Taking a stand midway between Piaget's constructivism and Fodor's nativism, Annette Karmiloff-Smith offers an exciting new theory of developmental change that embraces both approaches, showing how both are necessary to a fundamental theory of human cognition. Karmiloff-Smith shifts the focus from what cognitive science can offer the study of development to what a developmental perspective can offer cognitive science, presenting a coherent portrait of the flexibility and creativity of the human mind as it develops from infancy to middle childhood.
1995 British Psychological Society Book Award
A Bradford Book. Learning, Development, and Conceptual Change series
". . . deserves wide readership by both developmentalists and nondevelopmentalists who need an overview of the state of the art. Clearly and comprehensively, Karmiloff-Smith shows the highly structured ways in which different representational processes emerge from infancy onwards."
—Andrew Whiten, Nature
“This book has an important central thesis and Karmiloff-Smith argues impressively well in support of it. She focuses on one of the truly distinctive features of human cognitive development and makes a powerful case for her claim that cognitive science needs a developmental dimension.”
—Margaret Donaldson, Emeritus Professor of Developmental Psychology, University of Edinburgh
“In this engagingly synoptic volume, the author calls on a long and distinguished career to model the development of the child’s representational system, and to show that the changes it undergoes are not triggered by failure but by endogenous factors. A coherent picture of the development of the human representational system emerges from an insightful set of experiments.”
—David Premack, Professor of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania