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DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-W017-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 24, 2024, from

Article Summary

In the past thirty years developmental psychologists have developed techniques for investigating the cognitive resources of infants. These techniques show that an infant’s initial representation of the world is richer and more abstract than traditional empiricists supposed. For instance, infants seem to have at least some understanding of distance, of the continued existence of objects which are out of sight, and of the mental states of others. Such results have led philosophers to reconsider the idea – to be found in Plato – that there may be innate constraints on the way we view the world, and to examine the extent to which innate ‘knowledge’ may be revised as a result of learning.

Citing this article:
Gopnik, Alison and Andrew N. Meltzoff. Cognition, infant, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-W017-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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