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We will begin this chapter with a discussion of Piaget's account of general intellectual functioning at all levels of development: the nature of schemes, and the processes of assimilation and accommodation. This will lead us to his equally general (non-stage-specific) conception of how new knowledge is constructed: the processes of learning, development, and equilibration. At this point we will be ready to consider the stages of development that result from the equilibration process, with an emphasis on the state of formal operational reasoning. Finally, we will attempt to better understand the scope and limitations of Piaget's psychological work by comparing it to other psychological theories and by viewing it within the broader perspective of "genetic epistemology," Piaget's developmental theory of knowledge.