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By Richard Kohler

Jean Piaget was once one of many nice thinkers of the 20 th century. His impression on developmental psychology, schooling and epistemology has been huge, immense. this article undertakes a reconstruction of the contexts and highbrow improvement of Piaget's various texts within the wide-ranging fields of biology, philosophy, psychoanalysis, baby psychology, social psychology, theology, good judgment, epistemology and education.

Richard Kohler reconstructs the usually neglected theological foundation of Piaget's theories and analyses the impact this had upon many of the parts of his study and reflections, really with regards to schooling.

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Extra resources for Jean Piaget (Continuum Library of Educational Thought)

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Wilfred Monod, a friend of Piaget’s father, commented on the manuscript in a 14-page letter prior to publication. He praised Piaget’s intention and courage but noted that many thoughts were obscure and some even dangerous. Piaget was told that although his work was more of a philosophical than a religious nature, his way of thinking lacked a clear insight into the substance of the matter. “You have written a poem, and I like it as such; but it’s not a philosophical study” (in Vidal 1994a: 156).

The atmosphere in Leysin, situated at an altitude of 1,450 m, must have been somewhat morbid: around half of the tuberculosis patients died and during the war around 6,000 injured and sick soldiers were taken to this health resort. Pain and impending death were omnipresent and created a depressing climate. Coming to terms with a fatal disease creates a paradoxical situation, in so far as self-acceptance would include accepting the disease, thereby accepting one’s own destruction. In order to cope with this paradox and with the pain, many patients try to attribute some sense to their disease.

They are searching for an explanation through meditation and introspection, and thus the disease is often glorified as a way to deeper self-knowledge. “The thinker [. ] must know illness. ), for illness doubles the exchanges between the inmost depths and the consciousness. Piaget presupposed that the intensity of pain was proportional to the degree of inner imbalance. Suffering, in his opinion, would force the mind to examine one’s own identity, thus leading to increased consciousness. In this way, Leysin was a place where Piaget was compelled to construct his own identity.

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