For most of us, having a baby is the most profound, intense, and fascinating experience of our lives. Now scientists and philosophers are starting to appreciate babies, too.
The last decade has witnessed a revolution in our understanding of infants and young children. Scientists used to believe that babies were irrational, and that their thinking and experience were limited. Recently, they have discovered that babies learn more, create more, care more, and experience more than we could ever have imagined. And there is good reason to believe that babies are actually cleverer, more thoughtful, and even more conscious than adults.
This new science holds answers to some of the deepest and oldest questions about what it means to be human. A new baby's captivated gaze at her mother's face lays the foundations for love and morality. A toddler's unstoppable explorations of his playpen hold the key to scientific discovery. A three-year-old's wild make-believe explains how we can imagine the future, write novels, and invent new technologies.
Alison Gopnik - a leading psychologist and philosopher, as well as a mother - explains the groundbreaking new psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in our understanding of very young children, transforming our understanding of how babies see the world, and in turn promoting a deeper appreciation for the role of parents.
"Her pages are packed with provocative observations and cunning insights. I'd highly recommend this fascinating book to any parent of a young child - and, indeed anyone who has ever been a baby"
"The Philosophical Baby has interesting things to tell us. They are clearly expressed and thought-provoking. And they do their work on the reader"
"An astonishingly interesting book... [It] teaches us a tremendous amount about the human condition and how the mind is made"
"Richly provocative and endlessly insightful... This book is at once touching, eloquent and masterful in its fascinating revelations about what makes us human"
"Absorbing, smart and enjoyable... Parents and scientists will enjoy the insights but so will anyone who has thought about the question of what it means to be human"