The Foundations of Mind

The Foundations of Mind : Origins of conceptual thought

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In Foundations of the Mind, Jean Mandler presents a new theory of cognitive development in infancy, focusing on the processes through which perceptual information is transformed into concepts. Drawing on extensive research, Mandler explores preverbal conceptualisation and shows how it forms the basis for both thought and language. She also emphasises the importance of distinguishing automatic perceptual processes from attentive conceptualisation, and argues that these two kinds of learning follow different principles, so it is crucial to specify the processes required by a given task. Countering both strong nativist and empiricist views, Mandler provides a fresh and markedly different perspective on early cognitive development, painting a new picture of the abilities and accomplishments of infants and the development of the mind.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 241.3 x 256.54 x 17.78mm | 521.63g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195311833
  • 9780195311839
  • 1,295,560

Review quote

"Mandler's book offers a powerful new synthesis on the emergence of cognitive capacities in infancy and early childhood. It is a compelling and important treatment of the origins of higher level thought from a cognitive science perspective. I would recommend it highly to anyone interested in cognition or cognitive development." -Frank C. Keil, Professor of Psychology and Linguistics, Yale University"The perceptual/conceptual debate about the origins of meaning in the human mind continues to rage in the cognitive sciences, a debate that Mandler confronts head on. A masterful overthrow of a number of entrenched Piagetian assumptions, this eloquently written book about the conceptual capacities of young infants and the roots of language and consciousness is backed by extensive, innovative experimental data." -Annette Karmiloff-Smith, Professor of Neurocognitive Development and Head of Neurocognitive Development Unit, Institute of Child Health, London"What are the processes by which the helpless and apparently ignorant infants of our species turn into the knowledgeable two-year olds and twenty-two year olds? Jean Mandler here takes important and novel steps toward a unified answer. She brings together a lifetime of sharp experimentation, acute analysis, and striking insight to provide a scientifically satisfying picture of how babies come to conceptualize the world. For anybody-parents to professors-seriously interested in the origins of human mentality, this volume is required reading." -Lila R. Gleitman, Steven and Marcia Roth Professor of Psychology and Professor of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania"A deep and elegant book on the puzzling problem of how we humans make the leap (if a leap is what it is) from perceiving the world to making conceptual distinctions relating to it. Jean Mandler has the necessary courage and research experience to face up to the issues that have perplexed students of mind for millennia. Her book is not only highly informative but very exciting reading. Bravo!" -Jerome S. Bruner, Research Professor of Psychology and Senior Research Fellow in Law, New York Universityshow more

About Jean Matter Mandler

Jean Matter Mandler is Distinguished Research Professor of Cognitive Science at the University of California San Diego. She is the author of Stories, Scripts, and Scenes (1984) and Thinking (1964).show more

Table of contents

1. How to Build a Baby ; 2. Piaget's Sensorimotor Infant ; 3. Kinds of Representation: Seeing and Thinking ; 4. Perceptual Meaning Analysis and Image-Schemas: The Infant as Interpreter ; 5. Some Image-Schemas and their Functions ; 6. Some Differences Between Percepts and Concepts: The Case of the Basic Level ; 7. Some Preverbal Concepts ; 8. Concepts as Induction Machines ; 9. Continuity in the Conceptual System: Acquisition, Breakdown, and Reorganization ; 10. Recall of the Past ; 11. Language Acquisition ; 12. Consciousness and Conclusionsshow more

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