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Science and Core Knowledge

Susan Carey and Elizabeth Spelke
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 63, No. 4 (Dec., 1996), pp. 515-533
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188065
Page Count: 19
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Science and Core Knowledge
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Abstract

While endorsing Gopnik's proposal that studies of the emergence and modification of scientific theories and studies of cognitive development in children are mutually illuminating, we offer a different picture of the beginning points of cognitive development from Gopnik's picture of "theories all the way down." Human infants are endowed with several distinct core systems of knowledge which are theory-like in some, but not all, important ways. The existence of these core systems of knowledge has implications for the joint research program between philosophers and psychologists that Gopnik advocates and we endorse. A few lessons already gained from this program of research are sketched.

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