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341.Журнал Сибирского федерального университета. Сер. Гуманитарные науки №1 2008

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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Журнал Сибирского федерального университета
Journal of Siberian Federal University 2008
Гуманитарные науки
Humanities & Social Sciences
Редакционный совет
академик РАН Е.А.Ваганов
академик РАН К.С.Александров
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Editorial Advisory Board
Eugene A. Vaganov
Kirill S. Alexandrov
Josef J. Gitelzon
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Valery L. Mironov
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Gershon M. Breslavs
Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting,
Sentiments and Self-satisfaction Variables in Adolescence and
John A. Carroll
Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
– 15 –
Natalia P. Coptseva
A.P. Chekhov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and
«Existence in the Face of Death» in his Dramas
– 22 –
Andrey A. Davydov
A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions and Functions in
Social Systems
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Oleg M. Gotlib
Distinctive Features of the Language Picture of the World in
Chinese Ethnoconsciousness
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina
Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
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Igor E. Kim
Levy-Bruhl’s Concept of Participation and the Indirect Use of
Relation Nouns in the Russian Language
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Stone and Ceramic Tools from Ust-Shilka-2, a Hill-fort of the
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The Theoretical-methodological Foundations of Post-non-classical Approaches in the Contemporary Russian Sociology
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Some Aspects of the Universum Theory of Man’s Socialization
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Basic Units for Chinese Opinionated Information Retrieval
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The Visual Content in Representative Paintings of Andrei
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 3-14
УДК 155.2
Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting,
Sentiments and Self-satisfaction Variables in Adolescence
and Adulthood
Gershon M. Breslavs*
International Institute of Applied Psychology,
Bruninieku str. 65, Riga, LV 1011 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
The transition from adolescence to adulthood is currently attracting increased attention in developmental psychology. According to Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, Erikson and Bruner’s developmental theories,
increasing autonomy and self-concept development imply that relationships between young adults and
parents change according to the internalization of this relationship and the development of new traits.
Thus, different changes can be expected in the links between parental attitudes or style and such selfsatisfaction variables as self-esteem and subjective well-being on the one hand, and such sentiments as
love and jealousy, on the other. Sentiments are differentiated from situationally determined emotions
and represent more prolonged relationships.
A two-group comparison design was used to examine these changes. Data were acquired from Russian-speaking Latvians in two age groups : ages 16-19 and 26-29. Six Likert-like scales were used to
acquire data: a 30-item Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ), a 37-item Child Rearing Practices
Report (CRPR), a 10-item Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem scale (RSES), Sternberg’s revised 45-item Love
Scale, a 25-item Self-Report Jealousy Scale (SRJS), and a 39-item Berne Questionnaire of Subjective
Well-Being (BSW). The hypothesis predicts that the links between parenting variables and self-esteem
and subjective well-being on the one hand, and with love and jealousy on the other, will change during
the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Results partially confirm the predictions.
Keywords: Parenting, Self-Esteem, Subjective Well-Being, Love, Jealousy.
Some theoreticians are convinced that
only a theory that went through empirical intersubjective verification and quantitative analysis
can be identified as scientific [39, 40]. This
conviction seems to be fundamental for the
modern understanding of science that emerged in
the 17th century [57, 44]. Can such a general idea
as internalisation proposed in different versions
by Janet, Mead, Freud, and Vygotsky be verified
There are sufficient data on simple subjectoriented external actions, sensory standards, and
emotion transformed later into forms of internal
regulation [55, 59, 28]. Is the internalisation of
complicated social opinions and appraisals the
same as that of simpler subject-oriented actions
or emotion? Can we verify the transfer of external
social interaction into internal self-regulation?
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
During the last 30 years pure individual
concepts in psychology have been supplemented
by more interactional concepts, such as parenting,
mattering, scaffolding, and especially attachment
which became one of the central concepts of
developmental psychology. The content of these
interactions can be internalised sufficiently
strongly so as to be able to assess their impact
throughout human life.
