In response to:
The Piaget Way from the December 21, 1978 issue
To the Editors:
As a harsh critic of the English translations of many of Piaget’s books, I was chagrined to see the distortion conveyed by my own translation, as cited in Dinnage’s review of The Essential Piaget (NYR, December 21). I translate him as saying, “I have no idea about love,” and, to my dismay, Dinnage quotes this twice, as a sort of touchstone for one of the key points of her essay.
As she points out, his remark was in answer to a question about the influence of parental love on cognitive growth. I no longer have the French, but I remember the point, and the sentence was something like, “L’amour, je n’en sais rien, mais l’affectivité certes.” Given a second chance to translate it, I would say, “I don’t know about the role of love specifically, but affectivity in general certainly plays a role.” I hope that, at least for your readers, that carelessness on my part may be corrected.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology