Epistemology, Genetic

Epistemology, Genetic


a theoretical cognitive concept developed by J. Piaget and his students in the 1950’s and 1960’s and marked by an antipositivist tendency.

Piaget rejected the static approach to human knowledge and elaborated an operational conception of the intellect; he affirmed the inseparability of object and subject, intellectual activity being a specific form of their interaction. It is on the basis of such interaction that the object and its properties are gradually revealed and knowledge of the object becomes increasingly invariant (in relation to the subject’s varying approach to the object), independently of any particular frame of reference. In his analysis of the cognitive process, Piaget used data from such sciences as mathematics, physics, and biology.

The International Centre of Genetic Epistemology was founded in 1955 under Piaget’s direction. Many noted scientists participated in the work of the center—for example, J. Bruner (USA), F. Bresson (France), L. Apostel (Belgium), E. Beth (Netherlands), and W. Mays (Great Britain). Since 1957 the center has published some 20 volumes in the series Studies in Genetic Epistemology, devoted to such questions as the concept of equilibrium in logic and psychology, language and theory of information, analytical and synthetic connections in the behavior of the subject, logic and perception, and teaching and knowledge.


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