In the 1930’s Vygotsky proposed the
concept of the social situation of development
defined as the core of a relationship and a
basic form of interaction between a child and
environment [54]. According to the previous
model, the core interaction of the social situation
of development is infant-adult interaction that
moderates secondary forms of interaction [7] that
involve wider environment [11]. Distinct from
psychoanalytic ideas [22], this moderation is
viewed as a more or less constructive use of initial
processes and mechanisms in the development
of personality, not as the suppression of natural
developmental processes. Is it possible to study
the following process of internalization of these
parent-child interactions? The first step to such a
study should be the search for variables suitable
for the operationalisation of these interactions.
Contemporary developmental psychology
includes some variables that are claimed to be
more or less effective in singling out some core
features of these interactions [31, 32]. The best
of them seem to be applicable to parental style
[2, 4] and parental attitude [48]. Schaefer’s
model of parental attitude toward child rearing
emphasizes two main dimensions or scales: Love
versus Hostility and Autonomy versus Control
[47]. Baumrind [2] elaborated a similar model
of parental style as the dominant parents’ rearing
behavior features. They differ in that Schaefer’s
model defines the control pole as intrusiveness
and restriction, while Baumrind’s model defines
control in a general manner with a more positive
connotation, including the implementation
of social standards, and takes into account its
impact on a child’s behavior, as well as clarity of
communication, and maturity demands. In earlier
works Baumrind differentiated three parenting
styles: Authoritative, as the combination of a
high level of love (acceptance) and control;
Authoritarian, as the combination of hostility
(rejection) and control; and Permissive, as the
combination of love (acceptance) and lack of
control. Later Baumrind differentiated seven
types of control to analyze the process of parental
regulation in more detail [4].
These two models are applied intensively in
many parenting measures that aim at singling out
substantial aspects of parent-child relationship. At
the same time that parenting is effective when a
child becomes a productive and happy member
of society is understandable, or ineffective when
an adolescent and an adult display asocial or
antisocial behavior and become delinquent [16].
Thus, the development of positive links between
parenting and personality traits of a developed
person can be expected only if parenting fits into
an optimal parental style associated with a child’s
acceptance or love.
In fact, we can only predict the positive
influence of parental love, not hostility, on traits
and behavior development, because Baumrind’s
early research reveals that students’ self-concepts
vary directly with the perceived level of parental
warmth, but do not vary as a function of their
parents’ level of restrictiveness [38, 37].
The second variable in Schaefer’s model of
parental attitude seems more ambivalent because
the autonomy concept is not opposed to the
control concept in contemporary developmental
psychology. According to Baumrind’s model only
authoritative style is effective in ensuring social
competence development [3] and internalization
of parental standards and appraisals. Do the
features of parental style or parental attitude to
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
a child transfer into the feature of self-attitude?
If so, a stronger link between these variables
can be expected at the more mature stages of
development when self-concept becomes more
stable and more definite. At the same time we
know that parent-child relations are bidirectional
and a child’s behavior can be a moderator of these
relationships [41].
The transition from adolescence to
adulthood has attracted increasing attention in
contemporary developmental psychology and is
currently understood as the core process of socialpsychological maturation. Data on increased
autonomy and maturing identity during this
transition as well as developmental concepts of
Vygotsky, Bronfenbrenner, and Erikson presume
that relationships between young adults and parents
will change after adolescence. Contemporary
developmental psychology has shown that these
changes are not as dramatic as believed previously
[12, 51, 54], that they are not necessarily brought
on by a crisis, and that they can be measured [58].
The contradictory nature of popular developmental
theories and ideas should be taken into account.
For example, Erikson declared growing autonomy
from social environment to be the central feature
of maturation during adolescence. At the same
time, he declared that “The child is the father to
the man” [20, 21], which, interpreted according to
the psychoanalytic tradition, refers to one’s early
childhood dependence. Despite psychoanalytic
speculations, there are sufficient data showing
true differences between adolescents and young
adults [56, 33].
