Chapter 8. Development of the Animate–Inanimate Distinction

  1. Usha Goswami
  1. John E. Opfer1 and
  2. Susan A. Gelman2

Published Online: 15 JUL 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444325485.ch8

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development, Second edition

The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development, Second edition

How to Cite

Opfer, J. E. and Gelman, S. A. (2010) Development of the Animate–Inanimate Distinction, in The Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Childhood Cognitive Development, Second edition (ed U. Goswami), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444325485.ch8

Editor Information

  1. University of Cambridge, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    The Ohio State University, USA

  2. 2

    University of Michigan–Ann Arbor, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2010
  2. Published Print: 16 AUG 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405191166

Online ISBN: 9781444325485

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Keywords:

  • cognitive development in early childhood;
  • animate–inanimate distinction development;
  • animate–inanimate distinction and why it is important;
  • animate–inanimate distinction - light on basic theoretical issues in cognitive development;
  • knowledge about animacy present in infancy - four key issues in studies of animacy in infancy;
  • featural aspects of object and dynamic aspects of object's motion - perceptual cues indicating that a given entity is either animate or inanimate;
  • animate–inanimate distinction, well in place in first year of life - sensitivity present immediately after birth;
  • infants making use of featural information and dynamic information;
  • developmental paths, by which knowledge becomes enriched over time;
  • animacy and essentialist reasoning - children's “essentialist” reasoning or “psychological essentialism”

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction: What Is the Animate-Inanimate Distinction and Why Is It Important?

  • What Knowledge About Animacy Is Present in Infancy?

  • What Are the Developmental Paths by Which this Knowledge Becomes Enriched Over Time?

  • How Does an Animacy Distinction Inform Other Aspects of Cognitive Development?

  • Summary and Conclusions

  • References