The Development of Thought : Equilibration of Cognitive Structures by Jean Piaget ; Translated by Arnold Rosin
New York : The Viking Press, 1977. First American Edition. First printing. Hardcover. 213 pages ; illustrated ; 22 cm. $12.50 dust jacket with minimal wear. Pages are clean, unmarked and binding is firm.
Jean Piaget, now eighty-one years of age, is unquestionably one of the world's most renowned psychologists. His life has been devoted to studying the process of learning in children, and the scope of his influence on the field of psychology has often been compared to that of Freud.
This new volume, based on studies made at the International Center of Genetic Epistemology in Geneva, encompasses his latest research and recasts his previous conclusions in the light of his recent work. By postulating a sequence of equilibrium, followed by "non-balance," and then re-equilibration at a higher level, Piaget illuminates not only the development of the mind of a child but also the development of scientific thought. His central idea is that knowledge proceeds neither from experience with external objects nor from intuitive or logical internal processes, but that it develops from a series of cognitive structures, built one above the other, requiring continuous adjustment and leading to further constructions.
Whether an infant perceives the transfer of motion from his hand to a rattle, or a child is disturbed by the disappearance of water that has evaporated, or an adult watching a clay ball being stretched formulates a notion of the conservation of volume and matter, the impulse to find the equilibrium becomes evident. Nonbalance and disturbances are as important to our development of knowledge as are balances. This understanding of the process of knowledge leads to a clearer understanding of the process of teaching. Although Piaget's language is complex, the simplicity and universal applicability of his concepts quickly become apparent.
JEAN PIAGET has written hundreds of articles and over thirty books, the first of which was published in 1923. He earned his doctoral degree at the University of Neuchatel in 1921, became a professor of philosophy there in 1926, a professor of psychology at the University of Geneva in 1929, and professor of general psychology at Lausanne University in 1937. His life work has centered on investigating how children form the concepts of space, time, velocity, force, and chance.
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