Read Structuralism by Jean Piaget Free Online
Book Title: Structuralism|
The author of the book: Jean Piaget
ISBN 13: 9780061316104
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.25 MB
Edition: Harper Colophon Books
Date of issue: 1971
Read full description of the books Structuralism:Jean Piaget's structuralist approach is defined by three components: Structures are wholes and wholes are something greater than parts (structures are not aggregates); they are characterized by transformation (they are not static); and, they are self-regulatory. Piaget then applies this view of structuralism to logical/ mathematical, biological, psychological, linguistic, social, and philosophical thought. Piaget's arguments here are more technical and hard to follow.
Piaget's discussion of biological structures is clearer than the others. In contrast to views of structures as atomistic, irreducible units, Piaget sees structures as self-contained bodies that interact with a larger world (internal to the body, or external to the outside world) and, thereby, become parts of and function as a greater whole. It is this exchange with a broader environment that results in the transformation of the whole (and its parts). A structure brings something inside itself and is transformed as a result. And finally, such exchanges are regulated so that while transformation occurs, the integrity (identity) of the whole remains. In this way, structures operate dialectically and move from simple to complex, with each structure becoming part of a hierarchical series (parts are parts of wholes that in turn become parts of greater wholes), and each structure builds upon but extends what has occurred before. In this way, the human body is formed, and the mind is able to move from the instinctual to concrete structures, and from these to logical and mathematical structures that sit at the apex of abstract thought.
A couple of other interesting points can be highlighted about Piaget's structuralism. Hegel's dialectic philosophy is, to the extent one can understand Hegel, strikingly similar to Piaget's description (Piaget alludes to this, but doesn't develop this thought). In biology, Piaget makes an almost incidental comment that the primary vehicle for evolutionary variation is not mutation and natural selection, but rather the recombination of individual genetic structures as they interact (via reproduction) with the larger genetic pool that natural selection then acts upon.
Piaget is a difficult writer, but this small book provides a fairly quick and easy introduction to a key feature of his scientific approach. Understandably, Piaget is silent about the essential property of life, which is "in charge" of and regulates the whole, and which keeps identity and preserves the whole amidst transformation. We understand that structures are constituted by organization, but the "organizer" is missing.
Read information about the authorJean Piaget was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist and developmental theorist, well known for his work studying children, his theory of cognitive development and for his epistemological view called "genetic epistemology." He created in 1955 the International Centre for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva and directed it until 1980. According to Ernst von Glasersfeld, Jean Piaget is "the great pioneer of the constructivist theory of knowing."
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