Thus, we may expect the changes in the links
between parenting attitudes or parental styles and
self-satisfaction variables, including self-esteem
and subjective well-being on the one hand, and
such long-term feelings as romantic love and
jealousy, on the other. The differences between
these two groups of variables are found in the role
of cognitive elements in their representations as
well as in the period of their emergence. Although
preschool children have more or less stable selfesteem, romantic love and jealousy emerge only
in late adolescence [30].
Taking into account that love and jealousy
are interpreted in psychology very differently
[36, 27, 45, 26, 9] their understanding should
be specified. It seems productive to differentiate
short-term emotion representing an individual
reaction to a past, present, or future situation and
long-term feelings or sentiments representing a
more integrated complex of attitudes, feelings,
motives, and relationship [6, 8, 52, 29].
A close interaction between these two types of
emotional phenomena exists, because sentiments
emerge due to different emotions, more positive
when liking or love are shaped and more negative
when jealousy, contempt, or hate are formed. In
turn, the development of sentiment leads to the
emergence of motives, emotions, and attitudes
connected with a subject-matter of this sentiment
[6, 8]. Romantic love based on the generalization
of long-term pleasant contacts later creates many
positive emotions, motives, and attitudes to a
beloved. At the same time there is no evidence
that romantic love is based directly on previous
attachment, despite that data show a definite
similarity between mother-child attachment and
romantic love [49]. At the same time the role of
this attachment cannot be ignored [50] and the
possibility that the basis for romantic jealousy
is found in a child’s jealousy towards siblings or
towards other people.
If the parent-infant interaction is the core one
that moderates other child’s interactions, then the
traits that start to shape when this interaction is
dominant, such as self-esteem during the preschool
age, may preserve a stronger link with parenting
style during adulthood than sentiments such as
romantic love and jealousy emerging later when
parent-infant interaction loses its dominant role.
When comparing the links between parenting
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
style and these two groups of variables during
adolescence and early adulthood, we can expect
to find different tendencies in the links’ changes.
At the same time romantic jealousy that emerged
during adolescence is very difficult to differentiate
from jealousy that emerged early in childhood [1,
The hypothesis predicts that the links
between parenting and other variables are
stronger for young adults than for adolescents
for early developed psychological features
that represent self-attitudes (self-esteem and
subjective well-being) and weaker for later
developed sentiments, such as romantic love
and jealousy (see Fig.1).
Participants and Procedure
A two-group comparison design was used to
study links between the variables. One hundred
Russian-speaking Latvian participants from two
age groups were involved, 50 between ages 1619 and 50 between ages 26-29, the data from one
participant were not accepted. In both groups 50%
were female and 50% male. Adolescents attended
three Riga’s schools, adults were from Riga too.
Participants completed voluntarily a battery of six
measures at one session. The data were collected
during May-June 2005 by the graduate student
Olga Gavrilenko.
Six Likert-type scales were used to assess
six constructs: parental attitudes, parental styles,
love, jealousy, subjective well-being and selfesteem.
Parental attitudes was measured by the 37item Child Rearing Practices Report (CRPR) [5,
17] according to Schaefer’s model [46, 47] that
measured two independent variables – nurturance
and restriction. Participants rated CRPR statements
on their parents’ attitudes to child rearing using
the six-point Likert scale ranging from “strongly
disagree” (1) to “strongly agree” (6).
Parental styles was measured by the 30-item
Parental Authority Questionnaire (PAQ) [13]
Level of correlation
Fig. 1. The predicted change of the links between parenting features and self-attitude variables (blue line) and
between parenting features and sentiment variables (red line) in two age groups
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
that measured three styles: authoritative (AT),
authoritarian (A), and permissive (P), according
to Baumrind’s model of parental styles [2, 4].
Participants rated statements on their mothers’
style of child rearing using the five-point Likert
scale ranging from “completely disagree” (1) to
“completely agree” (5).
Love was measured by Sternberg’s revised
45-item Love Scale [53] that measured three love
dimensions : intimacy, passion, and commitment
according to his Triangular theory of love [52].
