Cognitive Development and Epistemology by Theodore Mischel (Eds.)

By Theodore Mischel (Eds.)

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Let m e begin b y recalling h o w the relation between linguistic and nonlinguistic behavior varies during 2 As Wittgenstein used to insist, the tests for a man's "understanding" of terms and concepts are not concerned only with the bare "forms" of knowledge; we need to ask also how he applies those terms and concepts in novel situations, and to new classes of example. To demonstrate the full grasp of a concept commonly involves recognizing how novel problems and situations call for the extended application of those terms.

A s Einstein emphasized himself, he was led to his ideas about relativity, not least, b y philosophical considerations derived from H u m e and M a c h . (See, for example, his autobiographical essay in Schilpp, 1951, p . ) E v e n the principle of the conservation of energy, as formulated b y Helmholtz, had a similar dual origin ; though Helmholtz looked back in part to the empirical studies of men like Joule and M a y e r , the crucial arguments that led him to the principle involved Kantian considerations about the categories of Substance and Causality.

Or will our understanding of the product be dependent, in certain respects, on understanding the process also? Or again, is the use of the terms " p r o c e s s " and " p r o d u c t " in this context misleading and fallacious? Once more, t w o extreme lines of argument are possible. (a) Some analytical philosophers, impressed b y the lucidity of Gilbert R y l e ' s Concept of mind, would draw Hamlyn's distinctions, and then insist on keeping the two arms of each distinction entirely separate. "—they would argue—we must already know, as a conceptual matter, what the term "learning" entails.

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