March 26, 2004
Director of Media Relations
AMHERST, Mass.- Paul Harris, professor of education and faculty member in the human development and psychology area at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, will take up "The Ontogenesis of Trust in Testimony" on Thursday, April 8, at 4:30 p.m. in the Pruyne Lecture Hall in Fayerweather Hall at Amherst College. Harris's talk, sponsored by the Department of Philosophy at Amherst College and the Forry and Micken Fund in Philosophy and Science as part of a series on "Ethics, Metaphysics and Psychology of Belief," will be free and open to the public.
Harris is interested in the early development of cognition, emotion and imagination. His The Work of the Imagination (2000) gathers together several years of research carried out at Oxford University, where he taught developmental psychology and received his doctoral degree. He is studying how far children rely on their own first-hand experience or, alternatively, rely on what people tell them-especially when they confront a new domain of knowledge. His previous works include Children's Understanding of Emotion (co-edited with Carolyn Saarni, 1988), Developing Theories of Mind (co-edited with Janet W. Astington and David R. Olson, 1988), Children and Emotion (1989) and Imagining the Impossible: Magical, Scientific and Religious Thinking in Children (co-edited with Karl S. Rosengren and Carl N. Johnson, 2000).