Symbol Formation: An Organismic-Developmental Approach to the Psychology of Language

Symbol Formation: An Organismic-Developmental Approach to the Psychology of Language

Symbol Formation: An Organismic-Developmental Approach to the Psychology of Language

Symbol Formation: An Organismic-Developmental Approach to the Psychology of Language

Excerpt

Our basic aim in this volume has been to set forth a certain perspective on psychological phenomena and to show how this perspective enables one to order and integrate data on symbolization and language behavior -- data obtained by a variety of methods and garnered from domains that are too often treated in isolation from each other.

We recognize and respect the fact that there are multiple approaches to the problems of language and symbolization, each of which probes into these problems with its own presuppositions, its specific concerns, its own techniques and modes of analysis. Naturally, we believe that each approach yields some information on the complex and many-sided problems, and none can reasonably claim to be the only avenue to truth, though some of them seem to us more fruitful than others for elucidating the distinctive characteristics of symbolization and language behavior.

It has not been our intention here to describe or appraise those alternative ways of looking at symbolization. Rather than evaluating the theories and experimental work of others, we have been primarily oriented towards presenting our own view and demonstrating concretely how our approach operates in the analysis of phenomena and in the suggestion of appropriate experiments. On the few occasions when we have dealt with other theories, we have done so chiefly to clarify and distinguish our own position.

Just as our book is not a summary and criticism of extant theories . . .

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