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DESCARTES' BABY: How the Science of Child…
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DESCARTES' BABY: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes… (edição: 2004)

de Paul Bloom

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Why is a forgery worth so much less than an original work of art? What's so funny about someone slipping on a banana peel? Why, as Freud once asked, is a man willing to kiss a woman passionately, but not use her toothbrush? And how many times should you baptize a two-headed twin? DESCARTES' BABY answers such questions, questions we may have never thought to ask about such uniquely human traits as art, humour, faith, disgust, and morality.In this thought-provoking and fascinating account of human nature, psychologist Paul Bloom contends that we all see the world in terms of bodies and souls. Even babies have a rich understanding of both the physical and social worlds. They expect objects to obey principles of physics, and they're startled when things disappear or defy gravity. They can read the emotions of adults and respond with their own feelings of anger, sympathy and joy.This 'dualist' perspective remains with us throughout our lives. Using his own researches and new ideas from philosophy, evolutionary biology, aesthetics, theology, and neuroscience. Bloom shows how this way to making sense of reality can explain what makes us human. The myriad ways that our childhood views of the world undergo development throughout our lives and profoundly influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions is the subject of this richly rewarding book.… (mais)
Membro:la-petite-mort
Título:DESCARTES' BABY: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human
Autores:Paul Bloom
Informação:Basic Books (2004), Hardcover, 304 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
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Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human de Paul Bloom

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Descartes’ Baby starts off with an anecdote about, fittingly enough, Rene Descartes. He reportedly had an automoton daughter that behaved as a real girl would, which disturbed those around him so much that one man tossed it into the sea. It was an interesting story, and has something to do with behavior — but didn’t really have anything to do with what child development tells us about all human behavior. The opening to the book is an indication of what the reader has ahead of him; while the book discusses human behavior and how children are the same as or different than adults, a lot of the material seems to be evidence in support of the genetic basis for behaviors that already are thought to have a genetic basis, rather than presenting new discoveries that only studying children could provide.

Full review: http://libwen.wordpress.com/2010/12/29/descartes-baby-how-the-science-of-child-d... ( )
  juliayoung | Dec 29, 2010 |
TBR
  miketroll | Mar 15, 2007 |
Very very impressive.

The basic story is the assumption that babies are born not just with innate baby physics, an intuitive understanding of how material object in the world should behave, but even beyond that with innate baby psychology, an appreciation that some of the things in the world have intent.

From this starting point (which is filled in with plenty of interesting observations about experiments done involving babies) we go on to discuss the case of people born without this innate sense of psychology (ie autistics), issues like "what is art", our sense of morals, why people universally seem so keen to imagine the existence of a spirit realm of some sort, and our sense of disgust.

In many ways this covers the same sort of territory as the wilder sociobiology theorists, but comes across as much more satisfactory.
I think this is because the author isn't starting from the (not necessarily relevant) point of "how does an appreciation of art derive from life on the savanna". Rather he's starting with the much more pragmatic view of "as best we can tell, what does it appear that babies are born with", and proceeding from there.
It also helps that he seems rather more philosophical, and rather more willing to admit that he doesn't have all the answers (while not giving up and saying that there are no answers to be found, that it's all a mystery). ( )
1 vote name99 | Nov 14, 2006 |
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Why is a forgery worth so much less than an original work of art? What's so funny about someone slipping on a banana peel? Why, as Freud once asked, is a man willing to kiss a woman passionately, but not use her toothbrush? And how many times should you baptize a two-headed twin? DESCARTES' BABY answers such questions, questions we may have never thought to ask about such uniquely human traits as art, humour, faith, disgust, and morality.In this thought-provoking and fascinating account of human nature, psychologist Paul Bloom contends that we all see the world in terms of bodies and souls. Even babies have a rich understanding of both the physical and social worlds. They expect objects to obey principles of physics, and they're startled when things disappear or defy gravity. They can read the emotions of adults and respond with their own feelings of anger, sympathy and joy.This 'dualist' perspective remains with us throughout our lives. Using his own researches and new ideas from philosophy, evolutionary biology, aesthetics, theology, and neuroscience. Bloom shows how this way to making sense of reality can explain what makes us human. The myriad ways that our childhood views of the world undergo development throughout our lives and profoundly influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions is the subject of this richly rewarding book.

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