From social cognition to the cognition of social life : An essay in decentration.
The research reported in this thesis originated in a project which
aimed at describing the development of children's understanding of
friendship. This project was construed as an exercise in social cognition
from a Piagetian perspective. The results of empirical studies,
however, led to the assumptions of this theoretical approach being
questioned; in particular the paradigm of social cognition failed to
offer any comprehension of friendship as socio-psychological reality.
The second part of the thesis examines the theoretical problems of the
'social cognition' paradigm and outlines a theoretical perspective in
which the cognition of social life may be approached frDm the perspective
of genetic epistemology.