Participants rated statements on their relationship
with a particular partner using the nine-point
Likert scale ranging from “not at all” (1) to
“extremely” (9).
Jealousy was measured by the 25-item SelfReport Jealousy Scale [10] that includes 17 items
assessing romantic jealousy. Participants rated
statements on hypothetical jealousy-aroused
situations using the five-point Likert scale ranging
from “pleased” (0) to “extremely upset” (4).
Subjective well-being was measured by the
39-item Berne Questionnaire of Subjective WellBeing (BSW) [25, 23] that measured six primary
factors: positive attitude toward life, somatic
complaints, self-esteem, joy in life, problems,
depressive mood. Two secondary contrary
variables also were measured: satisfaction and
ill-being. Participants rated statements on their
life using the five-point Likert scale ranging from
“strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly agree” (5), or
from “never” (1) to “very often” (5).
Self-esteem was measured by the 10-items’
Rosenberg’s Self-Esteem scale (RSES) [42, 43]
that measures a one-dimensional global selfesteem. Participants rated statements using a fourpoints scale ranging from “strongly disagree” (1)
to “strongly agree” (4).
All scales were adapted to Russian by the
author and 16 collaborators (including three
English philologists from the Faculty of Modern
Languages of Latvian University) in 2002-2005.
Child Rearing Practices Report, Rosenberg’s SelfEsteem scale, Parental Authority Questionnaire,
and Berne Questionnaire of Subjective WellBeing were adapted according to the Oxford
Outcomes’ procedure comparing original versions
with back translation and Russian reconciled
versions by bilingual experts. The love and
jealousy scales additionally were verified by the
test-retest procedure on 22 (29 on the first stage)
undergraduate students of English philology from
Latvian university. They ranged in age from 20
to 23. The correlation between original and back
translation questionnaires versions was 0.63 for
the jealousy scale (p ≤ .001) and 0.76 for the love
scale (p ≤ .001).
The primary quantitative analysis of the
links between variables was carried out using
Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient, followed
by Fisher’s Z-transformation for pairs of
The main correlations between parental
attitudes and parental styles and two groups of
other variables are represented in Tables 1 and 2.
Gender and age differences exist in both the signs
and the magnitude of the correlation.
The Nurturance scale of parenting attitudes
(in the tables - CRPR-N) significantly correlates
with love for male adolescents (intimacy, passion,
and commitment). No correlations are significant
for female adolescents. For adult males only
intimacy significantly correlates with nurturance
and there is no significant correlation for female
adults. Nurturance correlates with jealousy for
male contradictive – negative for adolescents
and positive for adults, without significant
correlations for females. Nurturance significantly
correlates with both Well-being subscales for
male adolescents and with the Satisfaction
subscale of Well-being for male adults; the same
tendency is present with female participants. The
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
link of Nurturance with self-esteem is significant
for adults only (male and female). In general, the
Nurturance scale links are more significant for
males than for females, and we can see correlations
decreasing in the adults’ group for love but not for
jealousy, well-being and self-esteem.
The restriction scale of parenting attitudes
(in the Tables - CRPR – R) correlates with the
same variables differently and only few are
significant. Data from females on the Well-being
subscales look contradictory, where a positive
correlation between restriction and satisfaction
in the adolescent group changed to a negative
correlation in the adult group. There is a big
difference between ill-being positive correlation
with restriction for female adults and negative for
male adults.
Three parental styles have few significant
correlations with other variables. Permission
style (PAQ-P) correlates with ill-being for adult
males and with the intimacy subscale of love only
for adult females. Authoritarian style (PAQ-A)
correlates negatively with the intimacy subscale
of love for adult males, with self-esteem for
adult females, positively with the satisfaction
subscale of well-being for adolescent females,
with the ill-being scale for adolescent males and
for adult females. Authoritative style (PAQ-AT)
has more connections. It is positively connected
with the intimacy subscale of love for male and
female adolescents and for male adults, jealousy
for male adults, the satisfaction subscale of wellbeing for adolescent females and for male adults,
with self-esteem for adult males and females, and
negatively connected with the ill-being subscale
of well-being for adult males and females.
