Gopnik, Alison. The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009.
What's going on inside a baby's bulbous head? We ask the same question about our pets, but the frustrating thing about babies is that we once knew: We all once looked out at the world through those adorably large baby eyes. In The Philosophical Baby, Alison Gopnik writes that developmental psychologist John Flavell once told her that he would give up all his degrees and honors for just five minutes in the head of a 2-year-old. I would give up a month of my life for those five minutes—and two months for five minutes as an infant. In the absence of magic, we are left with the imperfect tools of developmental psychology—observation and experiment, hypothesis and guesswork. The science of baby consciousness is a central topic of Gopnik's new book. One of the most prominent researchers in the field, Gopnik is also one of the finest writers, with a special gift for relating scientific research to the questions that parents and others most want answered. This is where to go if you want to get into the head of a baby. . . .
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