Children’s Understanding of Identity - The Kind of Referent That Children Have in Mind When Understanding Identity Arguments
Humanities and Social Sciences
Volume 8, Issue 2, March 2020, Pages: 51-62
Received: Mar. 26, 2020;
Accepted: May 12, 2020;
Published: May 27, 2020
Views 207 Downloads 97
Paul Weingartner, Department of Philosophy, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
Silvia Haring, University Library, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria
In order to conduct the reader to several important features of the old concept of identity we use a dialogue between two brothers of age 14 and 10 (ch.2). These boys point to important problems for children’s understanding identity. These are, for example, children’s ability to use two different names for one object (referent) or how to understand that the same referent is described by different properties (morning/evening star problem) or how can the referent of a name (name of their grandmother) be identical with the referent of a description (woman living 2nd floor, door 13) etc. Such identity situations occur in the test with children described in ch.6. After some preliminaries concerning the used language (ch.3) we offer a classification of identity-statements (ch.4) since several forms of these are used in the identity test (ch.6). Chapter 5 is a detailed study of different types of referents which are used when children understand identity: thought-referent, discourse-referent, perspective-referent are the most important ones. The last - perspective-referent - has many ramifications because of the different types of “perspective”. The last chapter describes an experimental test that has been done with 62 children of age between 3 and 4 years. The test included two identity stories accompanied by two preceding control stories. The result of the tests are as follows: 1. The correlation between age and the solution of the identity tasks is significant. 2. There is a significant difference between 3-years old and 4-years old children concerning both the identity tasks and that of the false belief task. 3. There is a significant correlation between the solution of the identity tasks and the false belief task. Acknowledgement: We would like to thank Josef Perner for several valuable remarks.
Children’s Understanding of Identity - The Kind of Referent That Children Have in Mind When Understanding Identity Arguments, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Vol. 8, No. 2,
2020, pp. 51-62.
Wittgenstein, L. (1960): Tractatus Logico Philosophicus. In: Wittgenstein, Schriften I, Suhrkamp, Frankfurt.
Markman, E. M. and Wachtel, G. F. (1988) Children’s Use of Mutual Exclusivity to Constrain the Meaning of Words. Cognitive Psychology 20, 121-157.
Clark, E. V. (1997): Conceptual perspective and lexical choice in acquisition. Cognition, 64 (1) 1-37.
Doherty, M. J. and Perner, J. (2020): Mental files: Developmental Integration of dual naming and theory of mind. Developmental Review 56, 100909.
Rosch, E. et al. (1976) Basic objects in natural categories. Cognitive Psychology 8, 382-439.
Russell, B. (1940): An Inquiry into Meaning and Truth. Allen & Unwin, London.
Nisbett R. E. (2003): The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently and Why. Free Press, New York.
Russell, B. (1919): Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy. George Allen & Unwin, London.
Kamp, H. and Reyle, U. (1993): From discourse to logic. Introduction to model theoretic semantics of natural language, formal logic and discourse representation theory. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 64 and 246.
Whitehead, A. N. and B. Russell (1927): Principia Mathematica. Universtiy Press, Cambridge. Ch.14.
Karttunen, L. (1976): Discourse referents. In: J McCawley (Ed.): Notes from the linguistic underground. Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 7., Academic Press, New York. p. 363-385.
Bernays, P. (1950): Mathematische Existenz und Widerspruchsfreiheit. In: Etudes de Philosophie des Sciences. Neuchatel, p. 11-25.
Quine (1961): From a Logical Point of View. Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass.
Juhos, B. (1956): Der ‚positive‘ und der ‚negative‘ Aussagengebrauch. Studium Generale 9, p. 78-85.
Weingartner, P. (2000): Basic Questions on Truth. Kluwer (Springer), Dordrecht.
Zalta, E. (1983): Abstract Objects: An Introduction to Axiomatic Metaphysics. D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht.
Hintikka, J. (1956): Identity, Variables and Impredicative Definitions. Journal of Symbolic Logic 21, p. 225-245.
Weingartner, P (1979): Scientific Understanding of a Text. In: Berghel H. et. al. (eds.): Wittgenstein, the Vienna Circle and Critical Rationalism. HPT Vienna, p. 183-190.
Recanati, F. (2012): Mental Files, Oxford University Press. Part 4.
Doherty, M. J. and Perner, J. (1998): Metalinguistic awareness and theory of mind: Just two words for the same thing? Cognitive Psychology, 13, 279-305.
Perner, J., S. Stummer, M. Sprung and M. Doherty (2002): Theory of mind finds its Piagetion perspective: Why alternative naming comes with understanding belief. Cognitive Development, 17, 1451-1472.
Frege, G. (1892): Sinn und Bedeutung. Zeitschrift f. Philosophie und philosophische Kritik, NF 100, p. 25-50.
Weingartner, P. (1974): On the Characterization of Entities by Means of Individuals and Properties. Journal of Philosophical Logic 3, p. 323-336.
Russell, B. (1905): On Denoting. Mind 14.
Aristotle: De Interpretatione. In: The Complete Works of Aristotle. The Revised Oxford Translation, Vol. I, J. Barnes (ed.). Princeton, 1985.
Augustine (DeM): De Magistro. In: Migne, Patrologia, series latina, Vol. 32, p. 1193 – 1222.
Aquinas, Thomas (STh): Summa Theologica. Transl. by Fathers of the English Dominian Province. Maryland, Christian Classics. Westminster 1981.
Brentano, F. (1955): Psychologie vom empirischen Standpunkt, Vol. I, ed. O. Kraus, F. Meiner, Hamburg.
Bunge, M. (1974): Semantics I. Sense and Reference. Reidel, Dordrecht.
Perner, J., B. Rendl and A. Garnham (2007): Objects of Desire, Thought and Reality: Problems of Anchoring Discourse Referents in Development. Mind & Language, 22 (5), p. 475-513.
Doherty, M. J. and Perner, J. (2011): Mutual Exclusivity and Alternative Learning. To be published.
Perner, J., J. L. Brandl and A. Garnham (2003): What is a perspective problem? Developmental issues in belief ascription and dual identity. Facta Philosophica, 5, p. 355-378.
Wenzel, Ch. H. (2007): Chinese Language, Chinese Mind? In: Kanzian, Runggaldier (eds.): Cultures, Conflict-Analysis – Dialogue. Proceedings of the 29. Intern. Wittgenstein Symposium. Ontos Verlag Frankfurt, p. 295-314.
Haring, S. H. (2013) Probleme mit Identitätsaussagen im Kindergartenalter. Diplom-Thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg.
Wimmer, H. and Perner J. (1983): Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children’s understanding of deception. Cognition, 13, p. 103-128.
Huemer, M., Perner, J., Leahy, B. (2018): Mental files theory of mind: When do children consider agents acquainted with different object identities? Cognition 171, 122-129.