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+[[!meta title="The Psychology of Intelligence"]]
+* Author: Jean Piaget.
+* Publisher: Routledge Classics.
+* Year: 1950.
+## References
+* [Piaget's theory of cognitive development - Wikipedia](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piaget's_theory_of_cognitive_development).
+## Overview
+This overview is a mixed of both ideas from the book altogether with other
+considerations I've got by reading other, related material:
+### Intelligence is reversible!
+As what's really wonderful about this reversibility is that it's built atop of
+lower, fundamental levels of irreversible dynamical systems.
+That revesibility is the capacity to the adaptive system do turn away from
+configurations that doesn't lead to a defined goal and replace by other
+pathways, mixing introspection and empirism.
+Reading this book along with The Tree of Live from Maturana and Varella
+and Morin's Method I get the feeling that intelligence in life arises from
+the sensori-motor system and gets deeper in a process where the nervous
+system inflates to give way to impulses/stimuli that originates from itself.
+Consequential to this reversibility is that intelligence might experimentation
+freely without risking itself producing damages or permanent harm to itself,
+which is different to say that somebody can't harm him/herself by the consequence
+of his/her acts.
+Also, while what happens with intelligence looks entirely reversible, mind is
+not composed of intelligence alone. Other instances exist that might put the
+whole apparatus on restricted modes of operation, such when in a neurosis which
+is a state of constant looping in a given theme.
+## Misc
+* Perception (imediate contact with the world) (127).
+* Habit: beyond short and rapidly automatised connections between per-
+ ceptions and responses (habit) (127).
+## Intelligence and equilibrium
+ Then, if intelligence is thus conceived as the form of equilibrium towards
+ which all cognitive processes tend, there arises the problem of its relations
+ with perception (Chap. 3), and with habit (Chap. 4).
+ -- Preface
+ 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. The individual acts only if he experiences a need, i.e., if the
+ equilibrium between the environment and the organism is momentarily upset, and
+ action tends to re-establish the equilibrium, i.e., to re-adapt the organ- ism
+ (Claparède). A response is thus a particular case of inter- action between the
+ external world and the subject, but unlike physiological interactions, which
+ are of a material nature and involve an internal change in the bodies which are
+ present, the responses studied by psychology are of a functional nature and are
+ achieved at greater and greater distances in space (percep- tion, etc.) and in
+ time (memory, etc.) besides following more and more complex paths (reversals,
+ detours, etc.). Behaviour, thus conceived in terms of functional interaction,
+ presupposes two essential and closely interdependent aspects: an affective
+ aspect and a cognitive aspect.
+ -- 5
+ Furthermore, intelligence itself does not consist of an isolated and sharply
+ differentiated class of cognitive processes. It is not, properly speaking, one
+ form of structuring among others; it is the form of equilibrium towards which
+ all the structures arising out of perception, habit and elementary
+ sensori-motor mechan- isms tend. It must be understood that if intelligence is
+ not a faculty this denial involves a radical functional continuity between the
+ higher forms of thought and the whole mass of lower types of cognitive and
+ motor adaptation; so intelligence can only be the form of equilibrium towards
+ which these tend.
+ This does not mean, of course, that a judgment consists of a co- ordination of
+ perceptual structures, or that perceiving means unconscious inference (although
+ both these theories have been held), for functional continuity in no way
+ excludes diversity or even heterogeneity among structures. 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 reach- ing the limits of
+ the field. But these structures, forming different levels, are to be regarded as
+ succeeding one another according to a law of development, such that each one
+ brings about a more inclusive and stable equilibrium for the processes that
+ emerge from the preceding level. Intelligence is thus only a generic term to
+ indicate the superior forms of organization or equilibrium of cognitive
+ structurings.
+ -- 7
+ In general, we may thus conclude that there is an essential unity between the
+ sensori-motor processes that engender per- ceptual activity, the formation of
+ habits, and pre-verbal or pre- representative intelligence itself. The latter
+ does not therefore arise as a new power, superimposed all of a sudden on com-
+ pletely prepared previous mechanisms, but is only the expres- sion of these
+ same mechanisms when they go beyond present and immediate contact with the
+ world (perception), as well as beyond short and rapidly automatised connections
+ between per- ceptions and responses (habit), and operate at progressively
+ greater distances and by more complex routes, in the direction of mobility and
+ reversibility. Early intelligence, therefore, is simply the form of mobile
+ equilibrium towards which the mechanisms adapted to perception and habit tend;
+ but the latter attain this only by leaving their respective fields of
+ application. Moreover, intelligence, from this first sensori-motor stage
+ onwards, has already succeeded in constructing, in the special case of space,
+ the equilibrated structure that we call the group of displacements—in an
+ entirely empirical or practical form, it is true, and of course remaining on
+ the very restricted plane of immediate space. But it goes without saying that
+ this organiza- tion, circumscribed as it is by the limitations of action, still
+ does not constitute a form of thought. On the contrary, the whole development
+ of thought, from the advent of language to the end of childhood, is necessary
+ in order that the completed sensori- motor structures, which may even be
+ co-ordinated in the form of empirical groups, may be extended into genuine
+ operations, which will constitute or reconstruct these groupings and groups at
+ the level of symbolic behaviour and reflective reasoning.
