Philosophy and Developmental Psychology

Gareth B. Matthews

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780195312881
Published online January 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Philosophy and Developmental Psychology

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This article questions the contributions of developmental psychology to the philosophical understanding of the various cognitive dimensions of education. It discusses Jean Piaget's theory about childhood and evaluates how philosophical thinking might fit into the Piagetian picture of cognitive development. It suggests that we should not allow developmental psychology to structure completely our conception of our children or our relationship with them. It stresses the need to get beyond a deficit conception of childhood by learning to hear what our children have to say and engaging with them in genuinely philosophical discussions.

Keywords: developmental psychology; education; cognitive dimensions; Jean Piaget; childhood; cognitive development; philosophical discussions

Article.  7524 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Social and Political Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind

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