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Piaget, Einstein, and the Concept of Time

Sauer, Tilman (2014) Piaget, Einstein, and the Concept of Time. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Inspired by a question that Einstein had asked him, Piaget analyzed the child's conception of time with a series of experiments that were published in book form in 1946. I briefly recapitulate Piaget's analysis as an interpretation of the conception of absolute time in classical physics. Piaget's suggestions as to how the analysis would carry over to a genetic understanding of time in the special theory of relativity are reviewed. In light of Piaget's work, some observations are made about Einstein's 1905 paper on the `Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.' The specific transformational operations that mediate between the viewpoints of different inertial observers are characterized as a basis for the cognitive restructuring of spatio-temporal concepts in the relativistic context.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Sauer, Tilmantilman.sauer@philo.unibe.ch
Additional Information: To appear in: Culture and Cognition. Essays in honor of Peter Damerow. Jürgen Renn and Matthias Schemmel (eds.), Edition Open Access, Berlin.
Keywords: Time; Special Relativity; Developmental Psychology; History of Physics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Depositing User: Tilman Sauer
Date Deposited: 30 Apr 2014 06:50
Last Modified: 30 Apr 2014 06:50
Item ID: 10637
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
Specific Sciences > Physics > Relativity Theory
Date: 29 April 2014
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/10637

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