Journals Higher Education



25 March 2004

304 Pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

ISBN: 9780195219548

Bookseller Code (05)

The Cradle of Thought

Exploring the Origins of Thinking

Peter Hobson

Imaginative and creative thought is what distinguishes humans from animals. What it means to have thoughts, and what gives us the remarkable capacity to think, have been subjects of debate for centuries. In The Cradle of Thought, Peter Hobson presents a new and provocative theory about the nature and origins of uniquely human thinking. A prevailing opinion on the acquisition of thought and language is that babies are born with pre-programmed modules in the brain. But this is too narrow and too simplistic an explanation. Professor Hobson's radical view is that what gives us the capacity to think is the quality of a baby's exchanges with other people over the first eighteen months of life. As part and parcel of an intellectual revolution in the second year, the child achieves new insight into the minds of itself and others. Human thought, language, and self-awareness are developed in the cradle of emotional engagement between infant and caregiver; social contact has vital significance for mental development. This book should appeal to researchers and educated laypeople interested in children and developmental psychology.


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