Chapter

Development of Understanding of the Causal Connection between Perceptual Access and Knowledge State

Elizabeth J. Robinson

in Perception, Causation, and Objectivity

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199692040
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729713 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692040.003.0018

Series: Consciousness & Self-Consciousness Series

Development of Understanding of the Causal Connection between Perceptual Access and Knowledge State

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This chapter summarizes a series of empirical investigations of young children's developing understanding of the causal connection between perceptual access and knowledge state. It discusses the inferences we can draw from children's behaviour when they attempt to identify a hidden object: do they behave as if they understand what knowledge results from seeing or feeling an object, for example? How does this ‘finding out behaviour' relate to children's ability to report explicitly on how they can gain knowledge, via a particular modality of access, or how they have gained knowledge? The argument is made that whilst limitations in young children's understanding of the causal connection between perceptual access and knowledge state mean they may not gain knowledge as efficiently as those with more advanced understanding, such understanding seems not to be critical for learning about the physical world.

Keywords: children; knowledge; implicit understanding; explicit understanding; perceptual access; source monitoring

Chapter.  9027 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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