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Jean Piaget

Geburtstag: 9. August 1896
Todesdatum: 16. September 1980

Jean Piaget [ʒɑ̃ pjaˈʒɛ] war ein Schweizer Biologe und Pionier der kognitiven Entwicklungspsychologie sowie Begründer der genetischen Epistemologie. Letzteres war eines der großen im 20. Jahrhundert entwickelten Forschungsprogramme zur Verwissenschaftlichung der traditionell als Teil der Philosophie angesehenen Erkenntnistheorie bzw., im französischen Kontext, Epistemologie. «Genetisch» ist dabei im Sinne von «die Genese betreffend» zu verstehen .

Zitate Jean Piaget

„If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another.“

—  Jean Piaget

The Language and Thought of the Child (1923) Tr. Marjorie and Ruth Gabain (1926)
Kontext: If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another. The explainer believes from the start that the reproducer will grasp everything, will almost know beforehand all that should be known, and will interpret every subtlety. Children are perpetually surrounded by adults who not only know much more than they do, but who also do everything in their power to understand them, who even anticipate their thoughts and desires. Children, therefore... are perpetually under the impression that people can read their thoughts, and in extreme cases, can steal their thoughts away. It is obviously owing to this mentality that children do not take the trouble to express themselves clearly... This mentality does not contradict ego-centric mentality. Both arise from the belief of the child, the belief that he is the centre of the universe. These habits of thought account... for the remarkable lack of precision in the childish style.

„Every observer has noted that the younger the child, the less sense he has of his own ego.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: Every observer has noted that the younger the child, the less sense he has of his own ego. From the intellectual point of view, he does not distinguish between external and internal, subjective and objective. From the point of view of action, he yields to every suggestion, and if he does oppose to other people's wills — a certain negativism which has been called "the spirit of contradiction" — this only points to his real defenselessness against his surroundings. A strong personality can maintain itself without the help of this particular weapon. The adult and the older child have complete power over him. They impose their opinions and their wishes, and the child accepts them without knowing that he does so. Only — and this is the other side of the picture — as the child does not dissociate his ego from the environment, whether physical or social, he mixes into all his thoughts and all his actions, ideas and practices that are due to the intervention of his ego and which, just because he fails to recognize them as subjective, exercise a check upon his complete socialization. From the intellectual point of view, he mingles his own fantasies with accepted opinions, whence arise pseudo lies (or sincere lies), syncretism, and all the features of child thought. From the point of view of action, he interprets in his own fashion the examples he has adopted, whence the egocentric form of play we were examining above. The only way of avoiding these individual refractions would lie in true cooperation, such that both child and senior would each make allowance for his own individuality and for the realities that were held in common.

„From the point of view of the practice or application of rules four successive stages can be distinguished.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game
Kontext: From the point of view of the practice or application of rules four successive stages can be distinguished.
A first stage of a purely motor and individual character, during which the child handles the marbles at the dictation of his desires and motor habits. This leads to the formation of more or less ritualized schemas, but since play is still purely individual, one can only talk of motor rules and not of truly collective rules.
The second may be called egocentric for the following reasons. This stage begins at the moment when the child receives from outside the example of codified rules, that is to say, some time between the ages of two and five. But though the child imitates this example, he continues to play either by himself without bothering to find play-fellows, or with others, but without trying to win, and therefore without attempting to unify the different ways of playing. In other words, children of this stage, even when they are playing together, play each one "on his own " (everyone can win at once) and without regard for any codification of rules. This dual character, combining imitation of others with a purely individual use of the examples received, we have designated by the term Egocentrism.
A third stage appears between 7 and 8, which we shall call the stage of incipient cooperation. Each player now tries to win, and all, therefore, begin to concern themselves with the question of mutual control and of unification of the rules. But while a certain agreement may be reached in the course of one game, ideas about the rules in general are still rather vague. In other words, children of 7-8, who belong to the same class at school and are therefore constantly playing with each other, give, when they are questioned separately, disparate and often entirely contradictory accounts of the rules observed in playing marbles.
Finally, between the years of 11 and 12, appears a fourth stage, which is that of the codification of rules. Not only is every detail of procedure in the game fixed, but the actual code of rules to be observed is known to the whole society. There is remarkable concordance in the information given by children of 10-12 belonging to the same class at school, when they are questioned on the rules of the game and their possible variations.