+ -- 127-128
+## Logic and psychology
+ An axiomatics is an exclusively hypothetico-deductive sci-
+ ence, i.e., it reduces to a minimum appeals to experience (it even
+ aims to eliminate them entirely) in order freely to reconstruct its
+ object by means of undemonstrable propositions (axioms),
+ which are to be combined as rigorously as possible and in every
+ possible way. In this way geometry has made great progress,
+ seeking to liberate itself from all intuition and constructing the
+ most diverse spaces simply by defining the primary elements to
+ be admitted by hypothesis and the operations to which they are
+ subject. The axiomatic method is thus the mathematical method
+ par excellence and it has had numerous applications, not only in
+ pure mathematics, but in various fields of applied mathematics
+ (from theoretical physics to mathematical economics). The use-
+ fulness of an axiomatics, in fact, goes beyond that of demonstra-
+ tion (although in this field it constitutes the only rigorous
+ method); in the face of complex realities, resisting exhaustive
+ analysis, it permits us to construct simplified models of reality
+ and thus provides the study of the latter with irreplaceable dis-
+ secting instruments. To sum up, an axiomatics constitutes a “pat-
+ tern” for reality, as F. Gonseth has clearly shown, and, since all
+ abstraction leads to a schematization, the axiomatic method in
+ the long run extends the scope of intelligence itself.
+ But precisely because of its “schematic” character, an axiomat-
+ ics cannot claim to be the basis of, and still less to replace, its
+ corresponding experimental science, i.e. the science relating to
+ that sector of reality for which the axiomatics forms the pattern.
+ Thus, axiomatic geometry is incapable of teaching us what the
+ space of the real world is like (and “pure economics” in no way
+ exhausts the complexity of concrete economic facts). No axi-
+ omatics could replace the inductive science which corresponds
+ to it, for the essential reason that its own purity is merely a limit
+ which is never completely attained. As Gonseth also says, there
+ always remains an intuitive residue in the most purified pattern
+ (just as there is already an element of schematization in all intu-
+ ition). This reason alone is enough to show why an axiomatics
+ will never be the basis of an experimental science and why there
+ is an experimental science corresponding to every axiomatics
+ (and, no doubt, vice versa).
+ -- page 30
+ It is true that in addition to the individual consistency of
+ actions there enter into thought interactions of a collective order
+ and consequently “norms” imposed by this collaboration. But
+ co-operation is only a system of actions, or of operations, car-
+ ried out in concert, and we may repeat the preceding argument
+ for collective symbolic behaviour, which likewise remains at a
+ level containing real structures, unlike axiomatizations of a
+ formal nature.
+ For psychology, therefore, there remains unaltered the prob-
+ lem of understanding the mechanism with which intelligence
+ comes to construct coherent structures capable of operational
+ combination; and it is no use invoking “principles” which this
+ intelligence is supposed to apply spontaneously, since logical
+ principles concern the theoretical pattern formulated after
+ thought has been constructed and not this living process of con-
+ struction itself. Brunschvicg has made the profound observation
+ that intelligence wins battles or indulges, like poetry, in a con-
+ tinuous work of creation, while logico-mathematical deduction
+ is comparable only to treatises on strategy and to manuals of
+ “poetic art”, which codify the past victories of action or mind
+ but do not ensure their future conquests. 1
+ -- page 34
+## Habit and sensori-motor intelligence
+Circular reaction:
+ Let us imagine an infant in a cradle with a raised cover from which
+ hang a whole series of rattles and a loose string. The child grasps
+ this and so shakes the whole arrangement without expecting to do
+ so or understanding any of the detailed spatial or causal rela-
+ tions. Surprised by the result, he reaches for the string and
+ carries out the whole sequence several times over. J. M. Baldwin
+ called this active reproduction of a result at first obtained by
+ chance a “circular reaction”. The circular reaction is thus a typ-
+ ical example of reproductive assimilation. The first movement
+ executed and followed by its result constitutes a complete action,
+ which creates a new need once the objects to which it relates
+ have returned to their initial stage; these are then assimilated to
+ the previous action (thereby promoted to the status of a schema)
+ which stimulates its reproduction, and so on. Now this mechan-
+ ism is identical with that which is already present at the source
+ of elementary habits except that, in their case, the circular reac-
+ tion affects the body itself (so we will give the name “primary
+ circular reaction” to that of the early level, such as the schema of
+ thumb-sucking), whereas thenceforward, thanks to prehension,
+ it is applied to external objects (we will call this behaviour affect-
+ ing objects the “secondary circular reaction,” although we must
+ remember that these are not yet by any means conceived as
+ substances by the child).
