Piaget, Vygotsky, and the Development of Consciousness

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Summary

This paper presents a comparative analysis of the early works of Piaget and Vygotsky and argues that an understanding of human consciousness was a central issue in their works. Appreciating the importance of this issue helps explicate certain themes within each theory, as well as points of contrast between them. Further, the problem of consciousness has become a contemporary concern for those interested in proposing a computational theory of mind and, while there is a stark contrast between Piaget’s and Vygotsky’s theoretical orientation to consciousness, the debate between them is a discourse that is markedly different from what is presently being discussed, offering a fresh perspective on this very traditional problem.