Human Self-Creation — a New Stage in the Development of The Subject’s Psychology



Three interrelated directions of research of the psychology of the subject are analyzed, in which procedural, metapersonal and spiritual-practical bases of development of human subjectivity are presented. In the first direction it is emphasized that in recent studies of the subject and the individual there is a rethinking of the category of “procedural” by psychologists, and in scientific knowledge more often used procedural approach to the analysis of mental phenom- ena than structural. In the procedural approach, the cultural and philosophical basis of which is not the ontology of being, but the ontology of becoming, the attention of psychologists is focused on understanding the processes and variations within a person, as well as on their temporary transformation. The most important is the analysis of the formation, dynamics and novelty of personal formations. Second, the metapersonal direction of the subject’s research: the theoretical and conceptual understanding of the metapersonal self-interpretation of the subject is developed. It is defined as an identity that transcends the individual Self and encompasses broader aspects of being, such as humanity, life, the psyche, or the cosmos. With metapersonal self-interpretation, the subject feels its indissoluble connection with all man- kind and realizes itself as a part of the natural and social world. The third direction of the subject’s research is spiritual and practical. In the psychology of the subject, the embodiment in one phenomenon of activity, self-reflexive and transcendental components is presented in the category “spiritual and practical knowledge”. The general socio-humanitarian context of its development was the reflections of M.Foucault and P.Ado, and specifically-psychological — publications of Brushlinsky. The basis of the scientific views of these scientists were two fundamental considerations: 1) to understand the world, the knowledge of the truth, the sub- ject cannot remain as it is: having reached the highest level of activity, integrity, autonomy, a person must still be transformed, to surpass himself; 2) knowledge is inextricably linked with activity, and declarative knowledge (I know “what”) — with procedural (I know “how). From these bases in psychology not subject, but subject-activity approach develops.

General Information

Keywords: subject, two stages of research, change, self-creation, human self-transformation

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Znakov V.V. Human Self-Creation — a New Stage in the Development of The Subject’s Psychology. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2019. Vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 112–122. DOI: 10.21638/spbu16.2019.201. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

V. V. Znakov, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Senior Researcher, Development Laboratory, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: