Written by highly respected theorists in psychology and philosophy, the chapters in this book explicate and address fundamental epistemological issues involved in the problem of the relationship between the individual and the collective. Different theoretical viewpoints are presented on this relationship, as well as between the nature of rationality and morality, relativism and universalism, and enculturation and internalization. Many chapters also highlight similarities and differences between these alternative frameworks and Piaget's theory, and thus correct the misperception that Piaget had nothing to say about the social dimension of development. Other chapters focus on the implications of these debates for the important topic areas of pedagogy, moral development, and the development of social understanding in infancy and childhood. Although Piaget's theory is presented and evaluated by some of the chapters in this collection, the authors remain critical and do not shy away from revising or extending Piaget's theory whenever it is deemed necessary.
Though the topic covered in this book is of fundamental importance in the social sciences, it is rarely addressed in a sustained way as it is in this collection of chapters. The book benefits social scientists interested in fundamental epistemological issues, especially as these concern the relationship between the individual and the collective, with implications for the conceptualization of morality and rationality.
"By reintroducing Piaget's sociological papers within developmental enquiry, Carpendale and Müller provide us with a powerful theoretical basis for exploration of the links between social interaction and the development of knowledge."
—American Journal of Psychology