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Philosophical Babies, Arrogant Adults – September 18, 2009
Alison Gopnik has a new book out entitled The Philosophical Baby (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009). I’ve been too busy doing magazine layout, trying to keep up with twitter and facebook, and finishing off about four other books to get very far into it yet. But it promises to be fascinating and wide-ranging. And I am not surprised. I first came across Gopnik’s work when I was doing research for my 2000 book Challenging Assumptions in Education. She had just released a research study that she co-authored, entitled The Scientist in the Crib (William Morrow, 1999). Her research found that babies’ brains are smarter, faster, more flexible and busier than adults.’ She wrote that, contrary to traditional beliefs about children, toddlers think in a logical manner, arriving at abstract principles early and quickly. “They think, draw conclusions, make predictions, look for explanations and even do experiments,” I quoted her as saying. Educated in Canada and the UK, she is now a professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. And in this book, she continues to describe how babies are smarter, more imaginative and more conscious than adults. We really do need to get over our arrogance.
Posted: 2009/09/18 4:14 PM

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