Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture

The Minds of Children




Event Description

The Minds of Children

Human children are dependant longer than the young of any other species. Scientists used to believe babies were irrational and their thinking limited. New research suggests that even the youngest infants have powerful learning abilities; that toddlers analyze statistics and do experiments; that preschoolers use discoveries to imagine alternative futures; and that young children have a sophisticated grasp of morality. Babies, in fact, might be smarter, more thoughtful, and more conscious than adults. Psychologist, philosopher, author, and mother Alison Gopnik surveys insights from psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy that suggest our prolonged period of childhood helplessness is responsible for our uniquely human consciousness, and asks whether babies hold the answers to our most profound questions about love, morality, exploration, imagination…and what it means to be human.

Alison Gopnik is a professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley and author of several books on child learning, including The Scientist in the Crib and The Philosophical Baby.

Lectures are free and open to the public. Seating is limited.
Sponsored by the Los Alamos National Bank

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