Re: Arievitch discussion

From: Steve Gabosch (
Date: Tue Jun 29 2004 - 04:47:15 PDT

Below are some selected passages from the Arievitch article regarding
Galperin's concept of internalization.
- Steve

"In a sense, animals also appropriate or master a variety of skills in
their individual life. But this kind of appropriation is qualitatively
different from the kind found in humans. This difference is largely due to
the specifically human internal plane of action. This plane enables humans
to act with symbolic substitutes of objects without those objects being
physically present. It is exactly this fundamental human ability that is
reflected in Galperin’s conceptualization of internalization."

"In his studies, Galperin revealed the regularities of how the action with
a given objective content is transformed from the material form into a
psychological form with the same objective content."

"… Galperin’s study of attention empirically showed how some (material)
forms of the individual’s external activity get gradually transformed into
other (mental) forms of that same external activity. It was, perhaps, the
first empirical demonstration of how the dualistic dichotomies of external
and internal could be eliminated (for details, see Galperin, 1989)."

"Understanding human action in any of its guises, including mental or
internal, as following objective rules of the outer world, and
demonstration of how mental actions emerge from external actions was
Galperin’s way to eliminate the dualism of mental and material, external
and internal processes."

  "… internalization, in my view, can be understood as a general
phenomenon, or more precisely, as the fundamental mechanism of human
learning and development."

"To summarize, Galperin’s internalization demonstrates the genetic link
between external and internal activity and the particular mechanism of how
external becomes internal without a dualistic dichotomy between these two
planes. Such dichotomy is eliminated by conceptualizing internalization as
transformation of certain (material) forms of individuals external activity
into other (mental) forms of that same external activity, and as a
specifically human form of appropriation of new knowledge and skills. In
this sense, it appears that we can overcome the dualistic dichotomies
without discarding individual cognition and the internal plane. Instead, we
can reconceptualize them in a nonmentalist way."


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