Adam Smith and…Cognitive Science?

Glenney_Brian_2008_11_21_02_08_11Assistant professor of philosophy Brian Glenney recently published an article in the Journal of Scottish Philosophy. Entitled “Adam Smith and the Problem of the External World,” the article is the first to address Smith’s essay “On the External Senses” (1737). Brian’s work advances the idea that Smith, one of history’s most well-known economists, was also the first to suggest two major findings in cognitive science: that there exists a “critical period” for brain development and that the perception of infants is structured. As Brian states in the article, “One wonders after reading Smith’s essay whether the dark ages of developmental psychology, which culminated in James’ appellation of infant experience as a ‘blooming, buzzing confusion,’ would have emerged had Smith been as persistent in his account of perception as he was in his accounts of the principles of economy and morality.”

To see the article abstract, click here.

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