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The social, the possible and the necessary: a theoretical model for the explanation of novelty

2018-5-31, Cabra, Martina, Zittoun, Tania

We propose a theoretical discussion on Piaget’s model on the real, the possible and the necessary, within Valsiner’s child development theory (1997), showing how constraints operate defining the field of possibles at a psychological level (Piaget, 1983). For metatheoretical analysis (Laudan, 1977; Castorina, 2007; Valsiner, 2017) intrinsic to dialogue attempt between theories, we outline three areas where relationships are established: a) Entities composing the world b) Nature of relationships between existents c) Change and transformation. Critical realism, complex system theory and dialectical perspective constitute the basis for both models. Piaget’s can explain relationships between Valsiner’s Zone of Promoted Action (ZPA) and Zone of Free Movement (ZFM) (1997), and the construction of the latter. Relationships between psychological possibles and what we present as “social possibles” specifies within children’s areas for movement and thinking (ZFM) a process leading to novel forms, creations beyond social possibles. This can help understand that different subjects may behave differently in similar settings, even in situations of fictional play, creation of psychological possibles and usage of imagination or creation appears more clearly for some, whereas for others, conditions of possibility, conquests of limitations in the field of possibles is yet to be attained or enabled in interaction.