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The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life [Format Kindle]

Alison Gopnik

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

"Her pages are packed with provocative observations and cunning insights. I'd highly recommend this fascinating book to any parent of a young child - and, indeed anyone who has ever been a baby" (Josh Lacey Guardian)

"The Philosophical Baby has interesting things to tell us. They are clearly expressed and thought-provoking. And they do their work on the reader" (Dailiy Mail)

"An astonishingly interesting book... [It] teaches us a tremendous amount about the human condition and how the mind is made" (Jonah Lehrer, author of How We Decide)

"Richly provocative and endlessly insightful... This book is at once touching, eloquent and masterful in its fascinating revelations about what makes us human" (Frank J. Sulloway, author of Born to Rebel: Birth Order; Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives)

"Absorbing, smart and enjoyable... Parents and scientists will enjoy the insights but so will anyone who has thought about the question of what it means to be human" (Lisa Randall, author of Warped Passages: Unravelling the Mysteries of the Universe's Hidden Dimensions)

Présentation de l'éditeur

For most of us, having a baby is the most profound, intense, and fascinating experience of our lives. Now scientists and philosophers are starting to appreciate babies, too. The last decade has witnessed a revolution in our understanding of infants and young children. Scientists used to believe that babies were irrational, and that their thinking and experience were limited. Recently, they have discovered that babies learn more, create more, care more, and experience more than we could ever have imagined. And there is good reason to believe that babies are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and even more conscious than adults.

This new science holds answers to some of the deepest and oldest questions about what it means to be human. A new baby's captivated gaze at her mother's face lays the foundations for love and morality. A toddler's unstoppable explorations of his playpen hold the key to scientific discovery. A three-year-old's wild make-believe explains how we can imagine the future, write novels, and invent new technologies. Alison Gopnik - a leading psychologist and philosopher, as well as a mother - explains the groundbreaking new psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in our understanding of very young children, transforming our understanding of how babies see the world, and in turn promoting a deeper appreciation for the role of parents.

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Amazon.com: 4.1 étoiles sur 5  34 commentaires
64 internautes sur 67 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Every parent should read this! 23 août 2009
Par M. Jones - Publié sur Amazon.com
Don't be swayed by the austere title, what this book does best is corral and explain recent studies on what babies and toddlers understand and when: When do they start to feel empathy? When are they able to understand that hitting hurts? When can they be expected to understand rules? What's the deal with invisible friends? It's given me a new perspective and a lot more sympathy for my into-everything son.

It's also a page-turning easy read and utterly fascinating-- you'll want to go through with a highlighter to pick out all of the brilliant points.
Would make a great gifts for parents & parents-to-be!
38 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Insight into the inner life of children 9 novembre 2009
Par Israel Ramirez - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Have you ever wondered about the inner life of children, how they understand things, what their stream of consciousness is like, how they perceive the world, what their feelings are really like? I watched my own children grow up, talked with them daily, fed them, played with them, but always felt that I was missing a lot about their inner world. Gopnik answered some of my questions and showed me other questions that I hadn't thought of asking.

Gopnick argues, for example, that young children don't have the same self narrative adults have. I remember being appalled by my daughter's inability to describe what happened on her recent trip to the zoo. Gopnick argues that this happens because very young children haven't developed the story about themselves that allows them to go back and fetch prior events the way adults do. When I return from a trip to the zoo, I retain a story about finding a parking spot, paying admission, watching the monkeys near the entrance, etc. With very young children, there is no such narrative, only a series of events. These events are remembered. So if I ask a more direct question, like did you enjoy the monkeys in the big cage, she tells me about the big monkey chasing the smaller monkey.

Gopnik emphasizes the sophistication of children who can easily distinguish between imaginary, possible, and real objects. She tells us about how children can make sophisticated judgments about causal relationships after having seen only a few relevant events. She tells us how children can distinguish acts which are wrong because they hurt someone as opposed to things which are wrong because they are against the rules

Gopnik frames her discussion around philosophical themes such as reality versus fiction, discovery of reliable truth from messy observations, consciousness, nature of the self, love, morality, etc. She rightly argues that although topics such as these have long been important to philosophers, potential insights that could be provided by studying children have not been considered by philosophers.

Specialists will find this book unsatisfactory. There isn't a single graph. There are no statistics or numbers of any kind. There are no literature reviews describing areas where researchers get conflicting results. When experiments are reported at all, they are mentioned briefly with no detail. Gopnik is more interested in the big picture, discussing the main themes using mostly informal language. Just the same, she takes you through some of the toughest concepts in the field and isn't afraid to bring up technical terms, like lantern consciousness, whenever it is helpful to do so.

Finally, Gopnik's wit, graceful writing, and genuine feeling for children make her book a pleasure to read.
21 internautes sur 22 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Brief survey of early childhood research 16 avril 2011
Par R. Schwenk - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This book presents some interesting experimental results from early childhood research. (The "Baby" of the title actually means the "Child up to Age 5," a rather more inclusive category!) These results tell us that a lot more is going on in children's minds than scientists had previously thought, especially scientists who managed to avoid spending any time with children.

I wish more of the book were about the experiments. There is too great a ratio of speculation to actual results, and a lot of the speculation is based on the author's experience as a mother, but without the intimacy of a memoir.

Nevertheless, the book is worth skimming for the experiments alone. These are fascinating in themselves, and you can feel free to form your own conjectures from them.
46 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Exactly like her other book 2 novembre 2009
Par A. Martens - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I bought this because I really enjoyed "The Scientist in the Crib" and I was hoping for more along those lines. What I got however, was exactly the same book as The Scientist in the Crib - same experiments, same analysis, only I paid more for it and two of authors of the previous book were stripped of credit. This book would be great if I hadn't read it already.
13 internautes sur 15 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A new pespective on raising kids 20 septembre 2009
Par R. Lyubovitzky - Publié sur Amazon.com
The book is a little dry but it provides great insights (backed up by the actual research) into understanding what is going on inside kids' heads. As opposed to what many past generations had thought, babies and kids actually posess tremendous capacity for the information processing, they are very smart and intuitive. And they are also much more empathetic, creative, and imaginitive than most adults. The book provides lots of actual examples of what you might have been observing in your kids but not understanding fully what it means. I liked the chapter about role-playing and imaginary friends. It is helpful to know that that child is capable of making a very clear distinction between what is imaginary and what is real. Some parents worry that their kids would wander off "too far" into imaginary world. The book provides ideas for the easy to do reality checks for the parents :) Great idea to read the book even before you become a parent.
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