Vygotsky’s sociocultural perspective on the development of mind and Piaget’s constructivist perspective are compared and contrasted within the framework of questions regarding how societies reproduce themselves within the next generation and how cultures are adaptively transformed by individuals. Both Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories are consistent with the conceptualization of mind and society in terms of their mutual interpenetration. In Vygotsky’s theory the emphasis is on education and the transmission of knowledge from older to younger generations. In Piaget’s theory the emphasis is on the construction of new knowledge that has the potential for transforming culture, society, and history. Both theories are lacking in their recognition of and accounting for the emancipatory interest of humans. The contrasts between Vygotsky’s and Piaget’s theories, and opportunities for building on their theories, are illustrated by the example of racism, a product of mind. Racism in American society is briefly discussed as an illustration of both individual and societal racism.

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