in her summer publication book The Philosophical Baby, Gopnik argues that imagination isn’t just something we develop for our amusement; it seems to be something innate and connected to how we understand the causal structure of the real world.
One of the ideas in The Philosophical Baby is that children are “useless on purpose”. Gopnik calls babies the R&D of the human species, free to explore the physical world, as well as possible worlds through imaginative play. When we’re adults, we can use that information to actually change the world.
The fundamental arguments of The Philosophical Baby exist beyond the importance of child nurturing. This argument is another exploration of the growing intersection of philosophy and science.
Rather than existing as disparate entities — body and soul — behavior and values, contemporary research fuses these seemingly independent disciplines into a holistic scheme of meaning. ( See Morning Poetry, Cosmology and the “Most Important Image Ever Taken”, fusing poetry and astronomy.)
After reading this thoughtful interview about what’s really going on in a baby’s mind, you may think twice before dismissing them as little no-nothings.
Today might be a good time to retrieve an earlier J’Adore — dealing not with babies, but with education, creativity and learning. Enjoy Ken Robinson’s TED Talk: Schools Will Kill Creativity. Anne