ABS244 - From Russia with love – On the relation between Vygotsky’s conceptual development and Spinoza’s theory of knowledge

1.3 Learning, knowledge and agency
Part of:
3:50 PM, Tuesday 29 Aug 2017 (20 minutes)
There is a legacy from the 17th philosopher Benedict Spinoza in L.S. Vygotsky’s thought and psychology, most notably his manuscript The Teaching about emotions. Historical-Psychological Studies (Vygotsky, 1999), saw Spinoza’s theory of emotions as the solution to the issues Vygotsky faced regarding the development of emotions. In Spinoza’s seminal work Ethics (Spinoza, 1996) his theory of the affects and emotions are closely related to the relation between knowledge and understanding. In Spinoza’s philosophical system emotions are thus deeply intrinsic and a prerequisite for the development of understanding and knowledge. Vygotsky’s thoughts regarding conceptual development are thus here forwarded in such a Spinozist frame, and Spinoza’s influence in Vygotsky’s work regarding the knowledge/emotion relation will be enunciated and highlighted. This potentially sheds new light on contemporary cultural-historical activity research, and how to conceptually understand the relation between conceptual development and emotions.
Manchester Metropolitan University