„The motor rule. In its beginnings the motor rule merges into habit.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: The motor rule. In its beginnings the motor rule merges into habit. 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. To accustom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking it may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.
But not every habit will give rise to the knowledge of a rule. The habit must first be frustrated, and the ensuing conflict must lead to an active search for the habitual. Above all, the particular succession must be perceived as regular, i. e. there must be judgment or consciousness of regularity (Regelbewusstseiri). The motor rule is therefore the result of a feeling of repetition which arises out of the ritualization of schemas of motor adaptation. <!-- The primitive rules of the game of marbles (throwing the marbles, heaping them, burying them, etc.) which we observed towards the age of 2-3 are nothing else. The behavior in question starts from a desire for a form of exercise which takes account of the particular object that is being handled. The child begins by incorporating the marbles into one or other of the schemas of assimilation already known to him, such as making a nest, hiding under earth, etc. Then he adapts these schemas to the nature of the object by preventing the marbles from rolling away by putting them in a hole, by throwing them, etc.

„The motor rule is therefore the result of a feeling of repetition which arises out of the ritualization of schemas of motor adaptation.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: The motor rule. In its beginnings the motor rule merges into habit. 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. To accustom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking it may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.
But not every habit will give rise to the knowledge of a rule. The habit must first be frustrated, and the ensuing conflict must lead to an active search for the habitual. Above all, the particular succession must be perceived as regular, i. e. there must be judgment or consciousness of regularity (Regelbewusstseiri). The motor rule is therefore the result of a feeling of repetition which arises out of the ritualization of schemas of motor adaptation. <!-- The primitive rules of the game of marbles (throwing the marbles, heaping them, burying them, etc.) which we observed towards the age of 2-3 are nothing else. The behavior in question starts from a desire for a form of exercise which takes account of the particular object that is being handled. The child begins by incorporating the marbles into one or other of the schemas of assimilation already known to him, such as making a nest, hiding under earth, etc. Then he adapts these schemas to the nature of the object by preventing the marbles from rolling away by putting them in a hole, by throwing them, etc.

„Between the various types of rules which we shall give there will therefore be at once continuity of function and difference of structure.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect <!-- p. 85 -->
Kontext: Between the various types of rules which we shall give there will therefore be at once continuity of function and difference of structure. This renders arbitrary any attempt to cut mental reality up into stages. The matter is further complicated by the "Law of conscious realization" and the resulting time-lag. The appearance of a new type of rule on the practical plane does not necessarily mean that this rule will come into the subject's consciousness, for each mental operation has to be relearned on the different planes of action and of thought.

„It is perhaps in this domain that one realized most how keenly how immoral it can be to believe too much in morality, and how much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 185 -->
Kontext: The majority of parents are poor psychologists and give their children the most questionable moral trainings. It is perhaps in this domain that one realized most how keenly how immoral it can be to believe too much in morality, and how much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world. Thus the adult leads the child to the notion of objective responsibility, and consolidates in consequence a tendency that is already natural to the spontaneous mentality of little children.

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„Egocentrism in so far as it means confusion of the ego and the external world, and egocentrism in so far as it means lack of cooperation, constitute one and the same phenomenon.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 92 -->
Kontext: Egocentrism in so far as it means confusion of the ego and the external world, and egocentrism in so far as it means lack of cooperation, constitute one and the same phenomenon. So long as the child does not dissociate his ego from the suggestions coming from the physical and from the social world, he cannot cooperate, for in order to cooperate one must be conscious of one's ego and situate it in relation to thought in general. And in order to become conscious of one's ego, it is necessary to liberate oneself from the thought and will of others. The coercion exercised by the adult or the older child is therefore inseparable from the unconscious egocentrism of the very young child.

„New schemas are even established which the child looks for and retains with care, as though they were obligatory or charged with efficacy.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 9 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: Mixture of assimilation to earlier schemas and adaptation to the actual conditions of the situation is what defines motor intelligence. But — and this is where rules come into existence — as soon as a balance is established between adaptation and assimilation, the course of conduct adopted becomes crystallized and ritualized. New schemas are even established which the child looks for and retains with care, as though they were obligatory or charged with efficacy.

