I appreciate your trace of the history of this word and wonder if
"category" in the theatrical sense might also be connected to LSV, and
Stanislavsky's notion of genre ?
On Tue, Jun 14, 2011 at 10:51 AM, Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org
I should report on the outcome of my investigations of this
question. Nikolai Veresov and I have met and agreed only that we
cannot agree, so, so far as I know he retains his position, but I
will leave it Nikolai to say what that is. I cannot speak for him.
However, I have verified that the word /kategoria/, was translated
from Greek via Latin into English as "predicament" and from 1580,
meant "predicament" in the sense of a "problematic situation" and
whatismore "kategoria" is used to this day in Rhetoric and in a
broadly similar sense, but only in highly specialist discourses.
Not "category," just "kategoria." There is some evidence also that
kategoria is used in the theory of theatre in a similar sense to
this day. So, I have to give some plausibility to the claim that
the word had such a sense in Vygotsky's circle of theatrical
friends in Moscow before he went into psychology, but I cannot
document it from that time. "Predicement" remains the technical
word in theatre for the situation from which a plot develops, the
source of the basic tension which drives the story. I have long
been of the view, on the basis of reading Volume 5 of the LSV CW,
that the "social situation of development" can be characterised in
Vygotsky's view, as a "predicament." But I made the connection
with a Marxist view of history, not the theory of theatre.
On Catharsis, I have found the source of this concept in Freud and
an article by Freud is attached. It is called "working through" in
this article. Interesting. It makes sense.
Thank you Anton, and Huw for your insights,
Andy Blunden wrote:
Thank you Huw. Very encrouaging. "Resolution" seems to capture
a lot of it.
I have consulted the OED On-line for "*category*" and found
nothing surprising about its meaning, as used by Aristotle and
Kant and in mathematics, more or less meaning "class" but
extendable to abstract concepts. But what OED did tell me,
which adds yet another intriguing thread to the puzzle, is
that its Latin roots mean "predicament," and in olden days,
"category" used to be translated as "predicament."
Now "predicament" here is related to "predicate" as in subject
and predicate, a key metaphysical distinction for Aristotle
and dialectics generally, but it forces me to reflect on the
relation of "predicament" - and therefore "category" - to
"situation", as in "social situation of development," which I
have always said, based on how Vygotsky uses the term, should
be understood as a "predicament," but in the common usage of
this word as a situation or trap, from which one must make a
development in order to escape.
*Catharsis*, according to OED is the Greek word meaning
"cleansing" or "purging," which is of course what is commonly
understood by the word. With reference to Aristotle is means
"the purification of the emotions by vicarious experience."
Vicarious!? The Freudian usage you referred to (thank you),
Huw, is "The process of relieving an abnormal excitement by
re-establishing the association of the emotion with the memory
or idea of the event which was the first cause of it, and of
eliminating it by abreaction." This sounds very much like how
I have understood Vygotsky to be using the term!!
All that is fine. A true detective story, as Anton says! But
what is the Russian word which is a unity of these disparate
Huw Lloyd wrote:
On 9 June 2011 08:24, Andy Blunden <email@example.com
I have been watching Nikolai Veresov's videos on vimeo.
I refer to
No. 2 in particular:
In this talk, Nikolai is explaining his view of the
Vygotsky's theory of the development of the high mental
through the appropriation of social functions, and in
doing so, he
appears to be mistaking the English word "category" for the
English word "catharsis."
I think that there is an issue with the English (Freudian)
use of "catharsis" that refers to expression without
genuine influence, which a) I don't think is cathartic and
b) not what was intended in psychology of art, i.e.
achieving, or identifying with, a genuine change (or
resolution), even if only a resolution of a staged
performance (identification), or some other art.
This notion of "real" catharsis then becomes more related
to the notion of category.
In my studies and thinking I have been happy with
Nikolai's use of the term category and it's relation to
stage. With respect to plan/plane correspondences there
are several overlapping aspects, which seem to be quite
precisely captured by this otherwise ambiguous term (joint
context, intention and topological representation).
The dramatic conflict (category) has correspondence with
(distributed) self-organisation. The social participation
of emotionally led behaviour leads to structured forms of
participation, e.g. acquiring new coordinating structures
in the process of achieving one's goals.
Joint Editor MCA:
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
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