Publication 5648

Piaget J. (1995) Commentary on Vygotsky’s criticisms of Language and Thought of the Child and Judgment and Reasoning in the Child (Translated by Leslie Smith). New Ideas in Psychology 13(3): 325–340. Fulltext at
Extract: It is not without sadness that an author discovers, 25 years after its publication, the work of a fellow author who has died in the meantime, when that work contains so many points of immediate interest to him which should have been discussed personally and in detail. Although my friend A. Luria kept me up to date concerning Vygotsky’s sympathetic and yet critical position with respect to my own work, I was never able to read his writings nor to meet him, and in reading his work today, I regret this profoundly, for we could have come to an understanding on a number of issues. E. Hanfmann, who is one of Vygotsky’s best successors, has kindly asked me to comment on the reflections of this distinguished author concerning my first works. I thank her very warmly for this but also confess some embarrassment, for while Vygotsky’s book appeared in 1934, those of mine which he discusses date back to 1923 and 1924. On thinking over the question of how to carry out such a discussion in retrospect, I have however found a solution that is both simple and instructive (at least for me), namely to ascertain whether what I have done since then confirms or invalidates Vygotsky’s criticisms. The answer is both yes and no: on certain issues I find myself more in agreement with Vygotsky than I would have been in 1934, while on other issues I now have better arguments for answering him than would previously have been the case.

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