#18: Michael Tomasello on Writing for Young People
This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
Michael Tomasello is one of the most influential cognitive scientists of the twenty-first century. And yet I would still argue that he is still somehow under-appreciated. He's a truly independent thinker and throughout his career he has pursued ideas that don't fit neatly into any particular intellectual silo but make their presence felt across many of them. In this episode, we talk about the influence of Jerome Bruner, Lev Vygotsky, and Jean Piaget on Mike's thought, where anthropology went after the Cognitive Revolution, how he wrote his first book because he had nothing else going on, writing to shape the minds of young people, the role of outlines in writing, being "problem centered," and the intellectual freedom that comes with being outside of the establishment.
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