Repression in the child's conception of the world: A phenomenological reading of Piaget

Philosophical Psychology 6 (2):167 – 180 (1993)
Abstract
The present article undertakes a psychological reading of The Child's Conception of the World as a cultural artifact in which genetic psychology's naturalistic and positivistic assumptions reflect an Enlightenment model of science, and Piaget figures as an agent of technological rationality. A phenomenological analysis of the text reveals how Piaget's research engages in an active repression of specific dimensions of childhood experience. Young children's 'adualistic' conceptions of thought, self and language are deemed 'confused', and thereby discounted, by virtue of the fact such children do not 'correctly' dichotomize experience in accord with the cultural norm of mechanistic rationality. Piaget's numerous associations of the child's 'primitive' views and the (childish) thought of the pre-Socratics are briefly explored.
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