+ -- 110-112
+Early intelligence:
+ The routes between the subject and the object fol-
+ lowed by action, and also by sensori-motor reconstitutions and
+ anticipations, are no longer direct and simple pathways as at the
+ previous stages: rectilinear as in perception, or stereotyped and
+ uni-directional as in circular reactions. The routes begin to vary
+ and the utilisation of earlier schemata begins to extend further in
+ time. This is characteristic of the connection between means and
+ ends, which henceforth are differentiated, and this is why we
+ may begin to speak of true intelligence. But, apart from the
+ continuity that links it with earlier behaviour, we should note the
+ limitations of this early intelligence: there are no inventions or
+ discoveries of new means, but simply application of known
+ means to unforeseen circumstances.
+ -- 114
+ Two acquisitions characterise the next stage, both relating to
+ the utilisation of past experience. The assimilatory schemata so
+ far described are of course continually accommodated to
+ external data. But this accommodation is, so to speak, suffered
+ rather than sought; the subject acts according to his needs and
+ this action either harmonizes with reality or encounters resist-
+ ances which it tries to overcome. Innovations which arise for-
+ tuitously are either neglected or else assimilated to previous
+ schemata and reproduced by circular reaction. However, a time
+ comes when the innovation has an interest of its own, and this
+ certainly implies a sufficient stock of schemata for comparisons
+ to be possible and for the new fact to be sufficiently like the
+ known one to be interesting and sufficiently different to avoid
+ satiation. Circular reaction, then, will consist of a reproduction
+ of the new phenomenon, but with variations and active
+ experimentation that are intended precisely to extract from it its
+ new possibilities.
+ -- 114
+ But there now arises a problem whose discussion leads to the study of space.
+ Perceptual constancy is the product of simple regulations and we saw (Chap. 3)
+ that the absence at all ages of absolute constancy and the existence of adult
+ “superconstancy” provide evidence for the regulative rather than operational
+ char- acter of the system. There is, therefore, all the more reason why it
+ should be true of the first two years. Does not the construction of space, on
+ the other hand, lead quite rapidly to a grouping structure and even a group
+ structure in accordance with
+ Poincaré’s famous hypothesis concerning the psychologically primary influence of
+ the “group of displacements?” The genesis of space in sensori-motor
+ intelligence is com- pletely dominated by the progressive organisation of
+ responses, and this in effect leads to a “group” structure. But, contrary to
+ Poincaré’s belief in the a priori nature of the group of dis- placements, this
+ is developed gradually as the ultimate form of equilibrium reached by this
+ motor organisation. Successive co-ordinations (combinativity), reversals
+ (reversibility), detours (associativity) and conservations of position
+ (identity) gradually give rise to the group, which serves as a necessary
+ equilibrium for actions.
+ At the first two stages (reflexes and elementary habits), we could not even speak
+ of a space common to the various per- ceptual modalities, since there are as
+ many spaces, all mutually heterogeneous, as there are qualitatively distinct
+ fields (mouth, visual, tactile, etc.). It is only in the course of the third
+ stage that the mutual assimilation of these various spaces becomes system- atic
+ owing to the co-ordination of vision with prehension. Now, step by step with
+ these co-ordinations, we see growing up elementary spatial systems which
+ already presage the form of composition characteristic of the group. Thus, in
+ the case of interrupted circular reaction, the subject returns to the starting-
+ point to begin again; when his eyes are following a moving object that is
+ travelling too fast for continuous vision (falling etc.), the subject
+ occasionally catches up with the object by dis- placements of his own body to
+ correct for those of the external moving object.
+ But it is as well to realise that, if we take the point of view of the subject
+ and not merely that of a mathematical observer, the construction of a group
+ structure implies at least two conditions: the concept of an object and the
+ decentralisation of movements by correcting for, and even reversing, their
+ initial egocentricity. In fact, it is clear that the reversibility
+ characteristic of the group presupposes the concept of an object, and also vice
+ versa, since to retrieve an object is to make it possible for oneself to return
+ (by displacing either the object itself or one’s own body). The object is
+ simply the constant due to the reversible composition of the group.
+ Furthermore, as Poincaré himself has clearly shown, the idea of displacement as
+ such implies the possibility of differentiating between irreversible changes of
+ state and those changes of position that are characterized precisely by their
+ reversibility (or by their possible correction through movements of one’s own
+ body). It is obvious, therefore, that without con- servation of objects there
+ could not be any “group”, since then everything would appear as a “change of
+ state”. The object and the group of displacements are thus indissociable, the
+ one con- stituting the static aspect and the other the dynamic aspect of the
+ same reality. But this is not all: a world with no objects is a universe with
+ no systematic differentiation between subjective and external realities, a world
+ that is consequently “adualistic” (J. M. Baldwin). By this very fact, such a
+ universe would be centred on one’s own actions, the subject being all the more
+ dominated by this egocentric point of view because he remains
+ un-self-conscious. But the group implies just the opposite attitude: a complete
+ decentralisation, such that one’s own body is located as one element among
+ others in a system of displacements enabling one to distinguish between one’s
+ own movements and those of objects.
+ -- 123-125