Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) is well known for his work in phenomenology, but his lectures in child psychology and pedagogy have received little attention, probably because Talia Welsh translated the lectures in their entirety only in 2010. The Child as Natural Phenomenologist summarizes Merleau-Ponty’s work in child psychology, shows its relationship to his philosophical work, and argues for its continued relevance in contemporary theory and practice.
Welsh demonstrates Merleau-Ponty’s unique conception of the child’s development as inherently organized, meaningful, and engaged with the world, contrary to views that see the child as largely internally preoccupied and driven by instinctual demands. Welsh finds that Merleau-Ponty’s ideas about human psychology remain relevant in today’s growing field of child studies and that they provide important insights for philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists to better understand the human condition.
Maurice Merleau-Ponty is one of the few major phenomenologists to engage extensively with empirical research in the sciences, and the only one to examine child psychology with rigor and in such depth. His writings have recently become increasingly influential, as the findings of psychology and cognitive science inform and are informed by phenomenological inquiry.
Merleau-Ponty’ s Sorbonne lectures of 1949 to 1952 are a broad investigation into child psychology, psychoanalysis, pedagogy, phenomenology, sociology, and anthropology. They argue that the subject of child psychology is critical for any philosophical attempt to understand individual and intersubjective existence. Talia Welsh’ s new translation provides Merleau-Ponty’ s complete lectures on the seminal engagement of phenomenology and psychology.
Like toddlers all over the world, Sri Lankan children go through a period that in the U.S. is referred to as the “terrible twos.” Yet once they reach elementary school age, they appear uncannily passive, compliant, and undemanding compared to their Western counterparts. Clearly, these children have undergone some process of socialization, but what?
Over ten years ago, anthropologist Bambi Chapin traveled to a rural Sri Lankan village to begin answering this question, getting to know the toddlers in the village, then returning to track their development over the course of the following decade. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village offers an intimate look at how these children, raised on the tenets of Buddhism, are trained to set aside selfish desires for the good of their families and the community. Chapin reveals how this cultural conditioning is carried out through small everyday practices, including eating and sleeping arrangements, yet she also explores how the village’s attitudes and customs continue to evolve with each new generation.
Combining penetrating psychological insights with a rigorous observation of larger social structures, Chapin enables us to see the world through the eyes of Sri Lankan children searching for a place within their families and communities. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village offers a fresh, global perspective on child development and the transmission of culture.
The social and cognitive development of children is a complex yet crucial process for parents to understand, and though there are numerous books on child development, A Good Start in Life stands out from the rest as an acclaimed and important work on the connections between childhood brain and behavioral development.
This new paperback edition, updated with the latest information and new material, offers parents and educators a rich and invaluable resource on how children learn to live in family and society from birth to age six. Norbert Herschkowitz, MD, and his wife Elinore Chapman Herschkowitz draw on their lifetime of experience in studying infants and children to explain how brain development shapes a child’s personality and behavior. Organizing their narrative by age, the authors examine a wide range of social development issues, from appropriate rule-setting to the development of key character elements in a child such as moral sensibility, temperament, language development, playing, aggression, impulse control, and empathy.
Some of the most popular features of the hardcover edition are retained here, including the question-and-answer section that concludes each chapter with real questions posed by parents to Dr. Herschkowitz, as well as brain maps and charts that display milestones in the development of various skills. Additional new material addresses concerns about prematurely born babies and the issue of resilience in children.
In today’s world, children grow up in an incredibly complex and highly sensory environment. A Good Start in Life offers a clear, concise, and richly detailed guide infused with warmth and encouragement that enables parents and educators to constructively stimulate and shape their children’s cognitive and social development.
“A must read . . . a gift to all parents.”—Rosemarie T. Truglio, vice-president, Education and Research, Sesame Workshop
“Do the first three years of life represent a critical period for all aspects of development? Are we the product of our genes or of our environment? Does early exposure to Mozart make for smarter babies? The answers to these and other pressing questions are skillfully and elegantly answered in this wonderful book, which I enthusiastically recommend.”
—Charles A. Nelson, Distinguished McKnight University Professor of Child Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pediatrics, University of Minnesota
“This delightfully written book . . . is not merely a how-to book, but a book about understanding how a child truly grows.”
—Guy McKhann, MD, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
A volume in the Social Science Frontiers series, which are occasional publications reviewing new fields for social science development. These occasional publications seek to summarize recent work being done in particular areas of social research, to review new developments in the field, and to indicate issues needing further investigation. The publications are intended to help orient those concerned with developing current research programs and broadening the use of social science in the policy-making process. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Social Science Frontiers Series
Katherine Nelson re-centers developmental psychology with a revived emphasis on development and change, rather than foundations and continuity. Nelson argues that a child’s entrance into the community of minds is a gradual process with enormous consequences for child development, and the adults that they become.