Object representation as a central issue in cognitive science
In this chapter, the authors discuss some of the most relevant historical works on object representation to have emerged from developmental and comparative research. The authors focus on: the question of objects as permanent entities; the question of objects as entities with properties; and the question of objects as entities to be manipulated. The authors cite the constructivist Jean Piaget's approach to the problem of investigating infant knowledge. Piaget theorized that infants gain more adult-like knowledge of the physical world by constructing it themselves through their actions on the world. The authors also mention the core knowledge (CK) hypothesis by Elizabeth Spelke and her colleagues. Nativist CK argues that our adult human knowledge of the physical world stems from experience-independent, innate principles for reasoning about entities within the domain of inanimate physical objects.
Keywords: developmental research, comparative research, permanent entities, entities with properties, constructivist, Jean Piaget, infant knowledge, object representation, core knowledge hypothesis, Elizabeth Spelke
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