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The Work of the Imagination (Understanding Children's Worlds) [Paperback]

Paul L. Harris

Price: £34.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Sep 2000 0631218866 978-0631218869 0
This book demonstrates how children′s imagination makes a continuing contribution to their cognitive and emotional development.

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"In a book as creative and inventive as his subject matter, Paul Harris leads us on an intriguing journey into the world of, and the work of, the imagination...he shows us how thoroughly the mundane, the imaginative, and the magical intermingle, in childhood and adulthood, to form the very nature of human cognition." Henry M. Wellman, University of Michigan. "Paul Harris′s intriguing and lucid book summarizes twenty years of empirical research." Alison Gopnik, Science, April 2001 "A fascinating, accessible and extremely well–researched introduction to how much evolutionary psychologists have learnt over the past few years about this unique ability." Infancia y Aprendizaje , vol 24(2), 2001. "Ground–breaking...this book is quickly becoming required reading for all students of cognitive development and will have an important impact on the field". Social Development "An extraordinarily comprehensive and informative book" Tamar Szabo Gendler, Mind, Vol. 3, Apr. 2002 <!––end––> "This is a highly interesting, nontechnical, easy to read book on children′s imagination and related topics by one of Great Britain′s most distinguished developmental psychologist." John H. Flavell. Department of Psychology, Stanford University. " In a series of ingenious experiments, Paul Harris leads the reader to discoveries and conclusions which are quite extraordinary. The book [has] value and originality." Eugene Subbostsky, Lancaster University "It is a great topic; some of the ideas and materials are very novel and should create a lot of interest. For example, the chapter and ideas on emotion and pretence, and the discussion of functional issues. The chapters are very smoothly and readably written – fascinating>" Judy Dunn, Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. "The chapters read very smoothly and well. The writing is clear, there is lots of interesting experimental material and theoretical ideas, always well presented." Peter Carruthers, University of Sheffield.

From the Back Cover

A long intellectual tradition, uniting such diverse figures as Freud and Piaget, states that children′s early fantasy life is primitive and disorganized. In The Work of the Imagination Paul Harris argues against this tradition, showing that children′s ability to imagine hypothetical and counterfactual possibilities makes a continuing contribution to their cognitive and emotional development. In particular, he reveals how children′s ability to entertain such possibilities is critical for making causal and moral judgements. Incorporating a unique, cross–cutting approach, The Work of the Imagination discusses a number of key topics in cognitive development that are usually discussed quite separately.

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First Sentence
At the Weimar Psychoanalytic Congress in 1911, with Freud and Jung among his audience, the Swiss psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler argued for a distinction between two different modes of thinking: logical or realistic thinking on the one hand, and what he called 'autistic' thinking on the other (Bleuler, 1951). Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ways in which a child uses their Imagination 9 Jan 2007
By Funky Mo-Unky - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I can't say I was disappointed by this book because it is absolutely packed with useful information if you're studying, or have an interest in children and imagination. But this book isn't quite what I expected. I expected the book to explain more about how and why creativity and imagination are important to child development. This book touch's on those area's breifly in the conclusions of each chapter...but it does not go into depth linking all areas of research to explain a point.

Instead this book focus's mainly on the authors own research, which is very extensive, and as I've come to find out is also well recognized. For each chapter his research focus's on a different use of the imagination, and for each chapter there's around 5-8 research studies. Instead of reading a straight APA research report straight out of an academic journal this book contains summaries and results of Harris's own studies and how they relate to each topic. Each chapter builds on the other with pretend play being presented early, and the results described in that chapter and other chapters being used to explain more complex uses of the Imagination, such as counterfactual thinking, later in the book. Overall, the format of the book is very well written. With each chapter being unique in itself, but relating to the overall picture of not just his own research, but past and future research as well.

However this is a fairly difficult book to read. Not because of the writing style, but because it is mostly scientific compared to most books about children, which are generally designed for the everyday parent. But as I stated before if this is for an area of study this book provides a very comprehensive over view of one person's life work on the subject.

There aren't many books available on children and imagination which is kind of odd when you consider how much of a child's life is dominated by their own imaginative interpretations of the world. It's a small area of study, but as the conclusion of this book suggest....the language and reading abilities of our children may depend on how their imagination's are developed and used in early childhood. Which makes this area of study highly under appreciated.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 Aug 2014
By José Monserrat Neto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I WANT TO SEE THE TABLE CONTENTS OF AMAZON BOOKS!!!
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