Meaning, Personal meaning - General psychology


The objective plausibility of a conscious image in the event of a conflict between the conditions of perception and the principles of the construction of the world is ensured by the second component of the conscious image and consciousness as a whole, by the value, and, ultimately, by the action with the object. In its most general form, meaning is knowledge of the world, fixed in the language. Unlike the knowledge of the situation presented to a living being in sensory sensory-perceptual images, knowledge represented in meanings is a conceptual knowledge of the world (including the knowledge of the subject about himself and society) created by the combined activity of all mankind. The limiting case of values ​​are scientific concepts obtained in the intentional cognitive activity of people (science). As mentioned earlier, the need for conceptual knowledge appears in connection with the constructive constructive activity of man. If for the success of the adaptive activity of an individual it is sufficient to allocate incentives and landmarks in the field of action of the subject, then the success of the creative activity of mankind is impossible without knowledge of the structure of the world.

Meaning as knowledge can not exist except as the knowledge of individual people. Outside of man there is no knowledge and no meanings. If there are only signs with fixed values ​​in them, then without deciphering the signs and understanding the meanings, knowledge does not arise (dead languages ​​whose labels can not be read). At the same time, it should be noted that meaning as a universal knowledge belonging to the whole of mankind and including the experience of all mankind (its practice) exists independently of each individual, living in the language of people and developing according to their own laws, i.e. exists individually. But through fixation in the language, knowledge becomes accessible to any person who has mastered the language, entering the consciousness of this individual.

The emergence of consciousness and conceptual knowledge about the world also changes the sensory perception of a person. Instead of images of objects of the situation that stand out in the action zero as incentive objects or landmarks, a person begins to perceive the objects of human culture entering the image of the world.

In contrast to the images of objects of the spatial field of action, described in the sensory language of a certain modality according to the rules of constructing the objects of needs and the requirements of utility for adaptive activity, the object of culture must also obey the knowledge of the principles of the device of the whole world. The value, as the bearer of knowledge of the world, transforms the image of the object from the field of action into an image of an object from the human world, meaning it and allowing it to now be perceived not simply as an object of white color, a certain shape and size, but as a sheet of paper. The value thus becomes the signifier perceived conditions of the external environment and thus enters the structure of the conscious image.

It is clear that the requirements for the images of the object as an object of need and as an object of human culture are different. The image of the object as an object of need may be incomplete (due to the sensory language) and differ in different sensory languages ​​(the images of the flower in the spectrum of visible color and in the ultraviolet spectrum are not the same). But these images should provide an effective orientation of the adaptive behavior of a living being. The image of the object of culture must correspond to the general picture of the world, meet the requirements of the reliability of knowledge about the subject, fit into the categorical grid of the conscious image of the world of mankind and each person. It is the basis of the activity of a person who creates the conditions of his life and lives in the space of social relations.

Differences between the images of an object as an object of need and an object of culture are clearly visible in studies of altered consciousness.

If a subject in a hypnotic state is told that after coming out of hypnosis, he will not see cigarettes, then the subject really does not mention cigarettes when listing items lying on the table. Some subjects do not recognize a pack of cigarettes, a cigarette lighter and an ashtray on the table, although they see them and take them in their hands. Sometimes these subjects can not describe a tobacco stall and explain what it means to smoke. But while the subjects, sitting at the table, do not put a cup of tea on the "invisible" by them cigarettes, bypass invisible objects (table or chair). It turns out that in the mind at the moment there is no image of cultural objects, but as objects of the field of action that are not objects of human culture, they perceive and regulate behavior in the spatial field of activity.

Also interesting, though not entirely clear, is the established fact of perceiving objects or their images by different hemispheres of the brain during its splitting (if the neural connections connecting the two hemispheres are cut.)

If the image or object is briefly presented only to the left lingual hemisphere, then the person sees this object and can describe it. If the same stimulation is presented in the right hemisphere, then the person reacts to it biologically, "correctly", but the object or image can not be described. That is, the combination of a perceptual process with linguistic meanings makes it possible to see a socially adequate habitual object. Lack of meaning in the process of perception will give a correct identification of the object and an adequate biological response (vegetative reactions in men to the image of a naked woman), but not accompanied by the formation of the image of the object of culture.

This gives grounds to assert that the value brings to the image of the object with its physical qualities the new properties obtained by mankind in cognitive activity. The value captures and, as it were, transfers the invisible properties of objects, including deliberately created by a person, into the consciousness of the individual (into conscious images) and incorporates them into the system of the categorical picture of the world constructed by mankind. This is the main function of meaning in the construction of conscious images.

