Piaget’s Legacy: Cognition as Adaptive Activity

  • Ernst von Glasersfeld


In the visual arts, “representation” usually means a copy or reproduction of some original. In that context it is clear that the original is always something the representer has seen, something that is the product of ordinary visual perception. With the introduction of the term in philosophical writings, the spurious question has arisen whether or not representations could reproduce, replicate, or correspond to things-in-themselves. The question was long ago given a negative answer on logical grounds by neurophysiology. Most arguments on the topic could have been avoided if one had followed Mark Baldwin, the pioneer of cognitive psychology, and had used the term “presentation” which has the added advantage of being a viable translation of the German “Vorstellung”.


Mental Image Experiential World External Reality Adaptive Activity Ontological Reality 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernst von Glasersfeld
    • 1
  1. 1.Scientific Reasoning Research InstituteUniversity of MassachusettsUSA

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