Descartes' Baby: How the Science of Child Development Explains What Makes Us Human

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Basic Books, 2009 M04 27 - 288 pages
All humans see the world in two fundamentally different ways: even babies have a rich understanding of both the physical and social worlds. They expect objects to obey principles of physics, and they’re startled when things disappear or defy gravity. Yet they can also read emotions and respond with anger, sympathy, and joy.In Descartes’ Baby, Bloom draws on a wealth of scientific discoveries to show how these two ways of knowing give rise to such uniquely human traits as humor, disgust, religion, art, and morality. How our dualist perspective, developed throughout our lives, profoundly influences our thoughts, feelings, and actions is the subject of this richly rewarding book.

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Contents

II The Material Realm
35
III The Social Realm
97
IV The Spiritual Realm
187
Notes
229
References
241
Index
263
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About the author (2009)

Paul Bloom is Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His book How Children Learn the Meaning of Words won the Award for Excellence from the Association of American Publishers. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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