• Research Paper on:
    Awareness in Infants

    Number of Pages: 6


    Summary of the research paper:

    In six pages this paper examines John Locke's blank slate theory and compares it with Chomsky's theories in a consideration of awareness in infants. Six sources are cited in the bibliography.

    Name of Research Paper File: JR7_RAinfnt2.rtf

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    it was not actually until the past few decades that the medical community actually conceded to the fact that infants feel pain. With such lack of real knowledge it comes  as no surprise that the controversy concerning infant awareness is a complex and confusing one. In the past there have been many theories, two of which involve the arguments that  an infant is born as a blank slate, as proposed by John Locke, and the other being than an infant is born with sensitivities and knowledge which are further developed  by interaction in the outside world, as presented in the nativist approach from Noam Chomsky. In the following paper we examine these perspectives and argue that though we may not  actually know what an infant is capable of, in terms of awareness and knowledge, they are not born as blank slates but born as individuals with a sense of knowledge,  language, and awareness. Infant Awareness When examining the history of childhood development we find that throughout history there have been several theories as they originate from philosophers. As  one author notes, "philosophers have speculated at length about the nature of children and how they should be reared. Three such philosophical views are original sin, tabula rasa, and innate  goodness" (Anonymous The history of child psychology , 2002; historyofchi_ribu.htm). With the theory of original sin it was assumed that children were inherently bad and should be taught to be  productive members of society. "The goal of child rearing was to provide salvation, to remove sin from the childs life" (Anonymous The history of child psychology , 2002; historyofchi_ribu.htm). However,  towards the end of the 17th century John Locke emerged with his tabula rasa view: "He argued that children are not innately bad but, instead, are like a blank tablet, 

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