ABS084 - Activity approach and interiorisation – lessons from Soviet disputes

1.1 Social, cultural, linguistic and educational mediation
Paper in a Working Group Roundtable (WGRT)
Tuesday Aug 29   11:00 AM to 12:00 PM (1 hour)
Convention Center - 2000 A - Table C
In my paper, I attempt to analyse the problems contained in the idea of interiorisation, i.e. the process by which – as assumed – the subjectivity emerges by interiorising, in an active contact with the outer world, the objective cultural contents outside him and “translating” them into his inner states. This concept is defended above all by Piaget, but similar ideas have been put forth even by the Soviet school of cultural-historical psychology and the so-called “activity approach” philosophers, in the first instance Evald Ilyenkov. Less known is the critique towards the interiorisation theory proponed by S.L. Rubinstein and such Soviet philosophers of the 1960’s—70’s as Genrikh Batishchev.  I will show that the seemingly so simple idea of “interiorisation” is actually very complicated and has deep-going philosophical dimensions. A similar debate, which the Soviet philosophers and psychologists had, was conducted already by the Enlightenment thinkers of the 18th century (the question of innate ideas). In my paper, I build on ideas presented in the recent book edited by Andrey Maidansky and me, on the Activity Approach philosophy in the Soviet Union  (The Practical Essence of Man, Brill, 2016).
Aleksanteri Institute, University of Helsinki