Development in the Context of Genesis and References to Origin. Rereading L.S. Vygotsky



It seems axiomatic that personality development involves the development of intellectual and other abili¬ties. However, if we speak about emotional development, its necessity cannot be supported theoretically since no object of emotions is involved or any of their specific forms (for instance, it is not common to consider "the development of emotional abilities"). Thus, "emotional development" is deprived of any ontological support as well as of criteria, tools etc. Critique of widespread theoretical concepts, in particular, those of psychoanalysis and cultural-historical theory, and reconstruction of phylogenesis enabled the author to propose a more pre¬cise definition of the content of "emotional sphere". "The history of childhood" is reviewed through the per¬spective of fundamental metamorphoses including childhood as a one-off rite of passage; the prototype of child¬hood as a period of animation; the modern notion of childhood (formed during the Enlightenment era) with its supremacy of play and intellectual development. For the first time the paper explores the inner metamorphoses of motivations and conditions required for their initiation. The core opposition between nature and culture that underpins the history of pedagogical thought is interpreted in the light of "two natures": one referring to the unprecedented, determined by coherent spontaneous reactions, and the other based on knowledge and algorithmic reactions, the two developing simultaneously and becoming effective only through their intercon¬nection. The relationship of these two natures (conceptualized by L.S. Vygotsky as the relationship between thought and affect) is projected into the area of fundamental approximations of world perception.

General Information

Keywords: transcendentality, transcendence, emotional sphere, intellect, nature and culture, instinct, spontaneity

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Spector D.M. Development in the Context of Genesis and References to Origin. Rereading L.S. Vygotsky . Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 24–33. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110104. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

David M. Spector, PhD in Architecture, Senior Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Fine Arts, Institute of Art Education of the Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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