The main prediction of the study concerns
not these correlations as such but changes in
them. How significant are the changes of these
correlations in the transition from adolescence
to adulthood? If they are significant, are they
coherent with the predicted direction of changes?
To answer the question, Fisher’s Z-criterion of
correlations’ transformation was used, which
enables us to compare two pairs of correlations
and to state definitely whether the difference is
just a random one or not.
The main results on the Z-criterion for
pairs of correlations between parental attitudes,
parental styles, sentiments, and self-satisfaction
variables are represented in Table 3. Few changes
in correlations are significant in the transition
from adolescence to adulthood.
Correlations between the nurturance scale
of parental attitudes (CRPR-N), sentiments, and
self-satisfaction variables show two significant
Table 1. Parenting attitudes (CRPR-N – nurturance, and CRPR – R - Restriction) correlations with Love (Intimacy,
Passion, and Commitment subscales), Jealousy, Subjective Well-Being (Satisfaction and Ill-being subscales), and
Self-Esteem (RSES) in two age groups (16-19) and (26-29)
* - p ≤ .05 ; ** - p ≤ .01
M (26-29)
F (26-29)
M (16-19)
F (16-19)
M (26-29)
* - p ≤ .05 ; ** - p ≤ .01
F (16-19)/
M (16-19)/
M (16-19)/
F (16-19)/
M (16-19)/
F (16-19)/
Table 3. Fisher’s Z-criterion of correlations transformation in the transition from Adolescence to Adulthood
* - p ≤ .05 ; ** - p ≤ .01
F (16-19)
M (16-19)
F (16-19)/
F (26-29)
M (26-29)
M (16-19)/
F (16-19)
F (16-19)/
M (16-19)
M (16-19)/
F (26-29)
Table 2. Three Parenting styles (PAQ – Permissive P, Authoritarian A, Authoritative AT) correlations with Love (Intimacy, Passion, and Commitment subscales), Jealousy,
Subjective Well-Being (Satisfaction and Ill-being subscales), and Self-Esteem (RSES) in two age groups (16-19) and (26-29)
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changes, with Jealousy, which contradicts the
hypothesis, and with Self-Esteem, which confirms
the hypothesis.
Correlations between the restriction scale of
parental attitudes’ (CRPR – R), sentiments, and
self-satisfaction variables show two significant
changes, for the link with the ill-being subscale
of well-being for males and with the Satisfaction
subscale for females.
Correlations between permission style (PAQP), ), sentiments, and self-satisfaction variables
do not show any significant changes. Correlations
between authoritarian style (PAQ-A), sentiments,
and self-satisfaction variables show significant
changes with the ill-being subscale of well-being
for males, for the satisfaction subscale for females
and for self-esteem. Authoritative style (PAQ-AT)
links show significant changes in correlations with
jealousy and satisfaction for males only.
The positive values of Fisher’s Z-criterion
indicate that there is the decrease in correlations
in the transition from adolescence to adulthood,
while the negative values of Fisher’s Z-criterion
indicate that there is the increase in correlations in
the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
The purpose of this study has been to
investigate possible links between parental
attitudes and styles with well-being, self-esteem,
love, and jealousy in two age groups, adolescents
and adults. In coherence with ideas of the
internalization theory it was predicted that the traits
starting to develop when parent-child interaction is
the dominant one for child development, increase
their links with parenting in adulthood, but not the
traits starting to develop later during adolescence
as romantic love, when this interaction loses its
dominant character. It means that parenting links
with self-esteem and well-being (its positive
satisfaction but not negative ill-being subscale)
will increase, but links with sentiments will
decrease in the transition from adolescence to
adulthood (see Fig. 1).
