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The great Swiss psychologist and theorist Jean Piaget (1896-1980) had much to say about the developing mind. He also had plenty to say about his own development, much of it, as Fernando Vidal shows, plainly inaccurate. In this historical biography of Piaget, Vidal tells the story of the psychologist's intellectual and personal development up to 1918. By exploring the philosophical, religious, political and social influences on the psychologist's early life, Vidal alters basic assumptions about the origins of Piaget's thinking and his later psychology. The resulting profile is strikingly dissimilar to Piaget's own retrospective version. In Piaget's own account, as an adolescent he was a precocious scientist dedicated to questions of epistemology. This text also shows him as being concerned with the foundations of religious faith and knowledge, immersed in social and political matters, and actively involved in Christian and socialist groups. Far from being devoted solely to the classification of molluscs, the young Piaget was a vocal champion of Henri Bergson's philosophy of creative evolution, an interest that figures much more prominently in his later thinking than did his early work in natural history. During World War I he chastised conservatism and nationalism, espoused equality and women's rights, and advocated the role of youth in the birth of a new Christianity. In his detailed account of Jean Piaget's childhood and adolescence - enriched by the intellectual and cultural landscape of turn-of-the-century Neuchatel - Vidal reveals a little-known Piaget, a youth whose struggle to reconcile science and faith adds a new dimension to the understanding of the great psychologist's life, thought and work.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674667167
ISBN-10: 0674667166
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 162mm x 21mm)
Pages: 288
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 12-Jul-1994
Country of Publication: United States


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