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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


From the Definitions of Mental Phenomena towards the Analysis of Developmental Perspectives of Actions 864


Malanov S.V.
Doctor of Psychology, Associate Professor, Chair of Psychology in Education, Moscow Institute of Psychoanalysis, Moscow, Russia

The paper addresses the issue of diversity of definitions of mental phenomena and methodological approaches to their exploration. It is argued that monistic construction of psychological knowledge is essential and requires drawing consistent conclusions about mental functioning in living organisms from the laws of evolution or, as in the case with humans, from the laws of anthropogenesis and historical development of humankind. The paper describes two main patterns of scientific analysis which consider mental phenomena as processes and functions that are: a) localized in and generated by the brain on the basis of ‘information processing mechanisms’; b) localized between the living organisms and objects, ensuring their orientation in the outer world. The paper also discusses the problem of evolutionary development of functions responsible for orientation and interaction with the environment in animals. It highlights the ontogenetic stages of integration of language means into the organization of practices and mental actions in humans and analyses the main patterns in the development of actions, as well as the grounds for selecting operations of which they consist and which correspond with traditionally described mental functions.

Keywords: localization of mental functions, mind and brain, evolution of mental orientation, functional systems, mental operations and actions, mental functions within actions, self-regulatory actions, volitional actions, premeditated actions

Column: The Problem Of Development


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