The Well-Designed Child

McCarthy, John (1997) The Well-Designed Child. [Preprint]

Full text available as:

[img] Postscript


The innate mental structure that equips a child to interact succesfully with the world includes more than universal grammar. The world itself has structures, and nature has evolved brains with ways of recognizing them and representing information about them. For example, objects continue to exist when not being perceived, and children are very likely ``designed'' to interpret sensory inputs in terms of such persistent objects. Moreover, objects usually move continuously, passing through intermediate points, and perceiving motion that way may also be innate. What a child learns about the world is based on its innate mental structure. This article concerns designing adequate mental structures including a language of thought. This design stance applies to designing robots, but we also hope it will help understand universal human mental structures. We consider what structures would be useful how the innateness of a few of the structures might be tested experimentally in humans and animals.

Item Type:Preprint
Subjects:Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
ID Code:428
Deposited By: McCarthy, John
Deposited On:27 Feb 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53


Repository Staff Only: item control page