The Origins of Knowledge

December 11, 2012
Friday, April 16, 2010 - 1:00pm
Ohio Union Great Hall Meeting Room

Susan Carey
vs.
Jay McClelland

About the Debate:

How do people gain knowledge about the world around them? Are we born with some fundamental knowledge about concepts like object, number or space, or do we have to learn everything? On April 16, 2010, The Ohio State Center for Cognitive Science will host a debate on this question that has intrigued scientists and philosophers for more than 2,000 years.

The debate will bring together two outstanding scientists representing two different answers to the question of Origins of Knowledge. Professor Susan Carey of Harvard University has been advocating the position of innate knowledge through her brilliant work on infant understanding of object and number. Professor James McClelland of Stanford University has been advocating the learning position through his pioneering research of learning in networks of interacting neuron-like elements.

The Origins of Knowledge Debate Banner advertising: Susan Carey vs. Jay McClelland

It is not difficult to see why the question of origins of knowledge is of fundamental importance for cognitive scientists, as well as philosophers, psychologists, linguists, computer scientists, neuroscientists and biologists. Answers to this question will determine how we study cognition and language as well as learning and development in the years to come. Answers will also affect the ways we design artificial intelligence and learning systems.

Each speaker will have 45 minutes to outline their cases. There will then be an 1½ hour question/answer session, with a reception to follow. The debate will be streamed live at:

http://streaming.osu.edu/mediawww2/CogScience/041610/real/
Download real player version to computer
(Unzip the file, open the unzipped folder, open the folder named debaterealplayer then go to the folder named real and the folder named web and open the index.htm file)

http://streaming.osu.edu/mediawww2/CogScience/041610/windows/
Download Windows Media player version to computer
(Unzip the file, open the unzipped folder, open the folder named Debate Windows and open the index.htm file)

http://streaming.osu.edu/mediawww2/CogScience/041610/flash/
Download flash player version to computer
(Unzip the file, open the unzipped folder, open the folder named debateflash and open the index.htm file)

You will need a computer with a browser and Windows Media Player or RealPlayer (MAC) or Flash to view the debate. Test Link from Dentistry is a test link that you can try to see if everything needed is present and working on your computer.

The OSU Center for Cognitive Science is honored to host these leading minds providing different answers to the fundamental question of human cognition. The debate will be held at 1:00 p.m. on April 16 in the Great Hall Meeting Room of the Ohio Union. Everyone is welcome however RSVP is required.

Back to the Debate Seminars Series

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