Quotation by John Cleverley

The child receives data through the sense organs; the child also has some inborn processing capacities—otherwise it would not be able to learn—but in addition, some "information" or "programs" are built-in at birth (for example, the child does not have to learn how to suck, for this is an innate reflex); there is a working memory, in which the child keeps those items of knowledge that are being used at a particular moment; and there is a permanent memory, which is, in Locke's terms, largely a "blank tablet" at birth, but which has a storage capacity that makes a hard disk pale into insignificance. The child gradually builds up a symbolic representation of the world around it, so there must be some inner "language" or medium of representation; even a newborn baby is starting to see and taste and smell and hear and touch, and to remember the more striking of its experiences, so the internal medium by which it represents and stores these impressions cannot be the native language (of which it is still ignorant. Jerry Fodor [in The Language of Thought] has discussed this inbuilt "language of thought," which is similar conceptually to the "machine language" that is built into the personal computer and about which most users remain completely ignorant).
John Cleverley, Australian educator, and D.C. Phillips. Visions of Childhood: Influential Models from Locke to Spock, ch. 9, Columbia University Press (1986).
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