Genetic Epistemology

  • Jean Piaget
  • study of origins of knowledge (and how it's developed in human bodies)
  • mapping children's development by ages into four stages:
    • sensimotor (0-2 years) - motor actions
    • pre-operational (2-7 years) - "intuitive"
    • concrete operational (7-11 years) - logic depending on concrete references
    • formal operational (11-15 years) - thinking with abstractions
  • cognitive structure adapts through assimilation and accommodation:

    assimilation involves the interpretation of events in terms of existing cognitive structure

    accommodation refers to changing the cognitive structure to make sense of the environment

Piaget believed that knowledge is a biological function that results from the actions of an individual through change. He also stated that knowledge consists of structures, and comes about by the adaptation of these structures with the environment.