Jean Piaget was a Swiss psychologist, who’s main focus was on child development. Jean Piaget developed the theory of cognitive development, and an epistemological view which together was named ‘Genetic Epistemology’. 

Here are some mind-blowing existential quotes by Jean Piaget on life, psychology, and children!

1. “To understand is to invent.” – Jean Piaget

2. “Logical activity is not the whole of intelligence. One can be intelligent without being particularly logical.” – Jean Piaget

3. “Play is the work of childhood.” – Jean Piaget

4. “When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” – Jean Piaget

5. “For me, education means making creators…” – Jean Piaget

6. “The first type of abstraction from objects I shall refer to as simple abstraction, but the second type I shall call reflective abstraction, using this term in a double sense.” – Jean Piaget

7. “Knowing reality means constructing systems of transformations that correspond, more or less adequately, to reality.” – Jean Piaget

8. “Children have real understanding only of that which they invent themselves.” – Jean Piaget

9. “We learn more when we are compelled to invent.” – Jean Piaget

 

10. “The essential functions of the mind consist in understanding and in inventing.” – Jean Piaget

 

11. “Children require long, uninterrupted periods of play and exploration.” – Jean Piaget

12. “If you follow the child… you can find out something new.” – Jean Piaget

13. “True interest appears when the self identifies itself with ideas or objects when it finds in them a means of expression and they become a necessary form of fuel for its activity.” – Jean Piaget

14. “Logical positivists have never taken psychology into account in their epistemology, but they affirm that logical beings and mathematical beings are nothing but linguistic structures.” – Jean Piaget

15. “In genetic epistemology, as in developmental psychology, too, there is never an absolute beginning.” – Jean Piaget

16. “The child often sees only what he already knows. He projects the whole of his verbal thought into things. He sees mountains as built by men, rivers as dug out with spades, the sun and moon as following us on our walks.” – Jean Piaget

17. “When the child imitates the rules practiced by his older companions, he feels that he is submitting to an unalterable law.” – Jean Piaget

18. “To accustom the infant to get out of its own difficulties or to calm it by rocking it may be to lay the foundations of a good or of a bad disposition.” – Jean Piaget

19. “Every acquisition of accommodation becomes material for assimilation, but assimilation always resists new accommodations.” – Jean Piaget

20. “Scientific thought, then, is not momentary; it is not a static instance; it is a process.” – Jean Piaget

21. “Every observer has noted that the younger the child, the less sense he has of his own ego.” – Jean Piaget

22. “Logical reasoning is an argument which we have with ourselves and which reproduces internally the features of a real argument.” – Jean Piaget

23. “I engage my subjects in conversation, patterned after psychiatric questioning, with the aim of discovering something about the reasoning underlying their right but especially their wrong answers.” – Jean Piaget

24. “From the moral as from the intellectual point of view, the child is born neither good nor bad but master of his destiny.” – Jean Piaget

25. “During the earliest stages the child perceives things like a solipsist who is unaware of himself as subject and is familiar only with his own actions.” – Jean Piaget

26. “Knowledge is not predetermined by heredity.” – Jean Piaget

 

27. “To express the same idea in still another way, I think that human knowledge is essentially active.” – Jean Piaget

 

28. “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” – Jean Piaget

29. “Intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do.” – Jean Piaget

30. “Play is the answer to the question, ‘How does anything new come about?” – Jean Piaget

31. “To perceive is to construct intellectually.” – Jean Piaget

32. “Equilibrium is the profoundest tendency of all human activity.” – Jean Piaget

33. “Play is the answer to how anything new comes about.” – Jean Piaget

34. “Intelligence, the most plastic and at the same time the most durable structural equilibrium of behavior, is essentially a system of living and acting operations.” – Jean Piaget

35. “Only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent or gradual.” – Jean Piaget

36. “How much more precious is a little humanity than all the rules in the world.” – Jean Piaget

37. “The child is a realist in every domain of thought.” – Jean Piaget

38.

Jean Piaget Quotes

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39. “I have always detested any departure from reality, an attitude which I relate to my mother’s poor mental health.” – Jean Piaget

40. “The main functions of intelligence, that of inventing solutions and that of verifying them, do not necessarily involve one another. The first partakes of imagination; the second alone is properly logical.” – Jean Piaget

41. “Our problem, from the point of view of psychology and from the point of view of genetic epistemology, is to explain how the transition is made from a lower level of knowledge to a level that is judged to be higher.” – Jean Piaget

42. “To reason logically is so to link one’s propositions that each should contain the reason for the one succeeding it, and should itself be demonstrated by the one preceding it. Or at any rate, whatever the order adopted in the construction of one’s own exposition, it is to demonstrate judgments by each other.” – Jean Piaget

43. “Egocentrism appears to us as a form of behavior intermediate between purely individual and socialized behavior.” – Jean Piaget

