It’s always gratifying
to hear a new twist on an old joke.

In the Marx Brothers’ “Duck Soup,”
Rufus T. Firefly,
played by Groucho,
is handed the Freedonia cabinet’s treasury report:
“Why, a child of 4 could understand this report.
Run out and find me a 4-year-old child —
I can’t make head or tail of it.”

Alison ­Gopnik, a professor of psychology
at the University of California, Berkeley,
has run out and found plenty of 4-year-old children.
In her new book,
she announces that they are in some ways
“smarter, more imaginative, more caring
and even more conscious
than adults are.”

Whether or not this is true,
her account of what the science
of recent decades has had to say
about infants’ minds
tells a fascinating story of
how we become
the grown-ups that we are.


What Children’s Minds Tell Us About
Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life


The New York Times




~ by eaesthete on 08/09/09.

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