During the earliest stages the child perceives things like a solipsist who is unaware of himself as subject and is familiar only with his own actions.

Jean Piaget

Jean Piaget

Profession: Psychologist
Nationality: Swiss

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Logical positivists have never taken psychology into account in their epistemology, but they affirm that logical beings and mathematical beings are nothing but linguistic structures.

During the first few months of an infant's life, its manner of taking the breast, of laying its head on the pillow, etc., becomes crystallized into imperative habits. This is why education must begin in the cradle.

Play is the answer to the question, 'How does anything new come about?'

On the one hand, there are individual actions such as throwing, pushing, touching, rubbing. It is these individual actions that give rise most of the time to abstraction from objects.

The first type of abstraction from objects I shall refer to as simple abstraction, but the second type I shall call reflective abstraction, using this term in a double sense.

With regard to moral rules, the child submits more or less completely in intention to the rules laid down for him, but these, remaining, as it were, external to the subject's conscience, do not really transform his conduct.

In genetic epistemology, as in developmental psychology, too, there is never an absolute beginning.

The child often sees only what he already knows. He projects the whole of his verbal thought into things. He sees mountains as built by men, rivers as dug out with spades, the sun and moon as following us on our walks.

This means that no single logic is strong enough to support the total construction of human knowledge.

The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.

In other words, knowledge of the external world begins with an immediate utilisation of things, whereas knowledge of self is stopped by this purely practical and utilitarian contact.

The child of three or four is saturated with adult rules. His universe is dominated by the idea that things are as they ought to be, that everyone's actions conform to laws that are both physical and moral - in a word, that there is a Universal Order.

Childish egocentrism is, in its essence, an inability to differentiate between the ego and the social environment.

Intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do: when neither innateness nor learning has prepared you for the particular situation.