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Publisher's Summary

How do babies think? What is it like to be a baby? How much do our experiences as children shape our adult lives? In the last decade, there has been a revolution in our understanding of the minds of infants and young children. We used to believe that babies were irrational, and that their thinking and experience were limited. Now Alison Gopnik - a leading psychologist and philosopher, as well as a mother - explains the cutting-edge scientific and psychological research that has revealed that babies learn more, create more, care more, and experience more than we could ever have imagined. And there is good reason to believe that babies are actually smarter, more thoughtful, and more conscious than adults

This new science holds answers to some of the deepest and oldest questions about what it means to be human. A new baby's captivated gaze at her mother's face lays the foundations for love and morality. A toddler's unstoppable explorations of his playpen hold the key to scientific discovery. A three-year-old's wild make-believe explains how we can imagine the future, write novels, and invent new technologies.

Alison Gopnik - a leading psychologist and philosopher, as well as a mother - explains the groundbreaking new psychological, neuroscientific, and philosophical developments in our understanding of very young children, transforming our understanding of how babies see the world, and in turn promoting a deeper appreciation for the role of parents.

©2009 Alison Gopnik; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"One of the most prominent researchers in the field, Gopnik is also one of the finest writers, with a special gift for relating scientific research to the questions that parents and others most want answered. This is where to go if you want to get into the head of a baby." (Slate.com)
"Her pages are packed with provocative observations and cunning insights. I'd highly recommend this fascinating book to any parent of a young child - and, indeed, anyone who has ever been a baby." (The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Literally Un-Listenable

This book has the worst narration ever. It was so grating and monotonous I could not listen to the book. Awful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Keiko
  • CHARLOTTE, NC, United States
  • 07-16-12

Don't bother

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Narrator was annoying and I found myself zoning out. Should have gotten another book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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See the world like a child

What is it like to be a child? how do children look at the world?

A very good read for any parent or anyone who takes care of children. It helps us understand how children think, and why it's sometimes so hard to make them understand. It will change how you look at your children. It will also encourage you to look at the world differently, to see what we don't see anymore, because we're too grownup for that.

Well researched, and scientifically based; this is not a touchy-feel-y how-to-bring-up-kids book. As a matter of fact, it will likely leave you with more questions than answers, but it will make you notice all that goes on in their little heads.

It is also an interesting read for those trying to find out how their own minds work, particularly the more intuitive, less organized side.

The narration is a little over-done, and can be distracting at times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good info, annoying narrator

As much as I admire Alison Gopnik, I was unable to listen to this because of the narrator's constant use of upspeak? I don't know if this is how she really talks or she adopted it for this project only but either way, it ruined an otherwise terrific book.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Super Interesting

I'm currently pregnant and this book has given me a new perspective of how babies think and learn that I think will be useful when my baby arrives.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Anne
  • Kingwood, TX, United States
  • 04-23-11

Hard to stay engaged due to narrator

I really can't evaluate the content of this book because the narrator makes it so difficult to listen and stay engaged. When I sped the book up to 1.5 speed instead of normal speed it was better, but slightly distorted. I finally gave up, which is a shame because I think there may have been some worthwhile content. Be sure to listen to a sample before you buy. If you're really into the subject matter, you might be able to make it through.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

strangely affected reading ...

... but a good book. It's a bit dated now, but it's nice to hear about this research.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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great read pre-baby

Really enjoyed this read! Insightful and great recommendations for soon-to-be moms out there. Thought provoking.

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Science is strong, philosophy is dull.

First 2/3 of the book is compelling and fascinating. Gopnik reviews some great science from experiments on children. Some were done by her and some by others. All are amazing and interesting. Gradually, this transitions to her thoughts on philosophy. It's agonizing to get through, leads nowhere, and left me disliking the listening experience. Nothing is helped by a narrator who seems to try to add gravity by lingering on every 's' like a hissing radiator. It got really tiresome.

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  • Elle Shopper Lady
  • Upstate Connecticut - family roots since early 1900s - have lived otherwheres.
  • 08-06-12

A book for everyone - new or future parents moreso

Where does The Philosophical Baby rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

middle

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The scientific details are so artfully integrated with the text on the whole, that it is very easy to stay with.

Which character – as performed by Elisabeth Rodgers – was your favorite?

It is not a book with Characters, but the telling of the workings of a baby's mind, from many points of view.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Philosophical Baby?

The bits of miracle in it can make the epiphany for new or future parents - it shares so many wonderful insights, and at the end of the book , the reader will have a fresh and appreciative and more sensitive way with babies - theirs or anyone's .

Any additional comments?

I gave it all those stars because it is valuable. All should read it. I am sharing it with the youngsters and read it myself because I am finally going to be a grandmother and, although I worked with children when mine were growing up , they are the typical later-in-life parents and I really forgot some of the senses that should help me be a fine grandparent. I liked the book. It was easy and not popish.