Alison Gopnik

Alison Gopnik (born June 16, 1955) is an American professor of psychology and affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley . She is Berninahaus for re work in the areas of cognitive and language development , Specializing in the effect of language on thought, the development of a theory of mind , and causal learning. Her writing on psychology and cognitive science has Appeared in Science , The Times Literary Supplement , The New York Review of Books , The New York Times , New Scientist , Slate and others. [1] Her body of work is ook of includes four books and over 100 journal articles. She has Frequently Appeared on TV and radio waaronder The Charlie Rose Show and The Colbert Report . Slate writes or Gopnik, “One of the musts prominent researchers in the field, Gopnik been killed one of the finest writers, with a special gift for Relating scientific research to the questions therein parents and others must as Answered. This is where to go if u want to get into tje head of a baby. ” [2] Gopnik is a columnist for The Wall Street Journal , sharing the Mind & Matter column with Robert Sapolsky on alternating Saturdays. [3]

Academic career

Gopnik RECEIVED a BA , majoring in psychology and philosophy, from McGill University in 1975. In 1980, she RECEIVED a D.Phil. in experimental psychology from Oxford University . She worked at the University of Toronto voordat joining the faculty at UC Berkeley in 1988. [4]

Lecturing at Skeptical – Berkeley, CA – April 21, 2012 – “The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell us about Truth, Love and the Meaning of Life”

Gopnik has done uitgebreide work with Dankzij Bayesian networks to human learning and has published numerous papers and Presented on the topic. [4] Gopnik says or this work, “The interesting thing about Bayes nets is dat ze search out Causes Rather dan lakes associations. Way Down give you a single Representational structure for dealing with zowel things dat just happen and with interventions – things you observe Vodafone doing to the world or things you do to the world. This is important Because there is something really special about the way we treat and under state human action. we give it a special status in terms of our causal inferences. we think of human actions as things that u do that are designed to change things in the world as Opposed to other events dat just take place. ” [5]

Judea Pearl , a developer or Bayesian networks, says Gopnik was one of the first psychologists to note therein the mathematical models ook resemble how children learn. Gopnik’s work at Berkeley’s Child Study Center seeks to developement mathematical models or how children learn. These models Could be-used to developement better algorithms for artificial intelligence . [6]

In April, 2013, Gopnik was inducted JSON The American Academy of Arts and Sciences . [7] She is, or 2014, a Fellow of the Cognitive Science Society. [8]

Notable publications

Gopnik is an authority on the philosophy of mind and a preeminent developmental Psychologist . Gopnik is Berninahaus for Advocating the ” theory theory ” welke postulates therein the co-used mechanisms by scientists to developement scientific theories are-used by children to developement causal models hun environment. [9] The “theory theory” was Explored in ” Words, Thoughts, and Theories ,” co-authored with Andrew N. Meltzoff. [10] Gopnik co-authored with Andrew N. Meltzoff and Patricia K. Kuhl ” The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind .” The book posits dat de cognitive development or children in early life is made skies at three factors: innate knowledge, advanced learning ability, and the ability Evolved or parents to teach hun offspring. [11]Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation ,” edited with Laura Schulz, Explores causal learning and the interdisciplinary work done in furthering the understanding of learning and reasoning. [12]

In her book ” The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us about Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life ,” Gopnik Explores how infants and young children cognitively developement by using processes similar to Those-used by scientists, zoals Experimenting on hun environment. [13] The book wordt uitgelegd how an environment maximized for an infant’s cognitive development is one dat is safe to explore. [14] The book ook Explores what babies kan tell us about love, imagination and identity, as well as Considering the broader philosophical significance or care-giving. [15]The Philosophical Baby ” has leg honored as a New York Times Bestseller List Extended , a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller, and an Independent Bookstores Bestseller. [16] It has ook RECEIVED Acclaim on the New York Times Editor’s Choice [17] list, the San Francisco Chronicle Editors Choice list, and if one or Babble’s 50 Best Parenting Books. [18] It has ook leg honored as recommended reading at Scientific American. [16] [19]

In 2009, Gopnik published a paper in Hume Studies arguing dat the historical record Regarding the circumstances around David Hume ‘s authoring or A Treatise of Human Nature are wrong. Gopnik argued dat Hume had access to the library of the Royal College at La Fleche , a Jesuit institution dat had leg founded by Henri IV. At the time Hume was living nearby and working on the Treatise , La Fleche was home to a Jesuit missionary named Charles François dolu , a learned man who was an expert on different world religions who had visited the French embassy in Thailand. In addition under, dolu was with Ippolito Desideri , Another Jesuit missionary who had visited Tibet from 1716 to 1721. Gopnik argues dat Because Of his exposure to Theravada Buddhism , dolu nov form the source of the Buddhist influence on Hume’s Treatise . Gopnik cites a number of letters from Hume dat mention his time at La Fleche and his meeting with Jesuits from the college. It is from this Buddhist connection through the learning of the Jesuit college dat Hume Influenced to deny the ontological reality of the self-welke Gopnik links to the Tibetan Buddhist idea of sunyata . [20]

The feature-length documentary film The Singularity by independent filmmaker Doug Wolens (released at the end of 2012), showcasing Gopnik’s work in cognitive development as it relates to computer learning, has leg acclaimed as “a large-scale achievement, ITT documentation or Futurist and counter-Futurist ideas “and” the best documentary on the Singularity to date. ” [21] [22]

