Critical Readings on Piaget by Leslie Smith

By Leslie Smith

Severe Readings on Piaget is a follow-up to Piaget: serious exams, a set of eighty-three papers facing the critique of Piaget's paintings in psychology, schooling and philosophy through the interval 1950-90. This new assortment tracks advancements within the most up-to-date released paintings throughout the interval 1990-95, with an critical advisor and editorial statement through Leslie Smith. This number of specified experiences in this 5 12 months interval offers high-profile and fascinating examples from present examine during this zone.

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P. 177) But it is also a way of underlining the social nature of this equilibrium. Now, from the outset, Piaget expresses the idea that “this moral equilibrium coincides with the ideal psychological equilibrium” (p. 188), that is, the social side of things is conceived of as a reduction of the individual one. This explains the future: Thinking goes from egocentrism to decentration; mental 14 Jacques Vonèche growth goes from the solipsism of the baby to the “absolute altruism and abstinence from all passion” (p.

Evolution is thus, as thought Bergson, always creative. It can only end in the moral absolute as far as man is concerned and in the vital absolute for animals. The reader will have recognised here the resurgence, through Bergson, of the Aristotelian science of kinds. Piaget does not try to hide this: Sebastian, who had always been enthusiastic about Bergson’s philosophy, did not accept any of its particular theses, but believed all the same that he prolonged it in its underlying logic. He was Bergsonian without duration, which is the limit for Bergsonism… What pleased him in particular was the way in which this philosophy had shown the possibility of rehabilitating the Greek kinds.

Piaget’s central problem, at that time, was to explain the necessary, but not predetermined nature of the order of the sequences of cognitive development. To do this, he was animated by his own work on perception, on the encounters and couplings between the subject and his environment, and on what was understood at the time about game theory. The main problem with this model, for Piaget, lay in the fact that it was too logico-mathematical—statistical even—in nature and that it overlooked the biological aspects of knowledge, in particular the principle of auto-regulation which is more than just a balance between physico-chemical forces; it necessarily involves a conservation of the parts by the whole and vice-versa.

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