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ABS401 - Concept of will in Vygotsky’s tradition

1.2 Children’s development and childhood
11:20 AM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
In the frame of the tradition represented in Vygotsky’s works, a primary scientific effort is applied to the understanding of how an individual acquire knowledge and skills. What is still left in the shadows is the personality component of this development. Two pupils and followers of Vygotsky, Leontiev and Bozhovich, worked towards filling this void. In her personality theory, Bozhovich introduced a concept of will as central for understanding personality development. The author of this article developed the concept of will further while staying within the tradition of thought represented by Vygotsky and Bozhovich. The main conceptual development lies in drawing a distinction between two concepts – will (volya) and goal appropriation (proyzvolnost’). Both concepts emphasize the readiness and ability of an individual to pursue a goal; the distinction lies in the nature of that goal determination: in will, it is self generated and comes from the inner world of the individual while in goal appropriation, it is determined by an external source but is readily appropriated. Such a distinction is supported by recent findings in neuroscience which describe the actualization of different brain structures depending on whether an individual acts upon will or willingly submission. Hence, the personality development is considered a process of will development in which will and goal appropriation inter plays and progresses in specific stages paving the way for subjectivization or becoming a true subject of that culture.
Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE)
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