Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Psychosemantic Approach to Art (on a Material of Cinema)

Academic journal article Psychology in Russia

Psychosemantic Approach to Art (on a Material of Cinema)

Article excerpt


Kant (1787/1929) stressed that phenomenality requires intentionality to be classified as consciousness. Husserl's (1939/1954, 1913/1962) existential phenomenology examined the life-world as apprehended by individuals through their own perspectives.

Likewise, Kelly (1955/1991) developed the philosophy he called constructive alternativism. It comprises the idea that reality is always experienced from one or another perspective, or alternative construction. Kelly's constructionism highlights a person as anticipating events by construing their replications. This is the step from construction system (knowledge, understanding) to anticipation. A person's construction system varies as he or she successively construes the replication of events, other people, or oneself. Kelly's constructionism contrasts with the Marxist reflection principle. The latter underlies realism and naive materialism, or socialist realism in artistic creative work. Whereas the reflection principle assumes there is only one true reality, the constructionism emphasizes an infinite number of alternative constructions one may take towards the world. Instead of "objective reality" containing no subjective intentionality Rubinstein (2001) followed Heidegger (1962) in that the "world of existence as the world of human suffering..." (Rubinstein, 2001, p. 19) can be the subject of psychological consideration and realization.

For Kelly (1955/1991) a construct is an individual form of categorization of the world, other people, or oneself. Operationally, the construct serves as an element gluing together a series of attributes in an individual cognitive standard. If a child asserts that "a dirty shirt is warmer" (Chukovsky, 2005), or a woman visiting a family consultant is of the opinion that "all men are swine", these are their specific life constructs under consideration from a teacher's or psychotherapist's perspective. Social stereotypes, fragments of canonical texts, aphorisms by great thinkers, sayings, or even fragments of advertising texts replacing the system of philosophical or religious world view in the worldly consciousness can be specific social constructs adopted by the individual and becoming his personal constructs. Deleuze and Guattar (2000) suppose that the function of world cognition is creating concepts as "stable clusters of meaning". Constructs are used as building materials for the concept.

Bakhtin (1979a; 1979b), Lotman (1999), and Vygotsky (1930/1978) emphasized the dialogue-based origin of consciousness. It was considered through interiorization of social interaction and human dialogue with significant others. Bakhtin (1979b) defined the works of Dostoevsky (1846/1985) as 'polyphonic' novels. Every character is a competent voice of full value in a poly-log to find and prove a truth of his/her own life. In terms of physical science, we could say that every character of a polyphonic novel plays the reference role. When an absolute system of coordinates is absent (it is claimed by an author position), a polyphonic novel describes the relativism of world views passionately seeking to be understood and heard. Both judgments and actions by characters can be considered as replicas in such a dialogue.

The concept of art construct

Based on Bakhtin's (1979b) idea, we introduce the concept of art construct as an opposition to characters' life positions. In turn, the language of characters conceives of oppositions that generate the art construct. The author of the work expresses an idea with no wording in the language. This idea has so many aspects that it cannot be expressed verbally. Oppositions of some symbols are required for characters to raise their part. The character oppositions gains a simultaneous structure of concept displayed then in the text. In their study, Petrenko and Pronin (1990) found that a reader's world view changes through art constructs. It is operationally expressed through transformation of the reader's semantic space. …

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