Personal meaning

Conscious images, as well as images of objects of the object zero of action, are designed to control and regulate the activities of the subject, but now the activity is creative. From this it follows that in them in some form must be presented the needs of the subject. Such representation is provided by the third component of the conscious image - personal meaning. If in the image of objects the biological sense representing the needs of the natural subject is fixed, then the subject of the human world must "contain" in himself the needs of man as a social being (including as a person); subject of social normative and moral relations. The personal meaning just represents a need for coloring all objects, one's own actions and events occurring in the world.

Meaning is understood as the meaning of objects, events, actions for the subject, i.e. as the relation of the external world to the needs of man as a social being and personality. AN Leontiev pointed out that the meaning of actions is given by the relationship of goals to the motive behind which the need is.

Voting in elections has the same meaning for all, but the meaning of voting may be different. If a person has a desire to get into the government and one of the candidates promised it, voting for him makes sense to be a member of the government, and the candidate's victory is only a condition for this. Raising your hand with this vote makes sense of your own career.

If the medal "For the capture of Berlin" saved the life of the soldier (the bullet ricochetted from the medal), then the value of the medal did not change, and its meaning became special-it saved life. The meaning of war is clear to all adults, but the meaning of war for a mother whose son is involved in military operations and the mother whose son does not serve in the army is different, and hence the different attitude and various reactions of these mothers to military events.

The function of personal meaning is to provide partiality of consciousness, helping to choose an adequate behavior situation. Later we will see that human emotions are determined not by events in and of themselves, but by the meanings that these events acquire for a person.

Differences of sensual unconscious and consciously constructed human images

Now we can distinguish the differences between conscious and sensual unconscious images. A sensual image is the image of an object as an object of a biological behavioral space. The conscious image as the object of culture of mankind claims for the reliability of knowledge and penetration into the nature of the object. He is part of the image of the human world.

A sensual image of an object has a biological meaning and a functional significance of the landmark. The conscious image has a value representing the object in the system of other objects (in the categorical grid of knowledge of mankind), and the personal meaning presented in the form of a needing coloring objects, actions, events.

From this comparison, it can be seen that consciousness really provides a new level of reflection of the world, revealing to the person not the field of his actions (situation) but the world of his life (being), revealing the laws of the functioning of the world and creating conditions for man to build his life on the basis of obtained knowledge. And although this analysis did not allow us to single out consciousness as a special phenomenon, as a special reality, we got confirmation of the existence of some process providing a new level of reflection and regulation of activity.

To date, in psychology there are two non-competing understandings of consciousness:

a) a new higher stage of the development of the psyche, on which a person is able to obtain such knowledge about the world that can not be gained in a sensible way;

b) the ability of a person to realize the presence of sensual images, desires, emotions, states, actions, thoughts, etc.

Understanding consciousness as an ability to self-report allows us to identify a number of its characteristics.

Empirical Characteristics of Consciousness

First, we can isolate the content of our consciousness, i.e. that is present now and can be present in general in our consciousness.

Second , we see that at this particular moment, not all the wealth of our psyche is realized, not all that we do, but only a small part of our activity. That is, we ascertain the limited volume of consciousness and thereby confirm the discrepancy of the concepts consciousness and mentality & quot ;: the first already (less in volume) of the second, is a part of it. From the fact that the volume of consciousness is limited, it also follows that awareness is an independent task and an independent process of the movement of consciousness through the psychic and motor activity of a person, which enabled CG Jung to compare consciousness with a ray of light.

Cases of pathology confirm the divergence of mental and conscious regulation of behavior. With some diseases, a person commutes movement in a complex subject situation and does not stumble upon objects, but at the same time he is aware of the speech addressed to him and then does not remember anything about what happened. Similar behavior we observe with posthypnotic suggestion do not see this object or be in such and such a location & quot ;. If a person is persuaded that he is in a forest glade and needs to collect flowers, he collects imaginary flowers, but he never does it under the table that is in the room and does not try to go through the table.

The third characteristic of consciousness is the allocation in the volume of consciousness of the focus (zone, field of clear awareness) and periphery. The concepts volume & quot ;, focus and peripherals Consciousness has something in common with the concepts "volume", "focus" and peripherals perception and attention, and we will discuss this further.

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