The modeler in the crib
A number of developmental psychologists have argued for a theory they call the theory theory – a theory of cognitive development that suggests that infants and small children make sense of their world by constructing cognitive representations that have many of the attributes of scientific theories. In this paper I argue that there are indeed close parallels between the activities of children and scientists, but that these parallels will be better understood if one recognizes that both scientists and children are not so much theorists as model builders.
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Stuart Glennan. "The modeler in the crib" Philosophical Explorations 8.3 (2005): 217-228.