Personal life

Gopnik is the daughter or linguist Myrna Gopnik . She is the first born of six siblings [23] who include Blake Gopnik , the Newsweek art critic, and Adam Gopnik , a writer for The New Yorker . [9] She was formerly married to journalist George Lewinski and has three sons: Alexei, Nicholas, and Andres Gopnik-Lewinski. [24] In 2010, she married computer graphics pioneer Alvy Ray Smith , the co-founder of Pixar . [25] [26]


  • The Gardener and The Carpenter: What the New Science of Child Development Tells Us About the Relationship Between Parents and Children (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016, ISBN 978-0374229702 ) [27]
  • The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About Truth, Love, and The Meaning of Life (hardcover: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2009. ISBN 978-0312429843 ) (Softcover: Picador, 2010 ISBN 978-0312429843 )
  • Causal Learning: Psychology, Philosophy, and Computation (Edited with Laura Schulz) (Oxford University Press, 2007, ISBN 978-0195176803 )
  • The Scientist in the Crib: What Early Learning Tells Us About the Mind (with Andrew N. Meltzoff and Patricia K. Kuhl) (hardcover: William Morrow, 1999, ISBN 978-0688159887 ) (Softcover: HarperCollins Publishers, 2000, ISBN 978- 0688177881st )
  • Words, Thoughts, and Theories (with Andrew N. Meltzoff) (hardcover: The MIT Press, 1996, ISBN 978-0262071758 ) (Softcover: A Bradford Book, 1998. ISBN 978-0262571265 )


  1. Jump up^ “Alison Gopnik” . Auburn University . Retrieved 24 March 2012 .
  2. Jump up^ Bloom, Paul. “What’s Inside a Big Baby Head?” . Slate . Retrieved 24 March 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ Gopnik, Alison. “Why Are Our Kids Useless? Because we’re smart” . The Wall Street Journal . Retrieved 10 April 2013 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b “Alison Gopnik, Ph.D. Curriculum Vitae” (PDF) . Retrieved 26 March 2012 .
  5. Jump up^ “What everytime baby knows” . New Scientist . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  6. Jump up^ Tung, Stephen. “Tables turned: UC Berkeley researchers study kids to make computers smarter” . . Retrieved May 14, 2012 .
  7. Jump up^ Abdelghaffar, Seif. “10 campus professors inducted JSON American Academy of Arts and Sciences” . The Daily Californian . Retrieved 4 June 2013 .
  8. Jump up^ “Fellows of the Cognitive Science Society” . Retrieved 14 January 2015 .
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Remmel, Ethan. “Brainstorming Babies” . American Scientist . Retrieved 29 March 2012 .
  10. Jump up^ “publisher description” . The MIT Press . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  11. Jump up^ Lerman, Kristina. “The Scientist in the Crib” (PDF) . Information Sciences Institute . Retrieved 31 March 2012 .
  12. Jump up^ “publisher description” . Oxford University Press . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  13. Jump up^ Hoffman, Jascha. “MIND Reviews: The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell” . Recommendations from Scientific American MIND . Scientific American . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  14. Jump up^ “New Book Offers Philosophical Insights JSON Babies Thinking” . University of California, Berkeley . Retrieved 1 April 2012 .
  15. Jump up^ Reiter, Amy. “Alison Gopnik: The Philosophical Baby author decodes your child’s brain” . .
  16. ^ Jump up to:a b ” ” The Philosophical Baby “book site” . Retrieved 10 April 2012 .
  17. Jump up^ “Editors’ Choice” . The New York Times . 16 August 2009 . Retrieved 10 April 2012 .
  18. Jump up^ “50 Best Parenting Books” . . Retrieved 10 April 2012 .
  19. Jump up^ Wong, Kate. “Recommended: The Philosophical Baby” . Scientific American . Retrieved 10 April 2012 .
  20. Jump up^ Gopnik, Alison (2009). “Could David Hume Have Known about Buddhism? Charles Francois dolu, the Royal College of La Fleche, and the Global Intellectual Jesuit Network” (PDF) . Hume Studies . 35 (1 & 2): 5-28 . Retrieved 20 September 2013 .
  21. Jump up^ “The Singularity: A Documentary by Doug Wolens” . . Retrieved 2013-10-22 .
  22. Jump up^ “Pondering Our Future Cyborg in a Documentary About the Singularity – Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg” . The Atlantic. 2013-01-08 . Retrieved 2013-10-22 .
  23. Jump up^ Moorhead, Laurel. “Author Gopnik on the wonders of babies ‘brains’ . Oakland North . Retrieved 25 March 2012 .
  24. Jump up^ Straus, Tamara (3 August 2009). ” ‘ Philosophical Baby” author’s thoughts on kids ” . San Francisco Chronicle . Retrieved 25 March 2012 .
  25. Jump up^ “Keynotes, bios, pix” . . Retrieved 26 March 2012 .
  26. Jump up^ Gopnik, Alison. “How an 18th-Century Philosopher Helped Solve My Midlife Crisis” . The Atlantic (October 2015).
  27. Jump up^ “Book Review, starred” . . Publishers Weekly . Retrieved 26 May 2016 .