Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy

By Ellin Kofsky Scholnick; Katherine Nelson et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
The Origin of Piaget's Ideas About Genesis and Development

Jacques Voneche
Archives Jean Piaget, University of Geneva

My aim, in this chapter, is to describe some origins of Piaget's thought and some problems that flow from these origins. I show how Piaget made growing children an instrument for the empirical study of epistemology and used children as evidence for the validity of his own brand of epistemology: genetic epistemology. I do this by tracing the origin of his ideas about genesis and development in other intellectual traditions and describing their subsequent assimilation and transformation by Piaget. Piaget's forging of genetic epistemology in turn raised theoretical and empirical questions for future psychologists to address.


SABATIER

When Piaget started to think over philosophical problems, around the age of 15, he had the good fortune to read Sabatier ( 1839- 1901) Esquisse d'une philosophie de la religion d'après la psychologie et l'histoire ( 1897), from which he retained the idea that religious dogmas can be reduced to mere symbols evolving over time, as he wrote in his autobiography of 1952. This book was based on the idea that the only way that a young Christian can face and resolve the conflict between science and faith, as it stood at the turn of the century, was by cultivating the feeling of the presence of God in his consciousness, independently of dogmas and institutions. Thus, from then on, Piaget's philosophy was always one of consciousness in the phe-

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Conceptual Development: Piaget's Legacy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter 1 1
  • Part 1 - How Should We Represent the Workings and Contents of the Mind? 21
  • Chapter 2 23
  • Chapter 3 53
  • Chapter 4 79
  • Chapter 5 103
  • Chapter 6 131
  • Part II - How Does the Child Construct a Mental Model during the Course of Development? What Is the Developmental Origin of This Model? 163
  • Chapter 7 165
  • Chapter 8 185
  • Chapter 9 209
  • Part III - What Accounts for the Novelties That Are the Products and Producers of Developmental Change? 241
  • Chapter 10 243
  • Chapter 11 253
  • Chapter 12 269
  • Chapter 13 293
  • Author Index 327
  • Subject Index 337
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