„There is little mysticism without an element of transcendence, and conversely, there is no transcendence without a certain degree of egocentrism.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 92 -->
Kontext: There is little mysticism without an element of transcendence, and conversely, there is no transcendence without a certain degree of egocentrism. It may be that the genesis of these experiences is to be sought in the unique situation of the very young child in relation to adults. The theory of the filial origin of the religious sense seems to us singularly convincing in this connection.

„The discussion of the game of marbles seems to have led us into rather deep waters. But in the eyes of children the history of the game of marbles has quite as much importance as the history of religion or of forms of government.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 95 -->
Kontext: The discussion of the game of marbles seems to have led us into rather deep waters. But in the eyes of children the history of the game of marbles has quite as much importance as the history of religion or of forms of government. It Is a history, moreover, that is magnificently spontaneous; and it was therefore perhaps not entirely useless to seek to throw light on the child's judgment of moral value by a preliminary study of the social behaviour of children amongst themselves.

„The only way of avoiding these individual refractions would lie in true cooperation, such that both child and senior would each make allowance for his own individuality and for the realities that were held in common.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: Every observer has noted that the younger the child, the less sense he has of his own ego. From the intellectual point of view, he does not distinguish between external and internal, subjective and objective. From the point of view of action, he yields to every suggestion, and if he does oppose to other people's wills — a certain negativism which has been called "the spirit of contradiction" — this only points to his real defenselessness against his surroundings. A strong personality can maintain itself without the help of this particular weapon. The adult and the older child have complete power over him. They impose their opinions and their wishes, and the child accepts them without knowing that he does so. Only — and this is the other side of the picture — as the child does not dissociate his ego from the environment, whether physical or social, he mixes into all his thoughts and all his actions, ideas and practices that are due to the intervention of his ego and which, just because he fails to recognize them as subjective, exercise a check upon his complete socialization. From the intellectual point of view, he mingles his own fantasies with accepted opinions, whence arise pseudo lies (or sincere lies), syncretism, and all the features of child thought. From the point of view of action, he interprets in his own fashion the examples he has adopted, whence the egocentric form of play we were examining above. The only way of avoiding these individual refractions would lie in true cooperation, such that both child and senior would each make allowance for his own individuality and for the realities that were held in common.

„Every thought that enters the head of a child of 2-3 does so from the first in the form of a belief and not in the form of a hypothesis to be verified.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 165 -->
Kontext: !-- Every thought that enters the head of a child of 2-3 does so from the first in the form of a belief and not in the form of a hypothesis to be verified. Hence the very young child's almost systematic romancing as with others and to which one cannot yet give the name of pseudo-lie, so close is the connection between primitive romancing and assertive belief.
Hence finally, the pseudo-lie, which is a sort of romancing used for other people, and serving to pull the child out of any straight due to circumstances, from which he deems it perfectly natural to extricate himself by inventing a story. Just as, from the intellectual point of view the child will elude a difficult question by means of an improvised myth to which he will give momentary credence, so from the moral point of view, an embarrassing situation will give rise to a pseudo-lie. Nor does this involve anything more than an application of the general laws of primitive child thought, which is directed towards its own satisfaction rather than to objective truth. -->It is as his own mind comes into contact with others that truth will begin to acquire value in the child's eyes and will consequently become a moral demand that can be made upon him. As long as the child remains egocentric, truth as such will fail to interest him and he will see no harm in transposing facts in accordance with his desires.

