Re: bodies, matter, action, and meaning

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Sat Jun 12 2004 - 14:12:22 PDT

Apropos to Jay's recent post on researching meaning-making and his remarks
on idealism, here is an apt quote from Vygotsky on the materialism/idealism
question I found the other night, in "Methods of Reflexological and
Psychological Investigation," the 1926 article based on his famous January
1924 talk to the All-Russian Congress on Psychoneurology. This is from the
first chapter of Vol 3 of the Plenum Collected Works, pg 47-48.

Three setup sentences, and then the zinger:
"Academician Bekhterev in his "energetic" enthusiasm talks to the point of
panpsychism, stating that plants and animals are animated
beings. Elsewhere he cannot bring himself to repudiate the hypothesis
about a soul. And in such primitive ignorance with respect to the mind
reflexology will remain as long as it steers clear of the mind and isolates
itself in the narrow circle of *physiological materialism*."

And the zinger:
"To be a materialist in physiology is not difficult - try to be it in
psychology and if you cannot, you will remain an idealist."

- Steve

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