On the Work of Meshcheryakov (Afterword and Notes



In 1963, a children’s home for the deaf-mute was founded in Zagorsk, near Moscow. Alexander Meshcheryakov, the head of the laboratory at the Institute of Defectology of the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences, became its supervisor. Four years later, Evald Ilyenkov joined the experiment. The archival text “On the work of Meshcheryakov”, published now for the first time, was presented at the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences in February 1973. In this paper, Ilyenkov briefly formulates his conception of psychical image as condensing of a temporal process of activity into a spatial form of object, and suggests a number of deep thoughts on connection of the psyche and language, sign and meaning, word and action, taking his stand on the data of the Zagorsk experiment. The process of image formation is demonstrated by the case “Julia and the ravine”. After a walk along the ravine, a deaf-blind girl was able to mould the contour of the ravine from plasticine. Without seeing the ravine, she reproduced the trajectory of her body’s motion as some spatial object. The formation of language in deaf-blind persons begins with gesture speech, which is gradually transformed into verbal speech — first in its dactyl, then written and, finally, sound form. The experimental study of this transformation helps to solve the question of how speech and language are connected to objective reality.

General Information

Keywords: sign, symbol, gesture, intuition, word, universal, psyche, communication

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/cpp.2021290410

Funding. The publication is prepared by A.D. Maidansky and funded by the Russian Science Foundation (RSF), project number 20-18-00028.

Acknowledgements. I express my gratitude to E.V. Ilyenkov’s daughter E.E. Illesh for the granted access to the home archive and her consent to publish the manuscript.

Received: 05.05.2021


For citation: Ilenkov E.V., Maidansky A.D. On the Work of Meshcheryakov (Afterword and Notes. Konsul'tativnaya psikhologiya i psikhoterapiya = Counseling Psychology and Psychotherapy, 2021. Vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 164–174. DOI: 10.17759/cpp.2021290410. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Evald V. Ilenkov, Doctor of Philosophy, Institute of Philosophy, USSR Academy of Sciences, Russia

Andrey D. Maidansky, Doctor of Philosophy, Professor, Professor, Chair of Philosophy, Belgorod National Research University, Associated Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Russian Academy of Sciences, Belgorod, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2061-3878, e-mail: maidansky@gmail.com



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