Jean Piaget and the Theory of KnowledgeJune 27, 2021
Piaget never saw himself as a child psychologist. His main area of interest was epistemology, which was treated as a branch of philosophy, just like physics, until Piaget tackled this subject and turned it into a science.
Piaget established a kind of relativistic theory of knowledge, which asserts that there are multiple ways of accessing knowledge and that these are studied with the rigor of a scientist without judgment. Since Piaget, the boundaries of this field have expanded further with topics such as women’s ways of thinking, Afrocentric ways of thinking, and moreover, computer-specific ways of thinking. Indeed, artificial intelligence and its computing model owes much more to Piaget than one might think.
At the core of Piaget’s theory lies the view that digging into the depths of children’s access to information will shed light on how knowledge is generally formed and developed. Whether this view really leads to a better understanding of knowledge, like everything about Piaget, is a contentious issue.
For the last ten years Piaget’s views have been challenged by the view that knowledge is an intrinsic element of the brain. Sophisticated experiments reveal that newborn babies are innately in possession of some of the information Piaget believed children formed. However, for those who believe that Piaget still maintains his giant position in the field of cognitive theory, the difference between the knowledge the baby has at birth and the knowledge possessed by adults is so great that new discoveries, far from closing this gap, add an even more mysterious dimension to the event.