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Mapping the Mind : Domain Specificity in Cognition and Culture - Lawrence A. Hirschfeld

Mapping the Mind

Domain Specificity in Cognition and Culture

By: Lawrence A. Hirschfeld (Editor), Susan A. Gelman (Editor)

Paperback Published: 17th October 1994
ISBN: 9780521429931
Number Of Pages: 532

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What is the nature of human thought? A long dominant view holds that the mind is a general problem-solving device that approaches all questions in much the same way. Chomsky's theory of language, which revolutionized linguistics, challenged this claim, contending that children are primed to acquire some skills, such as language, in a manner largely independent of their ability to solve other sorts of apparently similar mental problems. In recent years, researchers in anthropology, psychology, linguistics and neuroscience have examined whether other mental skills are similarly independent. Many have concluded that much of human thought is "domain-specific." Thus, the mind is better viewed as a collection of cognitive abilities specialized to handle specific tasks than as a general problem solver. Mapping the Mind introduces a general audience to a domain-specificity perspective, by compiling a collection of essays exploring how several of these cognitive abilities are organized. This volume is appropriate as a reader for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in cultural psychology, psychological anthropology, developmental and cognitive psychology.

."..thought provoking and often compelling...The introduction and many of the chapters provide grounding in the basic issues for readers who are new to the topic. At the same time, because many of the chapters push the domain specificity hypothesis to its limits, readers who are well acquainted with the issues will find this volume worthwhile reading." Contemporary Psychology

Domain specificity: an introduction
General/Theoretical Approaches
The modularity of thought
Domain specificity and cultural variation are not inconsistent: lessons from number and music
Are Domains Theories?
The theory theory
Thinking by children and scientists: false analogies and neglected similarities
Core domains versus scientific theories: evidence from systematics and Itzaj-Maya folkbiology
Essences and folk theories of biology
Origins of Domain Knowledge, Biology and Evolutionary Approaches
The organization of lexical knowledge in the brain: evidence from category- and modality-specific deficits
Origins of domain-specificity: the evolution of functional organization
Tomm and Toby: core architecture and domain specificity
'Moral belief' form vs. content
Domain specific knowledge and conceptual change
Is the acquisition of social categories based on domain-specific competence or on knowledge transfer?
The birth and nurturance of concepts by domains: the origins of concepts of living things
Domains Across Cultures and Languages
Cognitive constraints on cultural representation: natural ontologies and religious ideas
Universal and culture-specific properties of children's mental models of the earth
Cognitive domains and the structure of the lexicon
Implications for Education
'Teachers' models of children's minds and learning
'Situated rationalism' biological and social preparation for learning
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521429931
ISBN-10: 0521429935
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 532
Published: 17th October 1994
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.32 x 15.29  x 3.3
Weight (kg): 0.82

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