Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example
Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example

Thought and Language: A Mirror of One’s Rationality Essay Example

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Lev Vygotsky was a Soviet psychologist who developed the familial attack to the development of constructs in early childhood and young person. Specifically. he identified the nexus between idea and the significance of words. In his survey. he traced the passage through a series of phases in human development. based on the development of a child’s societal pattern. He was able to develop an involvement in this subject through his readings on linguistics. sociology. psychological science. doctrine and the humanistic disciplines. His pupil yearss at the University of Moscow paved the manner for his finding to demo the relationship between idea and linguistic communication.

He is known for his work entitledThought and Language. In this survey. he was able to develop a theory of linguistic communication development which both anticipated Piaget’s familial psychological science – depicting the development of linguistic communication and logical thought in immature kids in the class of their interactions with grownups and the universe around them – and the development of theoretical or conceptual cognition in school-age kids as their intuitive cognition. acquired in their immediate life experiences. comes into active contact with socially transmitted cognition of the instructor (Encyclopedia of Marxists. n. d. ) . This determination made by Vygotsky was elaborated in his work.

At the start ofThought and Language. Vygotsky hypothesized that idea and linguistic communication is non mutualist from each other. instead. it is a manifestation of interfunctional dealingss. For him. speech production and thought are non separate but they reinforce and comple


ment each other ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Earlier surveies concluded that both are separate map and the mistake lies in their method of analysis harmonizing to Vygostky. Specifically. old experiments and surveies on idea and linguistic communication analyzed each as psychological wholes wherein they were studied in isolation. This type of method ignores the unitary nature of the procedure ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . In his ain analysis. Vygotsky analyzed thought and linguistic communication units wherein he retained all the basic belongingss of the whole. This led him to foreground the importance of word significance.

Word significance. for Vygotsky. is a manifestation of the fusion of idea and address. “A word does non mention to a individual object but to a group or to a category of objects” ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . One can non divide significance from a word and therefore. it belongs in the kingdom of linguistic communication every bit much as in the kingdom of idea. Speech is a agency of communicating or societal intercourse and at the same clip it is an knowing manner of showing one’s thought to others. Hence. it can non be taken independently from thought.

For Vygotsky. “true human communicating presupposes a generalizing attitude” ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Word significance as a unit of both generalising through and societal interchange is indispensable in analyzing idea and linguistic communication. From this. he related it to the state of affairs or the development of a child’s societal pattern. The construct ofcausal-geneticwas born. It pertains to the systematic survey of the dealingss between the growing of the child’s believing ability and his societal development ( Kozulin.

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1986 ) . This construct manifests the accent of Vygotsky on a child’s interactions with grownups and his environment.

Aside from explicating thecausal-geneticattack. Vygotsky differentiated traditional linguistics from modern linguistics. The former used the individual sound as the unit of analysis. It did non concentrate on the psychological science of address. Hence. it was unable to separate the relationship between idea and linguistic communication. On the other manus. modern linguistics. uses the phoneme. the smallest indivisible phonic unit impacting intending ad therefore characteristic of human address as distinguished from other sounds ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . From this he was able to reason that earlier surveies that did non handle linguistic communication and thought to be a incorporate whole. were unable to understand the maps of societal interaction in assisting the kid to get significances of words.

Vygotsky besides made an in-depth survey of Jean Piaget’s work. Piaget is well-known of his clinical method of researching children’s thoughts particularly their perceptual experience and logic ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . He approached the topic by inquiring the nonsubjective interrelation of all the features traits of kid believing he observed. Piaget strongly believes that they are incorporate and he was able to turn out this through the egoism of the child’s thought. If placed in a spectrum. it is located between autistic and directed idea.

The former is individualistic and obeys a set of particular Torahs of its ain while the latter is more societal. witting ( pursues aims that are present in the head of a mind ) and intelligent ( adapted to world and strives to act upon it ) ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Based on this egoistic idea is a combination of both. It is a satisfaction of personal demands but includes mental version. Hence. autism is viewed as the original or earliest signifier of idea while logic appears comparatively late. The egoistic idea. for Piaget. is the nexus between these two signifiers.

Harmonizing to the surveies performed by Piaget. egoism is all-pervading. It bit by bit disappears when the kid reaches the age of seven or eight. This is due to the increasing influence of socialised thought. Using Piaget. Vygotsky considers the construct ofcausal-geneticto be indispensable in analyzing the relationship between idea and linguistic communication. He farther investigates this through the surveies performed by Yerkes on Pan troglodytess. Yerkes was able to detect in the species that thought and addresss have different familial roots.

Ape linguistic communication and intelligence develop along different lines and does non hold a correlativity between them ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Yerkes used Pan troglodytess due to their similitude of their mind to human existences. However. he was able to see that close correspondence between idea and address is absent in them. What was singular in the survey of idea and linguistic communication in Pan troglodytess. a pre-linguistic stage and a pre-intellectual stage was clearly discernable.

In relation to the human kid. Vygotsky was able to reason that idea and address have different roots during their ontogenetic development ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . A kid besides possesses a pre-intellectual phase in the address development procedure while pre-linguistic phase

exists in his idea development. A certain point in clip. both thought and linguistic communication will follow different lines. independently of each other ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Both maps so intersect wherein thought becomes verbal and speech as rational.

Looking at the bing surveies on idea and linguistic communication. Vygotsky was able to see that a significance of a word is a merger of idea and linguistic communication. One can non easy dissect a significance of a word – whether it is a phenomenon of address or a phenomenon of idea ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . This lone proves that idea and linguistic communication are interrelated. Word significances are besides acknowledged to be dynamic and a manifestation of this is the development of a kid.

The significance of words alteration as the kid grows and with the assorted ways in which thought maps. Harmonizing to Vygotsky. the relation of idea to word is non a thing but a procedure. a continual motion back and Forth from thought to word and from word to thought ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . Thought is non merely expressed into words. instead. it comes in being through them. It establishes relationships between things.

Based on the extended survey performed by Vygotsky. societal interaction plays an of import function in the development of a child’s idea and address. A kid acquires the significance of words throughout his development through his brushs with his household. friends. relations and his environment as whole. At first. the kid may get the significance of words through observation or imitation of actions and use of words. As he develops. he learns that certain words have designated significances.

Geneticss comes into drama when the jurisprudence of consciousness occurs. It states that an hindrance or perturbation in an automatic activity makes the histrion cognizant of activity ( Kozulin. 1986 ) . For case. address is an look of that procedure of going cognizant. One speaks because he expresses himself or responds to the receiving system of information. If a kid is autistic. communicating is hard and he is incognizant of his actions. Through this illustration. thecausal-geneticattack is apparent.


Kozulin. Alex ( Ed. ) . ( 1986 ) .Thought and Language. Massachusetts: MIT Press.

No writer. ( n. d. ) “Encyclopedia of Marxists” . Retrived from hypertext transfer protocol: //www. Marxists. org on October 13. 2006.