[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[xmca] Emotion Is Not Affect
Vygotsky is drawing the first section of Chapter Four in Thinking and Speech to a close. First, as he says, he is going to establish three things concerning the “emotive” function of chimpanzee speech (the word he actually uses is one of his favorite multi-purpose expressions моментов, literally, “moments”). Then he sums up the key points of the chapter for the overall argument of the book (the phylogenetic link of his argument).
First of all, there is the APPEARANCE or EMERGENCE of this phenomenon in a quasi-universal form amongst animals with vocal apparatuses. Next, there is the NEGATION, or LIMITATION of this phenomenon; it is speech but it is NOT a form of thinking. And thirdly, there is the SUBLATION or SURPASSING of this limitation in development, because although the emotive content of chimpanzee speech always functions as a check on its ideational content, it makes social contact readily available.
Второй: эмоциональные состояния, и особенно аффективные, представляют у шимпанзе сферу поведения, богатую речевыми проявлениями и крайне неблагоприятную для функционирования интеллектуальных реакций. Келер много раз отмечает, как эмоциональная и особенно аффективная реакция совершенно разрушают интеллектуальную операцию шимпанзе. (Secondly: emotional states, and especially affective ones, present in the chimpanzee a sphere of behavior which is very rich in its vocal manifestations and extremely unfavorable for the functioning of intellectual responses. Köhler notes repeatedly how the emotional and especially the affective response completely destroys the intellectual
operations of the chimpanzee. )
There are a number of rather confusing things here:
1) Vygotsky apparently distinguishes between “emotional” эмоциональные states and “affective” аффективные ones, and “affective” states are apparently a subset of “emotional” ones. In English it is, if anything, the other way around, that is “emotion” is a somewhat more concrete word than “affect”. I think Vygotsky means “emotion” to include shared sentiments, and “affect” is a more biomechanical and individual set of sensations.
2) Vygotsky says that at least in the chimpanzee emotion really does “completely annihilate” the intellectual operation. This goes strongly against his Spinozism, which finds that emotion and intellect are complementary rather than contradictory. If we read the original, there is no contradiction: Vygotsky is talking about behavior, and he limits the contradiction to a specific characteristic of problem solving behavior in chimpanzees, which are beholden to the visual field, tend to think in percepts and are thus very easily distracted.
И третий: эмоциональной стороной не исчерпывается функция речи у шимпанзе, и это также не представляет исключительного свойства речи человекоподобных обезьян, также роднит их речь с языком многих других животных видов и также составляет несомненный генетический корень соответствующей функции человеческой речи. Речь не только выразительно-эмоциональная реакция, но и средство психологического контакта с 757 себе подобными . Как обезьяны, наблюдавшиеся Келером, так и шимпанзе Иеркса и Лернед с совершенной несомненностью
обнаруживают эту функцию речи. Однако и эта функция связи или контакта нисколько не связана с интеллектуальной реакцией, т.е. с мышлением животного. Это . все та же эмоциональная реакция, составляющая явную и несомненную часть всего эмоционального симптомокомплекса в целом, но часть, выполняющая и с биологической точки зрения, и с точки зрения психологической иную функцию, чем прочие аффективные реакции. Менее всего эта реакция может напомнить намеренное, осмысленное сообщение чего-нибудь или такое же воздействие. По
существу, это инстинктивная реакция или, во всяком случае, нечто чрезвычайно близкое к ней. (And in the third place: this emotive aspect does not circumscribe the function of speech in chimpanzees, not does it represent a unique property of the speech of anthropoid apes, but rather it affiliates their speech with the speech of many other animal forms and is the undoubted genetic root of the corresponding function of human speech. Speech is not only an expressive emotional reaction, but also the means of psychological contact with those who are similar. Both the apes observed by Köhler and the chimpanzees of Yerkes and Learned revealed this function of their speech with perfect clarity. However, this function of connection or contact (1) is not at all connected with an intellectual reaction, i.e., with the thinking of the animal. This is entirely the same emotional reaction, it
comprises an explicit and indubitable part of the entire complex whole of emotional symptoms, but it is a part which, both from the biological and from the psychological point of view, carries out other functions than affective reactions. Least of all can this reaction be made to resemble the intentional, intelligent communication of anything or a comparable same action. In fact, this is an instinctive reaction or, in any case, something extremely close to it.)
This is a tough paragraph, and to understand it we really have to keep in mind that this is the THIRD moment of Vygotsky’s Hegelian triad. He has shown us that the emotive function of chimp speech has three useful moments: their emergence in connection with other expressive movements, the inability of the ape to combine them with purposive, rational, intelligent behavior, and now, in this moment, the potential for surpassing the purely expressive function and using it as a means of social contact, though not yet as a means of collective reasoning.
1) The emotive expression of the chimpanzee is not the ONLY function of speech (speech also serves the function of social contact) and it’s not ONLY a property of chimp speech (we also find it in other animals, a point he made before when he was discussing the first moment but which is essential to this moment as well) .
2) This emotive expression affiliates their speech (that is, shows COMMON PARENTAGE, a SHARED HERITAGE, a SINGLE GENETIC root) with that of other animals, including man.
3) Speech is, in addition to emoting, a means of social contact with other members of your species, and this is clear in both Kohler’s observations in Tenerife and those of Yerkes and Learned in the USA.
4) When speech is used in social contact, it is still the same emotional response. True, it is already part of a supra-individual complex of emotional symptoms, and it is already FUNCTIONALLY different from the emotional responses from a biological point of view (because it involves the cooperation of individuals in a collective rather than simply the cooperation of cells in a tissue or organs in an individual) and a psychological point of view (because there is communication “for others” if not yet “for myself”). But it is not yet formally or structurally different from the emotional response, and so we cannot say it is essentially different yet.
5) The key distinction (that is, the distinction between a communicative response for others and a deliberate communicative response for myself) is in intention, volition, and purposefulness in communication. This is lacking, and so we must not confuse this shared affect with true social-communicative speech. It is much more like the rather like the wild goose that infects its conspecifics with its fear instead of actually warning them. Emotion is not affect, and spreading affect around is a different and less voluntary process than the social sharing of an emotion.
Seoul National University of Education
xmca mailing list