Based on the Annual Symposium of the Jean Piaget Society, Biology and Knowledge Revisited focuses on the classic issue of the relationship between nature and nurture in cognitive and linguistic development, and their neurological substrates.
Contributors trace the history of ideas concerning the relationship between evolution and development, and bring powerful new conceptual systems and research data to bear on understanding the problem of experience-contingent brain development and evolution. They focus on processes of phenotype construction - which fill the gap between genes and behavior - and demonstrate that evolutionary psychological models of innate mental modules are incompatible with what is known about these processes. This book presents exciting new approaches to the development and evolution of cognitive and linguistic abilities.
Returning to the broad evolutionary theme of a previous meeting, the symposium focused on specifically constructivist approaches to neurogenesis and language acquisition, and their evolution. It was organized around ideas about the relationship between development and evolution raised in Piaget's books. Research in this arena has yielded cutting-edge insight into behavioral influences on brain plasticity.
Two of its subthemes run throughout - a critique of modularity models popular among evolutionary psychologies and the prescient yet flawed nature of Piaget's critique of the modern synthesis of evolution. As a result, Biology and Knowledge Revisited is intended for developmental psychologists, psycholinguists, biological anthropologists, evolutionary psychologists, and philosophers of science.
Contents: Preface. S.T. Parker, Piaget's Legacy in Cognitive Constructivism, Niche Construction, and Phenotype Development and Evolution. S.T. Parker, Piaget's Phenocopy Model Revisited: A Brief History of Ideas About the Origins of Adaptive Genetic Variations. T.W. Deacon, Beyond Piaget's Phenocopy: A Baby in the Lamarckian Bath. K.R. Gibson, Human Brain Evolution: Developmental Perspectives. C.E. MacLeod, Cerebellar Anatomy and Function: From the Corporeal to the Cognitive. V. Gallese, From Mirror Neurons to the Shared Manifold Hypothesis: A Neurophysiological Account of Intersubjectivity. E. Bates, Plasticity, Localization, and Language Development. D.I. Slobin, From Ontogenesis to Phylogenesis: What Can Child Language Tell Us About Language Evolution? R.J. Senghas, A. Senghas, J.E. Pyers, The Emergence of Nicaraguan Sign Language: Questions of Development, Acquisition, and Evolution. A. Karmiloff-Smith, M. Thomas, Can Developmental Disorders Be Used to Bolster Claims From Evolutionary Psychology? A Neuroconstructivist Approach.
Each year, following their annual meeting, the Jean Piaget Society publishes an edited volume. This approximately 300-page volume covers the main themes of the symposium and is published by Psychology Press.
Members of the society receive the volume free of charge. Non-members can order copies from this website.
About the Jean Piaget Society
The Jean Piaget Society, established in 1970, has an international, interdisciplinary membership of scholars, teachers and researchers interested in exploring the nature of the developmental construction of human knowledge. The Society was named in honor of the Swiss developmentalist, Jean Piaget, who made major theoretical and empirical contributions to our understanding of the origins and evolution of knowledge.
The Society's aim is to provide an open forum, through symposia, books, our journal, and other publications, for the presentation and discussion of scholarly work on issues related to human knowledge and its development. The Society further encourages the application of advances in the understanding of development to education and other domains.
In 1989, the name of the Society was changed to Jean Piaget Society: Society for the Study of Knowledge and Development.
You can find out more on the Jean Piaget Society website at http://www.piaget.org/ .