Re: LSV-The Concrete Psychology of Human Beings

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2005 - 21:44:27 PST

I think it more likely that both Feuerbach and Marx got it from Hegel. I
can't find the Peter and Paul metaphor in Hegel, but this idea, also the
basic notion of Pragmatist social psychology I think, is generally traced
either to the Phenomenology or Hegel's early works such as the System of
Ethical Life.

I'll dig up a quote if you like.

At 12:06 AM 14/02/2005 +0000, you wrote:

>----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Cole" <>
>To: "Xmca" <>
>Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:02 AM
>Subject: LSV-The Concrete Psychology of Human Beings
>>"The specificity of this category lies in that, being different from
>>two other universal concepts, organism and society, it canonly be
>>understood in terms of these concepts. The individual
>>is "a SOCIAL UNIT." This unit does not exist outside a system of links
>>with other individuals. Vygotsky often quoted Marx's dictum: "Peter
>>only establishes his own identity as a man by first comparing himself
>>with Paul."
>Or more precisely from Capital I, Ch 1, Part 3
>" 19. In a sort of way, it is with man as with commodities. Since he comes
>into the world neither with a looking glass in his hand, nor as a Fichtian
>philosopher, to whom "I am I" is sufficient, man first sees and recognises
>himself in other men. Peter only establishes his own identity as a man by
>first comparing himself with Paul as being of like kind. And thereby Paul,
>just as he stands in his Pauline personality, becomes to Peter the type of
>the genus homo."
>I have a feeling that Marx took this idea more or less directly from
>Feuerbach (which is interesting from the viewpoint of those who have found a
>Vygotsky-Feuerbach connection). Here's one possible source passage from the
>'Essence of Christianity':
>"The ego first steels its glance in the eye of a thou before it endures the
>contemplation of a being which does not reflect its own image. My fellow-man
>is the bond between me and the world. I am, and I feel myself, dependent on
>the world, because I first feel myself dependent on other men...Without
>other men, the world would be for me not only dead and empty, but
>meaningless. Only through his fellow does man become clear to himself and
>self-conscious; but only when I am clear to myself does the world become
>clear to me. A man existing absolutely alone would lose himself without any
>sense of his individuality in the ocean of Nature; he would neither
>comprehend himself as man nor Nature as Nature. The first object of man is
>man. The ego, then, attains to consciousness of the world through
>consciousness of the thou."
>Feuerbach also wrote earlier (in 1828):
>"An animal as an individual being is an animal. Humans, on the other hand,
>are only really humans *as one humanity, as human species, as a whole, as a
>society*... The human is... linked to and unified with other humans in such
>a way that that the *individual* human is only something arrived at; and if
>we wish to seek a human who is not yet influenced by human society, we would
>have to seek the kind of human that was neither born nor bred but created
>out of nothing."
>I am curious to track down the article in Soviet Psychology and see if it
>reflects this further.
>Bruce Robinson
>>And later: "The individual is the highest form of sociality." (pp
>>218-291 in Yaroshevski)
>>Aside from identifying a unit of analysis for the study of the entire
>>individual/person-ality, this
>>discussion helps me understand for the first time why Luria, in his
>>x-cultural studies, had a chapter where he asked questions about
>>knowledge of the self in relation to culture.And, it
>>clearly links to the current almost-discussion of the dialogical
>>creation of the self.
>>But, is there no version of this in English? If so, I will ask the
>>editor of J of Russian and
>>East European psych to get it translated. Seems well worth while knowing
>>Translation anyone?
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Hegel Summer School: 18th February 2005 -

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