44. “This means that no single logic is strong enough to support the total construction of human knowledge.” – Jean Piaget

45. “The self thus becomes aware of itself, at least in its practical action, and discovers itself as a cause among other causes and as an object subject to the same laws as other objects.” – Jean Piaget

46. “Logic and mathematics are nothing but specialized linguistic structures.” – Jean Piaget

47. “Punishment renders autonomy of conscience impossible.” – Jean Piaget

48. “Everyone knows that at the age of 11-12, children have a marked impulse to form themselves into groups and that the respect paid to the rules and regulations of their play constitutes an important feature of this social life.” – Jean Piaget

49. “Every psychological explanation comes sooner or later to lean either on biology or on logic…” – Jean Piaget

50. “Scientific knowledge is in perpetual evolution; it finds itself changed from one day to the next.” – Jean Piaget

51. “The child of three or four is saturated with adult rules. His universe is dominated by the idea that things are as they ought to be, that everyone’s actions conform to laws that are both physical and moral – in a word, that there is a Universal Order.” – Jean Piaget

52. “The more the schemata are differentiated, the smaller the gap between the new and the familiar becomes, so that novelty, instead of constituting an annoyance avoided by the subject, becomes a problem and invites searching.” – Jean Piaget

 

53. “The most developed science remains a continual becoming.” – Jean Piaget

 

54. “I always like to think on a problem before reading about it.” – Jean Piaget

55. “One of the most striking things one finds about the child under 7-8 is his extreme assurance on all subjects.” – Jean Piaget

56. “Before playing with his equals, the child is influenced by his parents. He is subjected from his cradle to a multiplicity of regulations, and even before language he becomes conscious of certain obligations.” – Jean Piaget

57. “During the first few months of an infant’s life, its manner of taking the breast, of laying its head on the pillow, etc., becomes crystallized into imperative habits. This is why education must begin in the cradle.” – Jean Piaget

58. “With regard to moral rules, the child submits more or less completely in intention to the rules laid down for him, but these, remaining, as it were, external to the subject’s conscience, do not really transform his conduct.” – Jean Piaget

59. “All morality consists in a system of rules, and the essence of all morality is to be sought for in the respect which the individual acquires for these rules.” – Jean Piaget

60. “The current state of knowledge is a moment in history, changing just as rapidly as the state of knowledge in the past has ever changed and, in many instances, more rapidly.” – Jean Piaget

61. “The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things.” – Jean Piaget

62. “Each time one prematurely teaches a child something he could have discovered himself, that child is kept from inventing it and consequently from understanding it completely.” – Jean Piaget

63. “It is with children that we have the best chance of studying the development of logical knowledge, mathematical knowledge, physical knowledge, and so forth.” – Jean Piaget

 

64. “What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see.” – Jean Piaget

 

65. “Every structure is to be thought of as a particular form of equilibrium, more or less stable within its restricted field and losing its stability on reaching the limits of the field.” – Jean Piaget

66. “Childish egocentrism is, in its essence, an inability to differentiate between the ego and the social environment.” – Jean Piaget

67. “Children’s games constitute the most admirable social institutions. The game of marbles, for instance, as played by boys, contains an extremely complex system of rules – that is to say, a code of laws, a jurisprudence of its own.” – Jean Piaget

68. “There exist in the child certain attitudes and beliefs which intellectual development will more and more tend to eliminate.” – Jean Piaget

69. “To avoid the difficulties of teleological language, adaptation must be described as an equilibrium between the action of the organism on the environment and vice versa.” – Jean Piaget

70. “In other words, knowledge of the external world begins with an immediate utilization of things, whereas knowledge of self is stopped by this purely practical and utilitarian contact.” – Jean Piaget

71. “The practice of narrative and argument does not lead to invention, but it compels a certain coherence of thought.” – Jean Piaget

72. “Cooperation between equals not only brings about a gradual change in the child’s practical attitude but that it also does away with the mystical feeling towards authority.” – Jean Piaget

73. “On the one hand, there are individual actions such as throwing, pushing, touching, rubbing. It is these individual actions that give rise most of the time to abstraction from objects.” – Jean Piaget

74. “From this time on, the universe is built up into an aggregate of permanent objects connected by causal relations that are independent of the subject and are placed in objective space and time.” – Jean Piaget

75. “Every response, whether it be an act directed towards the outside world or an act internalized as thought, takes the form of an adaptation or, better, of a re-adaptation.” – Jean Piaget

76. “Reflective abstraction, however, is based not on individual actions but on coordinated actions.” – Jean Piaget

77. “Memory is dependent upon the activity, and a real activity presupposes interest.” – Jean Piaget

78. “If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another.” – Jean Piaget

 

Which Jean Piaget quote is your favorite and why? Comment below!




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