Article ID: CBB936871253

Overcoming mind-brain dualism. Constructivism, interdisciplinarity, and psychophysiological parallelism in Piaget’s cognitive evolutionary synthesis (2020)


Throughout his life, Piaget’s biological theorizing was poorly understood. This is because, among other probable reasons, his proposals ran contrary to the rediscovery of Mendelian ideas regarding particulate inheritance (and thus also against the later Neo-Darwinian “modern synthesis”). However, his theory was one of the sources of embodied cognition by showing the sensorimotor origins of knowledge. Leaning on cybernetics, he also later tried to bring psychological and neurological models closer together. However, this cross-referencing never produced a dialogue. His perspective is also largely absent from the history of biology. We present two main reasons to clarify this difficult history: a) Genetic Epistemology argued against reductionism at a time when few imagined that construction could offer a bridge notion to arrive at complex systems; b) this perspective raised transdisciplinary questions addressed to specialists focused on their own fields, at a time when inter- and trans- disciplinary communication were uncommon. For Piaget, the different facets of the objects of biology and psychology could be studied from different angles of a common matrix, and this proposal encountered serious obstacles with biologists’ work agenda, as we will try to show.

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Authors & Contributors
Vonèche, J. Jacques
Martí, Eduardo
Tryphon, Anastasia
Silva, Cibelle Celestino
Martins, Roberto de Andrade
Martins, Lilian Al-Chueyer Pereira
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Mefisto: Rivista di medicina, filosofia, storia
Pensée: Recherches Marxistes, Sciences, Société, Philosophie
Human Development
Science, Technology and Human Values
Psychology Press
Amsterdam University Press
Associação de Filosofia e História da Ciência do Cone Sul
Duke University Press
Transaction Publishers
Interdisciplinary approach to knowledge
Piaget, Jean
Vygotskii, Lev Semenovich
Wallon, Henri
McCulloch, Warren
Von Neumann, John
Musil, Robert
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
Early modern
18th century
20th century, early
North America: United States; Canada
United States
Neuchâtel (Switzerland)
Geneva (Switzerland)
Université de Neuchâtel

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