Re: [xmca] subjectivity

From: Peter Moxhay (
Date: Mon Oct 31 2005 - 06:39:14 PST

Mike, and all:

In a footnote, doesn't Anna say rather directly that she is
introducing the term "subjectivity" as a replacement for the term
"psyche" (approximately, mind) as used in Russian? If so, let me
explain how I am trying to get a grasp on her very interesting paper,
in case it's of use to others.

My understanding is that a number of Russian CHAT theorists regarded
the *psyche* as something that both animals and humans have, and
*consciousness* as the particularly form of the psyche possessed by
humans. At least, I find very clear statements to this effect in some
reading I have been doing in parallel with Anna's paper, namely
Davydov's "Lectures on General Psychology," recently published in

So, in reading Anna's article I have been conditionally making the

subjectivity = psyche
human subjectivity = consciousness

where (again in my understanding of the CHAT perspective) the term
consciousness [so-znanie, "co-knowledge" in Russian] implies that
*every* aspect of the human psyche is social in nature, that even
young babies very early on learn to see themselves through the eyes
of their mama and papa, and so on and so forth. In other words, the
human psyche is social in nature, totally and without exception. To
me, this already implies a rather complete dialectics of the
individual and the social, that is, a complete spectrum, in
principle, from the individual to the social and back again.

Is Anna suggesting that there is some aspect of human subjectivity
that is *not* social in nature and that must be added in to the
picture? Or just that a certain portion of the spectrum from the
individual to the social has been neglected in concrete research?

What do you think?


> Among my uncertainties as we start to dig more deeply into Anna's
> article
> is whether we are using key terms in the same way. An old worry with
> respect to the word, object, and one that occurred to me in seeking to
> interpret the article. But subjectivity is also a term, the meaning
> of which
> varies with the discourse it is a part of. I thought it might be
> useful to
> identify
> the range of meanings we bring to the discussion. As a start, here
> is the
> wikipedia
> entry.
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