, that's really young for a baby to discover his hands.

Does he like to put his foot in his mouth, too? That was Gretel's thing.


Anonymous said...

It looks like you will be doing a lot or reading as Jack develops. Are you enjoying it?