“Phenomenological Factors in Vygotsky’s Mature Psychology”

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“Phenomenological Factors in Vygotsky’s Mature Psychology”

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   J. Hist. Human Sciences vol. 13(3) Aug. 2000. PHENOMENOLOGICAL FACTORS IN VYGOTSKY’S MATURE PSYCHOLOGY Paul S. MacDonaldUni!"#i$% o& Du"'a( The publication in 1900 of Edmund Hussel!s  Logical Investigations (second edition 1913" thidedition 1920) e#eted a pofound influence in a numbe of academic disciplines duing the peiod 1900 to191$ and %ust afte the &ist 'old 'a. ecent studies have demonstated the impact of Hussel!s po%ecton the inception of the stuctual model in linguistics and the categoisation of peceptual stuctues inestalt *s+cholog+. The pesent stud+ loo,s closel+ at the aticulation of a novel theo+ of individual ps+chological development poposed in seveal late -o,s b+ ev /+gots,+ (19193)" one of the geat pionee 4oviet ps+chologists. /+gots,+ attempted to demonstate that the development of human cognitioncould best be e#plained though the d+namic inteaction of t-o pocesses5 the intenali6ation of e#tenal paticulas and the deplo+ment of s+mbolic statements though 7inne speech!. 8n addition to a language of thought" humans have a language  for   thought" and this is a cognitive and behavioual contol language.8n offeing a sociocultual account of the constuction of an inne pivate -old (the self)" /+gots,+ stuc, off on a 7thid -a+! -hich he thought avoided the pitfalls of both an ovel+ natualistic" ob%ectiviste#planation of obsevable behaviou" fo e#ample" in 4oviet conditioned efle# studies and anintospective" sub%ectivist desciption of mental acts" an appoach -hich he identified -ith cetainmotivations -ithin philosophical idealism. 8n his chapte on :The ;uent ;isis in *s+cholog+<" he =uitecleal+ elegates Hussel!s phenomenolog+ to the latte appoach and citici6es Hussel!s theo+ of meaning in language fo lac,ing a genetic o d+namic dimension. Ho-eve" it is ou contention that/+gots,+ both misrepresents  the phenomenological anal+sis of meaningfomation and appropriates  basicHusselian conceptual tems in his elaboation of :the inne fom of the -od<.1  This stud+ poposes to illuminate phenomenological consideations in /+gots,+!s matue ps+chological theo+ -ith espect to t-o distinct Husselian schemes5 pat-hole theo+" fist put foth inthe  Logical Investigations  (1900) and the petheoetical chaacte of the 7na>ve! standpoint" fist stated in:*hilosoph+ as igoous 4cience< (1910) and in  Ideas First Book   (1913). The pincipal statement   of thetheo+ of pats and -holes occus in the Thid 8nvestigation" though it is ta,en up again in  Ideas First  Book   and  Experience and Judgement   (1930). 8n the peiod afte the publication of the  Ideas " Husselhimself -as -ell a-ae that pat-hole theo+ -as usuall+ oveloo,ed o dismissed in favou of the othe 8nvestigations. 'illiam ?neale" coautho of the magisteial  Development of Logic  (@#fod" 192)" on avisit to &eibug in 192" -as infomed b+ Hussel that the Thid 8nvestigation -as the best   stating pointfo the stud+ of his -itings in phenomenolog+. 4piegelbeg (19B1)5 BC @ne Hussel schola" Da+4mith" can =uite confidentl+ declae that the Thid 8nvestigation is" :fo all its inade=uacies" the singlemost impotant contibution to ealist (Aistotelian) ontolog+ in the moden peiod.< 4mith (192)5 3BC  Husserl’s Theory of Parts and Wholes 8n the Thid 8nvestigation" Hussel intoduces t-o pais of tems5 pat and -hole" dependent andindependent  it is the pemutations of these tems -hich endo- the theo+ -ith such po-eful logicalscope. Eve+ intentional ob%ect" i.e. eve+ thing consideed as the 7content! of a cognitive act" can beelated to anothe as pat to -hole" -hole to pat" o as pats of one -hole. 8t is the -a+ in -hich pats aeelated to pats o in -hich pats compose -holes that eveals -hethe the+ ae dependent o independent.An independent -hole is a comple# ob%ect" i.e. divisible into pats" -hich can e#ist alone in that it doesnot e=uie the e#istence of an+ othe ob%ect. A dependent -hole is also a comple# ob%ect insofa as it isdivisible into pats" but cannot e#ist alone it e=uies some geate -hole of -hich it is a pat. Anindependent pat (piece) is an ob%ect o content of thought -hich ma,es up a -hole o othe comple#ob%ect" -hich =ua pat can stand on its o-n" e.g. the handle of a teacup. A dependent pat (moment) is anob%ect -hich ma,es up a -hole o othe comple# ob%ect" but -hich cannot stand on its o-n" e.g. theteacups colou o shape. 