Essay about Possible Worlds : Why Do Children Pretend?

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In the essay “Possible Worlds: Why do Children Pretend?” by Alison Gopnik she explains her theory of counterfactual thinking and the result of that being possible worlds. Gopnik suggests that counterfactuals are the possibilities of what could have occurred in life. These counterfactuals are the cause, and the effect is the creation of possible worlds. Gopnik defines possible worlds as “the productions of hope and imagination” (163). Possible worlds are seen as the result of a counterfactual; they are the possibilities of what could have happened. Alison Gopnik also speaks on how knowledge and imagination coincide to form these possible worlds. According to Gopnik causal knowledge is knowing that because two things are connected you can figure out the outcome of one thing if you were to change the other. In addition to the use of imagination, a vision is formed. This vision, then in turns leads to the possibilities of what could occur if this vision is played out or not. Throughout Gopniks article, she ties knowledge and imagination together and how each one works on the other to create a possible world. From Gopniks theories people don’t live in the real world instead, they live in counterfactual thoughts. Having the ability to think about an event and the different ways it can play out is what gives humans evolutionary success. Gopnik claims “Counterfactual thinking lets us make new plans, invent new tools, and create new environments” (Gopnik 166). This quote shows the…

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