anything that grows has a ground plan, and
out of this ground
plan the parts arise, each part having its time of special ascendency,
until all parts have arisen to form a functioning whole.
Erik H. Erikson
Identity and the Life Cycle, 1959
Bascially, the mental development of the child appears as a succession
of three great periods. Each of these extends the preceding period,
reconstructs it on a new level, and later surpasses it to an ever greater
degree. This is true even of the first period, for the evolution of
sensori-motor schemes extends and surpasses the evolution of the organic
structures which takes place during embryogenesis. Semiotic relations,
thought, and interpersonal connections internalize these schemes of
action by reconstructing them on the new level of representation, and
surpass them until all the concrete operations and cooperative structures
have been established. Finally, after the age of eleven or twelve, nascent
formal thought restructures the concrete operations by subordinating
them to new structures whose development will continue throughout adolescence
and all of later life (along with many other trasformations as well)
Each new mental structure, by integrating the preceding ones, succeeds
both in partly liberating the individual from his past and in inaugurating
new activities which at the formal operatory level are mainly oriented
toward the future
J. Piaget and B. Inhelder
The Psychology of the Child, 1969
There are a few further points which we ought to note. In the
first place, we must remember that we live our childhood as our future.
Our childhood determines gestures and roles in the perspective of what
is to come. This is not a question of the mechanical reappearance of
The gestures and roles are inseparable from the project
which transforms them
For this reason a life develops in spirals;
it passes again and again by the same points but at different levels
of integration and complexity.
The Progressive-Regressive Method, Search for a Method,
This is what Piaget calls the developmental lag [décalage];
i.e., all that is acquired at a certain level must be started over again
at a higher level.
Far from being limited to the first years,
language acquisition is coextensive with the very exercise of language.
Consciousness and the Acquisition of Language, 1964
The subject exists because, to put it very briefly, the being
of structures consists in their coming to be, that is, their being under
images . . . arise in the spirit. Then words, applied to images. Finally,
concepts, possible only when there are words the collecting together
of many images in something nonvisible but audible (word). The tiny
amount of emotion to which the word gives rise, as we contemplate
similar images for which one word exists this weak emotion is
the common element, the basis of the concept.
Principles of a New Evaluation,
The Will to Power, 1884/1901
begins with the image.
images can set the verbs in motion again.
The Poetics of Space, 1958
Now, there is an intermediary between images and concepts, namely
If ideas are not yet present, signs can keep their future
place open for them
For signs can always be defined in the way
introduced by Saussure in the case of the particular category of linguistic
signs, that is, as a link between images and concepts. In the union
thus brought about, images and concepts play the part of the signifying
and the signified respectively.
The Science of the Concrete
The Savage Mind, 1962/66
a certain picture [Bild] turns up in many such
series, then precisely through such return it becomes
an ordering element for such series, in that it connects series which
in themselves are unconnected. Such an element becomes an instrument,
All our thinking is of this nature of a free play with
Autobiographical Notes, 1941
Time is the new dimension which verbalizing and its mental consequence,
symbolic thinking, have imposed on the human ambient, making it a world,
with a homogeneous spatial frame and a history.
Mind: An Essay on Human Feeling, Vol. II, 1972