The phenomenological perspective described by M. Merleau-Ponty seems to be emerging in the context of contemporary developmental research, theories of communication, metaphor theory, and cognitive neuroscience. This emergence is not always accompanied by reference to Merleau-Ponty, however, or appropriate interpretation. On some cases, the emergence of the perspective seems rather inadvertent. The purpose of this essay is to ferret out some of the points which contemporary thinking has in common with Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. Though it may appear that the examples (...) chosen for this essay might be scrutinized separately, the thread that ties them together is Merleau-Ponty's work. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
I propose a new perspective on the study of scientific revolutions. This is a transformation from an object-only perspective to an ontological perspective that properly treats objects and processes as distinct kinds. I begin my analysis by identifying an object bias in the study of scientific revolutions, where it takes the form of representing scientific revolutions as changes in classification of physical objects. I further explore the origins of this object bias. Findings from developmentalpsychology indicate that children (...) cannot distinguish processes from objects until the age of 7, but they have already developed a core system of object knowledge as early as 4 months of age. The persistence of this core system is responsible for the object bias among mature adults, i.e., the tendency to apply knowledge of physical objects to temporal processes. In light of the distinction between physical objects and temporal processes, I redraw the picture of the Copernican revolution. Rather than seeing it as a taxonomic shift from a geocentric to a heliocentric cosmology, we should understand it as a transformation from a conceptual system that was built around an object concept to one that was built around a process concept. (shrink)
Some 2300 years ago, Hellenic Philosophy had already produced some rather sophisticated theories of human psychological functioning as well as most of the broad theoretical controversies which characterize the contemporary psychological stage. Democritus, for example, had put forth a theory of thinking and action which emphasized the physiological components of the person and looked to immediate environmental antecedents as explanations for what we did. Plato, by contrast, insisted upon the formal rule-governed characteristics of human thinking as basic to intellect and (...) denied the possibility that these could be acquired piecemeal through experience with environmental events. Nor would he accept the relevance of physiological descriptions for answering psychological questions. The following centuries have witnessed both the intensification of these controversies and their proliferation into new scientific and societal spheres, as intellectual fashions have favored now one and then another theoretic orientation. A resolution to many such controversies was proposed by Aristotle in the course of formulating his developmental and teleological doctrine of Man, and the logic of this mode of resolution still has great relevance today for the evaluation of psychological theories. In Aristotle's account, a new approach to the concept of causality evolved, an approach that paid special attention to how the term "causes" should be applied to biological events. Moreover, this approach to causality was highly successful in integrating biological phenomena with an understanding of the nature of causes for psychological phenomena. The explication of this account demonstrated that "why" explanations and "how" explanations of action could and should be used concurrently and also demonstrated that many psychological controversies were based on pseudo-issues. This approach, and particularly its relevance to developmentalpsychology, will be outlined here. 2012 APA, all rights reserved). (shrink)
This article is an attempt to understand ethical theory not just as a set of well-developed philosophical perspectives but as a range of moral capacities that human beings more or less grow into over the course of their lives. To this end, we explore the connection between formal ethical theories and stage developmental psychologies, showing how individuals mature morally, regarding their duties, responsibilities, ideals, goals, values, and interests. The primary method is to extract from the writings of Kohlberg and (...) his students the cues that help to flesh out a developmental picture of a wide range of ethical perspectives. Thus, developmentalpsychology benefits from gaining a broader understanding of “morality” and “ethics,” and ethical theory benefits from a richer understanding of how moral maturity arises from youthful beginnings in juvenile and adolescent thinking. Results of this study offer insight into the difficulty of teaching ethics and a refined ability to assess moral maturity in business activity. (shrink)
In this article we focus on how the language of developmentalpsychology shapes our conceptualisations and understandings of childrearing and of the parent-child relationship. By analysing some examples of contemporary research, policy and popular literature on parenting and parenting support in the UK and Flanders, we explore some of the ways in which normative assumptions about parenthood and upbringing are imported into these areas through the language of developmentalpsychology. We go on to address the particular (...) attraction of developmentalpsychology in the field of parenting and upbringing within our current cultural context. Drawing on the work of (among others) Zygmunt Bauman, we will show how developmentalpsychology, as one of the instruments that contributes to a breaking down of our existential condition into a series of well-defined, and thus apparently manageable, tasks and categories, displaces rather than confronts the possibly limitless depth of the enormity of the reality of ‘being a parent’. (shrink)
The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmentalpsychology.1 The attack from developmental (...) class='Hi'>psychology arises from the growing body of work on. (shrink)
The idea that we have special access to our own mental states has a distinguished philosophical history. Philosophers as different as Descartes and Locke agreed that we know our own minds in a way that is quite different from the way in which we know other minds. In the latter half of the 20th century, however, this idea came under serious attack, first from philosophy (Sellars 1956) and more recently from developmentalpsychology.1 The attack from developmental (...) class='Hi'>psychology arises from the growing body of work on “mindreading”, the process of attributing mental states to people (and other organisms). During the last 15 years, the processes underlying mindreading have been a major focus of attention in cognitive and developmentalpsychology. Most of this work has been concerned with the processes underlying the attribution of mental states to other people. However, a number of psychologists and philosophers have also proposed accounts of the mechanisms underlying the attribution of mental states to oneself. This process of reading one’s own mind or becoming self-aware will be our primary concern in this paper. (shrink)
In this dissertation, I examine three philosophically important concepts that play a foundational role in developmentalpsychology: theory, representation, and belief. I describe different ways in which the concepts have been understood and present reasons why a developmental psychologist, or a philosopher attuned to cognitive development, should prefer one understanding of these concepts over another.
