What we like and why we like it.
Bloom’s book ostensibly has two purposes. The main one in practice seems to be about examining what we like and do not like and explain why in each case. The secondary purpose is to locate those preferences in what philosophers call essentialism. This is the idea that each object has its own essence. Among other features of essence are immutability and, in living creatures, the ability to cause things to happen. Bloom is most interested, as a psychologist, in psychological essentialism. This is particularly pertinent to the development of cognition in infants and children. It allows them to make sense of the world around them. It is hard to follow, however, why and how essentialism works in detail, in the brain. So, the link between essentialism and what we like is not all that clear.
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