Born on August 9, 1896 in Neuchatel, Switzerland, Jean Piaget was the first child of Aurthur Piaget. His father was a professor of medieval literature at the University of Neuchatel. Jean was a precocious child who at the age of 11, published his first "scholarly" paper. It was a one page note on a partly albino sparrow he had come across. This paper was an indication of the wealth of published material he would later produce (Smith, 2000).
Jean's first interests were in the area of biology, which lead him to obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Neuchatel at the age of 22. By the time he was 30 years old, he had published more than two-dozen papers, most of them on the topic of mollusks and related topics. After receiving his degree he spent the next year in Europe. During this time he began working in Eugen Blueuler's psychoanalytic clinic, Wrechner and Lipps' psychological laboratory, and eventually in Alfred Binet's laboratory.
While in Binet's laboratory Piaget's job was to administer early intelligence tests to young children in order to standardize the items. This period probably marked the beginning of his lifelong interest in the thought process of children. This is also around the time when his first child was born with his wife Valentine Chatenay. Together they had three children, each of whose development was studied in detail from infancy by Piaget.
By 1980, Jean Piaget was still publishing and conducting research at an astonishing pace. He finished a book shortly before his death, which introduces important changes and advances in his thoughts.
Main works include:
1918, Recherche. Lausanne: La Concorde.
1924, Judgment and reasoning in the child, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1928.
1936, Origins of intelligence in the child, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1953.
1957, Construction of reality in the child, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1954.
1941, Child's conception of number (with Alina Szeminska), London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1952.
1945, Play, dreams and imitation in childhood, London: Heinemann, 1951.
1949, Traité de logique. Paris: Colin.
1950, Introduction à l'épistémologie génétique 3 Vols. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.
1954, Intelligence and affectivity, Palo Alto, CA: Annual Reviews, 1981.
1955, Growth of logical thinking (with Bärbel Inhelder), London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1958.
1962, Commentary on Vygotsky's criticisms. New Ideas in Psychology, 13, 325-40, 1995
1967, Logique et connaissance scientifique. Paris: Gallimard.
1967, Biology and knowledge, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1971.
1970, Piaget's theory. In P. Mussen (ed) Handbook of child psychology, Vol.1. New York: Wiley, 1983.
1970, Main trends in psychology, London: George Allen & Unwin, 1973.
1975, Equilibration of cognitive structures, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
1977, Sociological studies, London: Routledge, 1995
1977, Studies in reflecting abstraction. Hove: Psychology Press, 2000
1977, Essay on necessity. Human Development, 29, 301-14, 1986.
1981, Possibility and necessity, 2 Vols, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987.
1983, Psychogenesis and the history of science (with Rolando Garcia), New York: Columbia University Press, 1989.
1987, Towards a logic of meanings (with Rolando Garcia), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates, 1991.
1990, Morphisms and categories (with Gil Henriques, Edgar Ascher), Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum Associates, 1992.