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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935


License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR


Do I think? — yes! But do I exist?* 951


Petrowskiy V.A.
Doctor of Psychology, professor, Personality Psychology Chair, ordinary professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia

A semiotic interpretation of «I» is given, and conditions of existence of the I outside the boundaries of sub jective reality (the possibility of «noumenal I»). We start by acknowledging the imaginary character of the I: in front of us is but a ghost, some «patterns», «compositions», «drawings», «charts» of some object X named «I» that are experience by me (who?), and some «texts» that describe the inner machinery of the former and its relations to the environment (and, among other things, to other similar ghosts of «You», «We», «They»). Further, we discover that «I», a symbolic formation within the psyche, becomes its own «object» (designatum) by mediating the currents of activity the individual generates as a physical entity. The real I is a form in which an individual exists, defined in the encounter of his/her inherent «subject-less» activity with the cultural sym¬bols (prototypes) of the I, «impressed» into the individual by culture. As a result of those encounters emerge the true subject of cognition, which constructs an image of the world (contemplative I, thinking I, receiving I, possessing I), the true subject of activity (goal-setting I, achieving I, influencing I, giving I), and the true expe¬riencing subject (enduring I, coexisting I, transcending I).

Keywords: subject-less activity, sign, hypostasise, I, real I, imaginary I.

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