'ith egad to mateial things -hose -holes ae concete" pats and -holes aesaid to stand o e#ist on thei o-n (o not) as the ob%ects of cognition one should sa+ pehaps that the+can (o cannot) be made the content of pesentations.2  The geat po-e and scope of this schema" -hich has inspied so man+ late -o,es in the field"lies in Hussels essential insight into the puel+ fomal a pioi chaacte of the elations -hich hold bet-een an+ sot of pat and an+ sot of -hole. These a pioi egulaities have such heuistic scope due tothe citical distinction bet-een dependence and independence" a distinction gounded in the definition of foundation. Thoughout his discussion" Hussel ta,es the tem ob%ect in the -idest possible sense (too-ide" in fact" fo some citics) to include both tanscendent ob%ects in the natual -old and the intentionalob%ects -hich ae pesent to consciousness  the latte ae the pope domain of phenomenologicalen=ui+. The tem 7content! has sometimes been used to efe to the 7ob%ect! of an intentional e#peience" but Hussel ael+ uses the -od in that sense. The content of an intentional act includes onl+ -hat is in the act that ma,es that act the intentional e#peience that it is :the ob%ect is popel+ spea,ing nothing atall in  an idea<. The content of an act is al-a+s something distinct fom the act!s ob%ect" but -ithin the actitself thee ae diffeent components o moments that the tem 7content! can ade=uatel+ pic, out  the t-o pincipal 7sides! of the content ae its 7=ualit+! and its 7matte!. Thee ae also diffeent ,inds of content"-hich coespond to diffeent senses of -hat it means fo contents to be in consciousness  the+ can be7eal! ( reell  ) o 7ideal! ( ideal  ) content. The 7=ualit+! of an intentional act is that pat of an act!s content-hich diffeentiates the act accoding to its ,ind. The 7matte! of an intentional act is that pat of an act!scontent that detemines -hich ob%ect is intended in the act and ho- the ob%ect is intended" i.e. -hat the7ob%ect! is intended as . 8n contast -ith the 7eal! content" the intentional content of an act is an 7ideal! o abstact entit+ that can ta,e place in vaious conscious acts -heeas the 7eal! content of an act is uni=ueto that specific act alone. Fespite some changes in Hussel!s vie-s bet-een 1900 and 1913" he emainsconsistent on one conse=uence -hich is cucial fo ou undestanding of /+gots,+  the intentional contentof a cognitive act is a meaning   (Dedeutung) o  sense  (4inn). The ps+chical act -hich pesents a concete ob%ect" e.g. the appeaing apple" is immediate andindependent since it does not need" i.e. e=uie foundation in" an+ othe pesentations. 'heeas the act-hich appehends an abstact content" e.g. edness o oundness" is mediate and dependent since it doese=uie the pesentation of a concete ob%ect. ;oncete ob%ects can be eithe -holes" -hich one thin,s of as individual" selfsubsistent things" o pats of -holes as such" independent concete pats ae calledpieces. Abstact contents ae not thought of as individuals -hich can e#ist on thei o-n" though thoughthe pocess of ideation the+ can be thought of in tems of univesals -hich ae instanced in specific3  ob%ects as dependent pats the+ ae called moments. The s,in" seeds" pulp" etc. of an apple ae pieces of the -hole apple" that is" pats in the sense that the -hole apple e=uies thei pesence" but independent inthe sense that the+ can e#ist apat fom the -hole though of couse that apple no longe e#ists -hen so pieced. @n the othe hand" the edness and oundness of the apple ae moments of the -hole" since beinged and being ound as such cannot e#ist -ithout something -hose colou and shape the+ ae. This doesnot impl+ that the+ cannot be tougt of   sepaatel+" since of couse the concept edness o oundness can be conceived apat fom an+ ed o ound ob%ect. et it also be noted that a piece of that -hole apple"-hethe %ust the s,in o a segment" can also have both pieces and moments.Hussels concen is not meel+ -ith simple and comple# concete things" fo the fomalchaacte of the theo+ and its a pioi la-s of essence mean that such odeed stuctual elations" asoutlined above" hold also -ithin othe cognitive domains and higheode ob%ectivities. These latte compise" fo e#ample" the peceptual field of consciousness" mathematical and geometical constuctions" popositional meanings" comple# highl+ ogani6ed individuals (human beings)" classes of individuals" andmasses o collectives of nonindividuals (o GdividualsG" to boo- onathan o-es tem). The fact that anapple al-a+s appeas -ithin a field of othe copeceived ob%ects" and stands out due to the advetence of attention" also indicates a elation of essential dependence bet-een the -hole apple and the -hole peceptual field. 