This article considers the psychology of meditation and other introverted forms of mystical development from a neo-Piagetian perspective, which has commonalities with biogenetic structuralist and neurotheological approaches. Evidence is found that lines of meditative development unfold through Patañjali’s stages at different rates in an echo of the unfolding of lines of cognitive development through Piaget’s stages at different rates. Similar factors predicting the degree of independence of development apply to both conventional cognitive and meditative contents. As the same brain (...) and the same nervous system are involved in both cognitive developmentalpsychology and meditation there are likely to be commonalities between conventional psychological and transpersonal development. Neo-Piagetian transpersonal psychology predicts a variable landscape of spiritual development across traditions and individuals, in line with variability in the cultural learning environment. (shrink)
Developmentalpsychology should play an essential constraining role in developmental cognitive neuroscience. Theories of neural development must account explicitly for the early emergence of knowledge and abilities in infants and young children documented in developmental research. Especially in need of explanation at the neural level is the early emergence of meta-representation.
Abstract The growing field of clinical?developmentalpsychology has been influenced by Lawrence Kohlberg's theory of moral judgement. Too literal a use of structural theory, however, has hindered this field's advancement. This paper argues that a new theory of self is required to apply appropriately developmental theory to clinical practice. The model consists of two related dimensions of self: self?complexity and biographical themes (schemata and themata). A perspective on normal and atypical development given by the interactions between these (...) components is described and implications for practice are discussed. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Introducing persons and the psychology of personhood Jack Martin and Mark H. Bickhard; Part I. Philosophical, Conceptual Perspectives: 2. The person concept and the ontology of persons Michael A. Tissaw; 3. Achieving personhood: the perspective of hermeneutic phenomenology Charles Guignon; Part II. Historical Perspectives: 4. Historical psychology of persons: categories and practice Kurt Danziger; 5. Persons and historical ontology Jeff Sugarman; 6. Critical personalism: on its tenets, its historical obscurity, and its future prospects (...) James T. Lamiell; Part III. Social-Developmental Perspectives: 7. Conceiving of self and others as persons: evolution and development John Barresi, Chris Moore and Raymond Martin; 8. Position exchange theory and personhood: moving between positions and perspectives within physical, sociocultural and psychological space and time Jack Martin and Alex Gillespie; 9. The emergent ontology of persons Mark H. Bickhard; 10. Theorising personhood for the world in transition and change: reflections from a transformative activist stance on human development Anna Stetsenko; Part IV. Narrative Perspectives: 11. Identity and narrative as root metaphors of personhood Amia Lieblich and Ruthellen Josselson; 12. Storied persons: the double triad of narrative identity Mark Freeman. (shrink)
Herein developmental psychological research complementary to Hutto's narrative practices hypothesis is considered. Specifically, I discuss experiential development from the perspective of first, second and third person in the acquisition of knowledge and the con-struction and comprehension of narratives, with relevance for theo-ries of 'theory of mind' and in particular tests of the child's understanding of false belief. I propose that the development of distinct third person belief states requires significant developmental work, which is advanced through social sharing of (...) memory and knowledge, by means of linguistic representations especially through narrative practices of different kinds, personal narratives and story telling. The final sections summarize the view that these developments are part of a broader expansion of consciousness that is evident in many aspects of cognitive change during the later preschool years. (shrink)
What kind mechanisms one deems central for the evolutionary process deeply influences one's understanding of the nature of organisms, including cognition. Reversely, adopting a certain approach to the nature of life and cognition and the relationship between them or between the organism and its environment should affect one's view of evolutionary theory. This paper explores this reciprocal relationship in more detail. In particular it argues that the view of living and cognitive systems, especially humans, as deeply integrated beings embedded in (...) and transformed by their genetic, epigenetic, behavioral, ecological, socio-cultural and cognitive-symbolic legacies calls for an extended evolutionary synthesis that goes beyond either a theory of genes juxtaposed against a theory of cultural evolution and or even more sophisticated theories of gene-culture coevolution and niche construction. Environments, particularly in the form of developmental environments, do not just select for variation, they also create new variation by influencing development through the reliable transmission of non-genetic but heritable information. This paper stresses particularly views of embodied, embedded, enacted and extended cognition, and their relationship to those aspects of extended inheritance that lie between genetic and cultural inheritance, the still gray area of epigenetic and behavioral inheritance systems that play a role in parental effect. These are the processes that can be regarded as transgenerational developmental plasticity and that I think can most fruitfully contribute to, and be investigated by, developmentalpsychology. (shrink)
Cramer et al.'s article is an example of the fruitful application of complex dynamic systems theory. We extend their approach with examples from our own work on development and developmental psychopathology and address three issues: (1) the level of aggregation of the network, (2) the required research methodology, and (3) the clinical and educational application of dynamic network thinking.
