This article reviews the historical emergence and basic tenets of logical positivism, and demonstrates that a number of these positivistic tenets still exert a deeply hidden and deleterious influence on developmental psychology. The demonstration is primarily in terms of a case study concerning a critique of tests of Piagetian stage hypotheses. The analysis illustrates and demonstrates a number of important points concerning the vestigial influence of logical positivism: (1) such influences do occur; (2) they can be deeply implicit, and correspondingly difficult to recognize and understand, and (3) they can be seriously damaging of one’s understanding of developmental processes in general, and of Piaget’s theory in particular. The discussion leads to a reformulation of some conceptual issues in developmental psychology, and some suggestions for other areas where vestigial positivistic influences seem to be operating.

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