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Genetic Epistemology: Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development and Intelligence

  • Peter C. Dodwell (a1)

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Psychologists have for many years tried to grapple with the problems of dealing “scientifically” with the psychology of thinking. These attempts have met with little success, in the sense that no agreement has been reached on the definition of what thinking is and how it differs from other forms of behaviour, nor has any satisfactory explanation of thinking been produced. Indeed, one may well ask: what would constitute a satisfactory explanation of thinking ? This is a question which has not generally bothered psychologists particularly, although attempts at explanation suffer changes of fashion from time to time.

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1 Cf. Dodwell, P. C.Causes of Behaviour and Explanation in Psychology”. Mind, Vol. LXIX, N. S., 113.

2 Cf. D. W. Hamlyn's arguments on a related point in The Psychology of Perception.

3 Piaget: The Psychology of Intelligence (1952).

4 Piaget's early interest and work were in biology.

5 See especially Piaget's Logic and Psychology (1953) where this idea is presented in some detail.

6 In fact this is a serious misuse of language, since it involves a “category mistake” in Ryle's sense.

7 See, for example, the review of The Growth of Logical Thinking from Childhood to Adolescence by Parsons, C. A. in Brit. J. Psychol., Vol. 51, No. 1 (1960).

8 See, for example, Dodwell, P. C.Children's Understanding of Number and Related Concepts,” Canad. J. Psychol., Vol. 14, No. 3 (1960).

Genetic Epistemology: Piaget's Theory of Cognitive Development and Intelligence

  • Peter C. Dodwell (a1)

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