Re: LSV-The Concrete Psychology of Human Beings

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sun Feb 13 2005 - 22:29:03 PST

This is near the end of three chapters of development. Hard to get a
concise word from Hegel! It's his very early "System of Ethical Life"
1802/3. He builds up to it with a lot of stuff about exchanging commodities
and making contracts, subjugation, and the emergence of civil society:
"Since the people is a living indifference, and all natural difference is
nullified, the individual intuits himself as himself in every other
individual; he reaches supreme subject-objectivity; and this identity of
all is just for this reason not an abstract one, not an equality of
citizenship, but an absolute one and one that is intuited, displaying
itself in empirical consciousness, in the consciousness of the particular.
The universal, the spirit, is in each man and for the apprehension of each
man, even so far as he is a single individual."


At 04:44 PM 14/02/2005 +1100, you wrote:
>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 -

Hegel Summer School: 18th February 2005 -

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