Do Non-Linguistic Creatures Have a Language of Thought?
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Stern Center, Great Room, 7 p.m.
This lecture considers whether the minds of babies and nonhuman animals, on the one hand, and human adults, on the other, are fundamentally alike or radically different from each other.
This event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the Departments of Psychology, Education and Philosophy. This program is also part of the Clarke Forum’s semester theme, Language.
Susan Carey is a professor at Harvard University, where she joined the psychology department in 2001, after having taught at MIT (24 years) and NYU (5 years). She did her graduate work at Harvard, working with Jerome Bruner and Roger Brown. She studies conceptual development. Over her whole career, she has worked on explaining how human beings, unique among animals, create the huge conceptual repertoire that characterizes adult thought. Only humans can think about cancer, global warming, infinity, wisdom, moral obligations… Her work on this broad problem combines historical case studies, animal cognition studies, but mainly studies with human infants, children and adults. Her case studies include mathematical concepts, scientific concepts, and social/moral concepts.