Re: [xmca] Re: the Strange Situation - process and the 'non-staticness' of concepts

From: Dewey Dykstra <ddykstra who-is-at>
Date: Wed Oct 29 2008 - 12:32:28 PDT

It would be of some value to study carefully Vygotsky's chapter on
Piaget (Ch 2, Thought & Language) written in the early '30's and the
response Piaget was invited to write in the early '60's when the book
was published first in English. Apparently Piaget had no access to
Vygotsky's writing while it was still in Russian. Piaget's response
can be found in New Ideas in Psychology, vol. 18 (2000): 241 - 259.

I believe you will be able to discern differences at the level of the
basic beliefs about the nature and status of knowledge in human
beings between V & P. The differences are substantial. As such, V &
P were on very different tracks.


On Oct 29, 2008, at 8:28 AM, Martin Packer wrote:

> David,
> On 10/29/08 12:55 AM, "David Kellogg" <>
> wrote:
>> But what of it? The real issue, at least for our study group, is
>> whether or
>> not Piaget believes that concepts such as causality arise on the
>> basis of
>> schemata, and whether these schemata arise on the basis of the
>> modification of
>> the senses. On this Piaget is very clear:
> Well, for Piaget concepts *are* schemata. Of course for Kant
> causality is
> one of the 4 basic concepts or categories that mind brings to
> experience of
> the world. The other three are space, time, and object. Kant's
> argument is
> that these are not in the world, for if they were our knowledge of
> them
> would be merely contingent, not necessary. So they must be provided
> by the
> mind, actively applied to sensory input.
> Piaget agreed with Kant in general, but he thought that Kant went
> too far in
> claiming that the concepts space, time, causality and object are
> innate. He
> believed these fundamental schemata are themselves constructed, and
> so his
> books about infancy are about how the child constructs them from
> more basic
> kinds of schemata. (Textbooks talk only about the construction of
> object,
> object permanence, but the others were equally important to Piaget.)
> But according to Piaget, even during infancy causality and the
> others are
> not product of passive perception. Even in their simpler,
> sensorimotor,
> forms they are actively brought to the world by the child, in the
> form of
> actions. The sensorimotor schemas are circular reactions: forms of
> action
> that shape perception rather then vice versa.
> This all might sound very compatible with Vygotsky, until one
> notices that
> for Piaget the infant's action is only a matter of *moving*
> (displacing)
> objects in space. The infant's action never *produces* anything, it
> simply
> moves stuff around.
> Martin

Dewey I. Dykstra, Jr., Ph. D. Phone: (208)426-3105
Professor of Physics Dept: (208)426-3775
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"The problem in science is you never get to see the yak!"
--D. Dykstra, Science for Monks Project, 2006.

"...a physics major has to be trained to use today's physics whereas
a physics teacher has to be trained to see a development of physical
theories in his students' minds." -- H. Niedderer in
"International Conference on Physics Teachers' Education Proceedings"
Dortmund: University of Dortmund, p. 151, 1992.

"It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of
instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of
inquiry; for
this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in
need of
freedom; without this the plant goes to wreck and ruin without fail."
Einstein in "Autobiographical Notes," 1949.

"Now there are two theorems that form together the cardinal hinge on
which the whole structure of physical science turns. These theorems
"Where Is Science Going?," 1932. (EMPHASIS in the original)

"As a result of modern research in physics, the ambition and hope,
still cherished by most authorities of the last century, that physical
science could offer a photographic picture and true image of reality
had to be abandoned." --M. Jammer in "Concepts of Force," 1957.

"If what we regard as real depends on our theory, how can we make
reality the basis of our philosophy? ...But we cannot distinguish
what is real about the universe without a makes no sense
to ask if it corresponds to reality, because we do not know what
reality is independent of a theory."--S. Hawking in "Black Holes
and Baby Universes" 1993.

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