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Dialectic Operations: The Final Period of Cognitive Development

Dialectic Operations: The Final Period of Cognitive Development Arguments for an extension of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development have been derived from philosophical and historical consideration of modern natural sciences. Implicit contradictions, which characterize these sciences as well as common thought, can be systematically apprehended only through a dialectic reinterpretation. The dialectic basis of Piaget’s theory is expressed in his assimilation-accommodation paradigm. But development is interpreted as a continuing alienation from this basis culminating in the noncontradictory thinking of formal operations. Although Piaget’s interpretations capture a rich variety of performances during childhood, they fail to represent adequately the thought and emotions of mature and creative persons. For an interpretation of adulthood and aging, a return to the dialectic basis is necessary. Such a reorganization can proceed from any of the four major levels of development. It introduces intra- and interindividual variations into Piaget’s theory. Individuals may operate simultaneously or in short succession at different cognitive levels. The ceaseless striving toward formal operations becomes inappropriate and ineffective for the level of dialectic maturity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Human Development Karger

Dialectic Operations: The Final Period of Cognitive Development

Human Development , Volume 16 (5): 25 – Jan 1, 2009

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Publisher
Karger
Copyright
© 1973 S. Karger AG, Basel
ISSN
0018-716X
eISSN
1423-0054
DOI
10.1159/000271287
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Arguments for an extension of Piaget’s theory of cognitive development have been derived from philosophical and historical consideration of modern natural sciences. Implicit contradictions, which characterize these sciences as well as common thought, can be systematically apprehended only through a dialectic reinterpretation. The dialectic basis of Piaget’s theory is expressed in his assimilation-accommodation paradigm. But development is interpreted as a continuing alienation from this basis culminating in the noncontradictory thinking of formal operations. Although Piaget’s interpretations capture a rich variety of performances during childhood, they fail to represent adequately the thought and emotions of mature and creative persons. For an interpretation of adulthood and aging, a return to the dialectic basis is necessary. Such a reorganization can proceed from any of the four major levels of development. It introduces intra- and interindividual variations into Piaget’s theory. Individuals may operate simultaneously or in short succession at different cognitive levels. The ceaseless striving toward formal operations becomes inappropriate and ineffective for the level of dialectic maturity.

Journal

Human DevelopmentKarger

Published: Jan 1, 2009

Keywords: Aging; Alienation; Childhood; Cognitive development; Contradiction; Creativity; Dialectic logic; Formal logic; Maturity

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