I suggest two main ways of interpreting Reid's analysis of the perception of the quality of hardness: Reid endorses two distinct concepts of hardness. The distinction between the two lies in a profoundly different relation between the sensation of hardness and the concept of hardness in each of them. The first concept, which I term as a “sensation-laden concept”, is “the quality that arises in us the sensation of hardness.” The second concept, which I call a “non-sensational concept”, is “the (...) cohesion of the parts of the body with more or less force.” Reid is thinking like a developmental psychologist and postulates what I consider as a gradual development from one concept to the other according to which the initial sensation-laden concept of hardness, which we form during our early childhood, gradually develops into a mature non-sensational concept of hardness. (shrink)
Emotion theories based on research with adults must be able to accommodate developmental data if they are to be deemed satisfactory accounts of human emotion. Inspired in part by theory and research on adult emotion, developmentalists have investigated emotion-related processes including affect elicitation, internal and overtly observable emotion responding, emotion regulation, and understanding emotion in others. Many developmental studies parallel investigations conducted with adults. In this article, we review current theories of emotional development as well as research related (...) to the several aspects of emotion designated above. Beyond providing an overview of the field, we hope to encourage greater cross-fertilization and research collaboration between developmental psychologists and scholars who focus on adult emotion. (shrink)
The paper presented here is an attempt at casting human development as a semiotic-material phenomenon which reflects power relations and includes uncertainty. On the ground of post-structuralist approaches, development is considered here as a performative concept, which does not represent but creates realities. Emphasis is put on the notions of ‘mediation’, ‘translation’ and ‘materiality’ in everyday practices of students and teachers in a concrete school setting, where I conducted ethnographical research for one school year. The analysis of discursive research material (...) of teachers’ discussions and interviews with students proves the developmental discourse to be interrelated to teachers’ and students’ positioning in the school; the developmental discourse orders ongoing interaction and enables students and teachers to perform the past and witness the future in a way which corresponds with dominant values and state social/educational policies. By translating a variety of events into a line moving from the past to the future as well as by materializing this line as diagrams and other semiotic-material objects, development becomes a technology of the self of (late) modernity which implies power relations and supports the maintenance of the modern order. On these grounds, a relational approach to development is suggested, which raises methodological and political issues. (shrink)
In order to develop sophisticated models of the core domains of knowledge that support complex cognitive processing in infants and children, developmental psychologists have mapped out the content of these knowledge domains. This research strategy may provide a blueprint for advancing research on adult cognitive processing. I illustrate this suggestion with examples from analogical reasoning and decision making.
While the genesis of self-awareness at approximately 18 months old is a dramatic landmark in human development, there is at this stage no explicit awareness on the toddler's part of his/her truly standing apart from others. Only much later does a distinct sense of self shift into focus, and here Sartre provides us with a compelling theory of a first reflective experience of self-awareness. He explains this phenomenon by emphasizing a violent shift in ontological status, one in which the pre-adolescent (...) child is precipitated from functional unity with a primary caregiver to an individuated state involving self-awareness as privative, i.e. where the child becomes aware of existing only in the form of not-being-the-adult. For Sartre this new experience of self is not therefore positive but rather formal or empty; there has in fact been a psychic transition, from being to nothingness. In addition, Sartre also states that all children first explicitly experience themselves in this fashion. These claims find support in the work of developmental psychologist Margaret Mahler. In fact, in spite of the vast developmental discrepancies between toddler and pre-adolescent child, given the appropriate environmental triggers privative subjectivity will be shown to involve a regression to the much earlier rapprochement stage of development described by Mahler. (shrink)
An experimental paradigm that purports to test young children’s understanding of social norms is examined. The paradigm models norms on Searle’s notion of a constitutive rule. The experiments and the reasons provided for their design are discussed. It is argued that the experiments do not provide direct evidence about the development of social norms and that the concepts of a social norm and constitutive rule are distinct. The experimental data are re-interpreted, and suggestions for how to deal with the present (...) criticism are presented that do not require abandoning the paradigm as such. Then the conception of normativity that underlies the experimental paradigm is rejected and an alternative view is put forward. It is argued that normativity emerges from interaction and engagement, and that learning to comply with social norms involves understanding the distinction between their content, enforcement, and acceptance. As opposed to rule-based accounts that picture the development of an understanding of social norms as one-directional and based in enforcement, the present view emphasizes that normativity is situated, reciprocal, and interactive. (shrink)