8t also indicates that a goup of apples (o" moe cleal+" a goup of dots) ogani6ed in aspecific manne" though entiel+ sepaate fom each othe" -ill al-a+s be peceived as foming adeteminate figual shape o gestalt and thus that the gestalt is dependent on a cetain odeed elation bet-een all of its constituent moments.@f geat inteest hee is the ecension of linguistic meaning in light of these fomal featues5these :+ield the necessa+ foundation fo the essential categoies of meaning on -hich... a lage numbe of a pioi la-s of meaning est.... These la-s" -hich goven the sphee of comple# meanings" and -hoseole it is to divide sense fom nonsense" ae not +et the socalled la-s of logic in the pegnant sense of thistem5 the+ povide pue logic -ith the  possible meaning forms .< Hussel (19B0)5 93C He then goes on todistinguish the expression  of a statement as composed of sensuous (audible) pats fom its meaning. Aninvestigation of the fome is a matte fo desciptive ps+choph+siolog+ (late codified in phonolog+)" buthe does hint at some ,e+ aspects of the sensuous manifestation of language5 stessed versus  unstessedcontents and the manne in -hich such contents ae blended. ibid5 $03C Ieaning" ho-eve" onl+   petains to an e#pession in vitue of the mental acts -hich give it sense. 8t -ould be incoect to thin, that Hussel -ants to reduce  meaning to the mental acts -hich find thei :voice< in the spea,esutteance. &o he does ma, the cucial dichotom+ bet-een -hat an e#pession intimates " i.e. -hat itindicates about the spea,es mental and emotional states" and the ob%ectivit+ to -hich the statement refers  b+ -a+ of its meaning.A statement is composed of pats" bound togethe b+ s+ntactical ules" -hich can be eithe independentl+ o dependentl+ meaningful. 4ingula tems and complete sentences" the linguistic substatefo the statement" ae independentl+ meaningful" that is" a singula tem can Gconstitute the full" entiemeaning of a concete act of meaning.G 'heeas othe ,inds of pats" e.g. connectives" pepositions"advebs" etc." ae onl+ dependentl+ meaningful" since the+ e=uie othe tems to complete a content -hichcan be made the ob%ect of a pesentation. The a pioi la-s -hich goven the combination of independentand dependent contents patiall+ detemine the sense (o nonsense) of the -hole statement of -hich the+ae pats" insofa as these la-s ae in accod -ith the given s+nta# of the language. Dut the+ cannot of themselves detemine the validit+ o absudit+ of such la-full+ fomed combinations. Thus the statement":That thing is a ound s=uae<" is s+ntacticall+ coect" i.e. it has not violated an+ of the ules fo sentencefomation" and +et it cannot be made the meaningful content of a pesentation. Decause intentionalit+ assuch is composed of both the mental act and its content" an intuition  of the content as suchandsuch can be compatible -ith anothe content onl+ insofa as these intuitions  ae in accod -ith puel+ fomallogical la-s.An intuition" as the fulfilled content of an intention -hich gasps the ob%ect pecisel+ in themanne in -hich it is given can be diected not onl+ to-ad the concete" singula ob%ect  -hethe in peception" phantas+ o memo+  but also to-ad abstact" univesal ob%ects -hich function as speciesfo -hich paticulas ae eithe individuals (independent components) o moments (dependentcomponents). 8t is in tems of univesal popositions that Hussel fomulates a pioi la-s petaining to thecon%oining of such contents in eithe a necessa+ o contingent connection. An anal+tic poposition is one-hose tuth is completel+ independent of the specific content of thei ob%ects and of an+ possiblee#istential assetion. A s+nthetic poposition" on the othe hand" is one -hose tuth is indeed dependent onthe specific contents of thei ob%ects" -hich ma+ be necessail+ connected" but -hich also ma+ beempiical specifications" i.e. -ith factual delineations.$
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