Theory Of Natural Selection And Organism Adaptation By Charles Darwin 's ' On The Origin Of Species '

917 Words Oct 15th, 2015 4 Pages
A major underlying construct of Piaget’s theory is the idea of natural selection and organism adaptation. Inspired by Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” (1859) as well as his own extensive work as a zoologist, the ideas of assimilation and adaptation are at the very heart of Piaget’s cognitive theory. Piaget believed that humans have dynamic cognitive structures (formed through individual experiences) that help us adapt to a dynamic environment. This learning system promoted by Piaget-- combining biological maturation and empirical experience-- is a direct result of his study of natural selection and philosophy. In John L. Phillips Jr.’s book “The Origins of Intellect,” he poses the idea of the roots of Piaget’s cognitive theory: “a high animal’s behavior… is controlled not only by inputs from its immediate surroundings, but also by mediating processes within the transmission system” (Phillips, 1975, p. 8). Piaget agreed with Darwin that organisms have innate schemata that allow them to survive, and humans have a specific cognitive process that organizes these behaviors.
Another prevalent influence on Piaget was the German philosopher Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Kant’s philosophy created a synthesis of rationalism (a belief in an active mind seeking knowledge and development), and empiricism (experimental evidence leading to development). According to Jeffrey S. Nevid, Kant believed that the mind is active, involved in organizing sensory impressions to create…

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