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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published since 2005

Published quarterly

Free of fees
Open Access Journal

Affiliated ISCAR

 

Bridging Concept and Activity: a Dialectical Synthesis Proposal 126

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Lago L
Sao Paolo, Brazil
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3143-1757
e-mail: lago@alumni.usp.br

Mattos C.R.
PhD, Professor, Institute of Physics, University of Sa~o Paulo, Sao Paolo, Brazil
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5927-8742
e-mail: mattos@if.usp.br

Abstract
This work is a theoretical discussion about concept formation in a cultural-historical perspective that articulates Vygotsky’s system of concepts within Leontiev’s structure of activity. This effort has led to a theoretical proposition that we call concept-activity, a dialectical unity formed by a concept and its genetic activities, i.e., the systematised activities in which concepts emerge directed to a purpose. Taking volition and conscious awareness as analytic categories, we initially relate scientific concepts with actions — concepts-action — and everyday concepts with operations — concepts-operation. The articulation of these elements drives the emergence of conceptual thinking as an activity, framed by the term concept-activity. In other words, while scientific concepts are related to actions because both arise from a conscious and voluntary dimension, everyday concepts are related to operations through a non-conscious and non-voluntary dimension. A discussion on how the concept-activity synthetises the movement between these two forms of conceptualisations and its implication to concept formation is provided.

Keywords: concept formation, Activity theory, volition, conscious awareness

Column: Discovering Vygotsky: New Pages in CHT

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2021170203

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