In this article, based on a symposium presented at the Gerontological Society meeting in 1982, several reconceptualizations of adult cognitive development and its relations with everyday problem-solving are presented. From research showing that older adults have little difficulty remembering sentences involving sudden insight, it is suggested that some age-related differences in remembering reflect a higher criterion for deeper semantic processing. Arguments are presented that post-formal operational thought (especially involving interpersonal relations) may be described as relativistic and as involving integration of contradictions into dialectical wholes, along with questions as to whether these notions have been adequately distinguished either conceptually or empirically from formal operations. Finally, it is argued that investigation of the relations between adult cognitive development and everyday problem-solving may be facilitated through causal modeling that includes task characteristics, social context, personality and motivational factors, and so forth. A causal model for the case of strategy selection in remembering is presented.