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Re: [xmca] moral life of babies

Martin et al- I know you know the literature noted below. But I am not sure
of your take on it in this context. Over the past decade plus we have found
a myriad of studies using such criteria as disinhibition in newborns or near
newborns in which evidence of sensitivity to the Katian categories has been

A google search on Baillargeon object permance
Spelke on space
Gergley on intentional movement
Wynn on number

I am in great sympathy with notions of primal synchrony and reciprocity, but
what about the status of the phenomena from this massive research program
with respect to the line of argument in this XMCA thread? All epiphenomena
as a result of experimental procedures? Or?

Seems important to get this story straight.

On Sat, May 8, 2010 at 7:56 AM, Martin Packer <packer@duq.edu> wrote:

> On May 7, 2010, at 11:54 PM, Jay Lemke wrote:
> > One could in fact re-read (admittedly a bit against the grain) Piaget as
> trying to find the relationships between tool-based activity (i.e.
> manipulating objects in the world) and sign-based activity (i.e.
> manipulating propositional meanings) as keys to understanding the origins of
> core (i.e. Kantian) cultural categories.
> I don't think such a reading runs much against the grain. Here is a simple
> gloss of Piaget's take on the Kantian project, from my book in press:
> Box 7.3: Piaget’s Genetic Epistemology
> Jean Piaget, the famous Swiss scholar of children’s development, took up
> the Kantian project. Piaget (1896-1980) called himself a ‘genetic
> epistemologist’ rather than a psychologist. Piaget’s great book on infancy,
> The Construction of Reality in the Child (1937/1955) explored precisely the
> four concepts that Kant had focused on: space, time, causality, and object.
> Piaget did not believe that these concepts are innate; he considered that
> Kant had gone too far in claiming this (Piaget, 1970/1988). To Piaget the
> great cognitive project of human infancy is the “construction” of an
> understanding of these four concepts, albeit embodied and “sensorimotor”
> rather than cognitive. The well-known Piagetian notion of “object
> permanence” is one of the end products of this project of “organization of
> reality” (1937/1955, p. xiii); there are comparable constructions in each of
> the other three areas.  By the end of infancy the stage has been set for the
> “semiotic function,” the ability to use and understand representations, both
> mental and material (Piaget, 1945/1962). At each subsequent stage of
> development – the preoperational stage, and the stages of concrete
> operations and formal operations – knowledge is actively “constructed” by
> the child in the form of increasingly complex mental representations or
> “schemes,” through processes of assimilation and accommodation. Piaget
> proposed that mind does not appear until the end of infancy, but he argued
> that its formation is logically necessary. Mental action is built on the
> basis of practical, sensorimotor schemas, which the child progressively
> replaces with increasingly formal and abstract kinds of representation.
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