ABSTRACT

Psychology appears to have special problems with objects. To the limited extent that psychological theory even touches upon things, they have been regarded as existing primarily in a physical, asocial realm, as distinct from the socio-cultural domain of people.The most familiar treatment of object use in the child development literature is that of the ‘neo-Piagetian child’ engaged in solitary exploration of the objects in his or her surroundings, actively constructing and testing hypotheses about them through various manipulations. Even so, the child’s actions with objects have not been of primary interest in itself to psychologists; instead, the child’s activity has been treated as an indirect ‘index’ of the development of underlying ‘cognitive structures’.