We would like to thank Jeremy Carpendale for helpful comments on an earlier draft of this article.
Methodological and Epistemological Issues in the Interpretation of Infant Cognitive Development
Article first published online: 18 NOV 2008
© 2008, Copyright the Author(s); Journal Compilation © 2008, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 79, Issue 6, pages 1654–1658, November/December 2008
How to Cite
Müller, U. and Giesbrecht, G. (2008), Methodological and Epistemological Issues in the Interpretation of Infant Cognitive Development. Child Development, 79: 1654–1658. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01216.x
- Issue published online: 18 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 18 NOV 2008
This commentary on J. Kagan (2008) addresses 2 issues. The first concerns the importance of studying developmental sequences and processes of change. The second concerns epistemological differences between contemporary neonativist approaches and classical theories of development. The commentary argues that classical theories of infant cognition and contemporary neonativist theories fundamentally differ in terms of how they conceptualize the workings of the mind. These differences affect the meaning of terms such as representation and reasoning. Also discussed are implications of epistemological differences for developmental explanations. The commentary concludes that epistemological differences must be articulated more fully in order to improve understanding of different theories and in order to evaluate the relative merits and shortcomings of those theories.