„There are therefore three types of behavior: motor behavior, egocentric behavior (with external constraint), and cooperation.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect <!-- p. 86 -->
Kontext: A second prefatory question faces us: that of society and the individual. We have sought to contrast the child and the civilized adult on the ground of their respective social attitudes. The baby (at the stage of motor intelligence) is asocial, the egocentric child is subject to external constraint but has little capacity for cooperation, the civilized adult of to-day presents the essential character of cooperation between differentiated personalities who regard each other as equals.
There are therefore three types of behavior: motor behavior, egocentric behavior (with external constraint), and cooperation. And to these three types of social behavior there correspond three types of rules: motor rules, rules due to unilateral respect, and rules due to mutual respect.
But here again, one must beware of laying down the law: for things are motor, individual and social all at once. As we shall have occasion to show, rules of cooperation are in some respects the outcome of the rules of coercion and of the motor rules. On the other hand, coercion is applied during the first days of an infant's life, and the earliest social relations contain the germs of cooperation. Here again, it is not so much a question of these successive features themselves as of the proportions in which they are present. Moreover, the way in which conscious realization and the time-lag from one level to another come into play is a further bar to our arranging these phenomena in a strict sequence, as though they made a single appearance and then disappeared from the scene once and for all.

„To perceive is to construct intellectually, and if the child draws things as he conceives them, it is certainly because he cannot perceive them without conceiving them.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 2 : Adult Constraint and Moral Realism <!-- p. 185 -->
Kontext: To perceive is to construct intellectually, and if the child draws things as he conceives them, it is certainly because he cannot perceive them without conceiving them. But to give up gradually the spurious absolutes situated away and apart from the context of relations that has been built up during experience itself is the work of a superior kind of rationality. When the child comes to draw things as he sees them, it will be precisely because he has given up taking isolated objects in and for themselves and has begun to construct real systems of relations which take account of the true perspective in which things are connected.

„But not every habit will give rise to the knowledge of a rule. The habit must first be frustrated, and the ensuing conflict must lead to an active search for the habitual.“

—  Jean Piaget

Quelle: The Moral Judgment of the Child (1932), Ch. 1 : The Rules of the Game, § 8 : Conclusions : Motor Rules and the Two Kinds of Respect
Kontext: The motor rule. In its beginnings the motor rule merges into habit. 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. To accustom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking it may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.
But not every habit will give rise to the knowledge of a rule. The habit must first be frustrated, and the ensuing conflict must lead to an active search for the habitual. Above all, the particular succession must be perceived as regular, i. e. there must be judgment or consciousness of regularity (Regelbewusstseiri). The motor rule is therefore the result of a feeling of repetition which arises out of the ritualization of schemas of motor adaptation. <!-- The primitive rules of the game of marbles (throwing the marbles, heaping them, burying them, etc.) which we observed towards the age of 2-3 are nothing else. The behavior in question starts from a desire for a form of exercise which takes account of the particular object that is being handled. The child begins by incorporating the marbles into one or other of the schemas of assimilation already known to him, such as making a nest, hiding under earth, etc. Then he adapts these schemas to the nature of the object by preventing the marbles from rolling away by putting them in a hole, by throwing them, etc.

„There are no really solipsistic philosophers, and those who think they are deceive themselves. The true solipsist feels at one with the universe, and so very identical to it that he does not even feel the need for two terms.“

—  Jean Piaget

The First Year of Life of the Child (1927), "The Egocentrism of the Child and the Solipsism of the Baby", as translated by Howard E. Gruber and J. Jacques Vonèche
Kontext: There are no really solipsistic philosophers, and those who think they are deceive themselves. The true solipsist feels at one with the universe, and so very identical to it that he does not even feel the need for two terms. The true solipsist projects all his states of mind onto things. The true solipsist is entirely alone in the world, that is, he has no notion of anything exterior to himself. In other words the true solipsist has no idea of self. There is no self: there is the world. It is in this sense it is reasonable to call a baby a solipsist: the feelings and desires of a baby know no limits since they are a part of everything he sees, touches, and perceives.
Babies are, then, obviously narcissistic, but not in the way adults are, not even Spinoza's God, and I am a little afraid that Freud sometimes forgets that the narcissistic baby has no sense of self.
Given this definition of solipsism, egocentrism in children clearly appears to be a simple continuation of solipsism in infants.. Egocentrism, as we have seen, is not an intentional or even a conscious process. A child has no idea that he is egocentric. He believes everybody thinks the way he does, and this false universality is due simply to an absence of the sense of limits on his individuality. In this light, egocentrism and solipsism are quite comparable: both stem from the absence or the weakness of the sense of self.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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