The links between parental attitudes and
styles with well-being, self-esteem, love, and
jealousy are moderated by gender and age. Taking
into account the more negative interpretation of
restriction construct as a lack of autonomy [48],
the results on the nurturance scale of the Child
Rearing Practices Report are more relevant for
the hypothesis verification. Positive correlation of
this scale with the love subscales, the satisfaction
subscale of well-being, and self-esteem, but
negative correlation with the ill-being subscale
of well-being was expected. The most of these
correlations are sufficiently high, as predicted.
Taking into account the differences in
Baumrind’s typology of parental styles measured
by the Parental Authority Questionnaire [13], the
data on the most constructive authoritative style [4]
are more relevant for the hypothesis verification.
Parental rejection typical of authoritative style
is negatively related to self-esteem among
adolescents, however, authoritative style is related
positively [14, 15]. Our data are more or less in
accordance with these findings.
The positive values of the Z-criterion for love
aspects’ correlations with nurturance and negative
– for self-esteem’ correlations with nurturance
generally confirm the hypothesis of the study (see
Fig. 1). As well-being belongs to self-attitude
variables and jealousy to sentiments variables,
we can expect that the changes of correlations
between nurturance and well-being will be closer
to the changes of correlations between nurturance
and self-esteem, but jealousy will be closer to
love. The analysis of results for nurturance’s
correlation with self-esteem only revealed that the
difference between links is significant according
to the prediction.
However, at the same time the correlation
between nurturance and jealousy also increased, a
result that does not fit the hypothesis. The simplest
– 10 –
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Gershon M. Breslavs. Parenting Internalization and Correlations Between Parenting, Sentiments…
explanation would be that the questionnaire used in
the study is not the measure of romantic jealousy
only, but also of jealousy toward a chief or to
parents [10], and the latter forms of jealousy are
developed in childhood [34].
This explanation makes it possible to
understand the last result on the significant Zcriterion for the increase of authoritative style’s
(PAQ-AT) link with jealousy for male adults. The
increase of correlations between authoritative
style’ (PAQ-AT) and satisfaction for male adults
is in accordance with the hypothesis.
The use of parental styles concept looks
attractive because mothers’ attitudes toward child
rearing are sufficiently stable, as longitudinal
studies show [35]. However, at the same time, in
mid-adolescence, a general increase in maternal
control behavior occurs. This increase, in turn,
provokes more parent-adolescent conflicts and
corresponding consequences occur in the role of
the relationship [16].
The lack of strong Z-criterion for the
decrease of Parenting link with Love can be
explained by the small sample involved in the
research and forms of child-mother attachment
and child behavior that can moderate the process
of adolescents’ emancipation process.
The results show inconsistent gender effects
of links between Parenting and Satisfaction
subscale of Subjective Well-being, which requires
additional research.
The hypothesis has been confirmed partly:
parenting links with Self-Esteem and Love
change from Adolescence to Adulthood in
different directions, becoming stronger with the
former and weaker with the latter. But the amount
of these changes is statisticaly significant for the
Nurturance scale of parental attitudes’ connexion
with Self-Esteem only.
Subjective well-being’s link with parenting
only partly shows the same effect as Self-Esteem.
Jealousy’s link with parenting shows more
similarity with Self-Esteem, not with Love, as had
been hypothesized.
It seems possible to study the role of
parenting in the context of internalization theory,
but more complicated design and more sensitive
statistical procedures should be applied. Gender
differences seem very important in the topic and
require special investigation.
1. A. Adler, Science of Living (London: Allen & Unwin, 1930).
2. D. Baumrind, “Current Patterns of Parental Authority”, Developmental Psychology Monographs,
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10. R.G. Bringle, S. Roach, C. Andier and S. Evenbeck, “Measuring the Intensity of Jealous Reactions,”
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12. Ch. Bühler, Das Seelenleben des Jugendlichen (Jena: Fischer, 1922).
13. J.R. Buri, “Parental Authority Questionnaire”, Journal of Personality Assessment, 57 (1) (1991),
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15. J. Clark and B. Barber, “Adolescents in Post Divorce and Always-Married Families: Self-esteem
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Journal of Behavioral Development, 23 (4) (1999), 977-1000.
17. M. Dekovic, J.M.A.M. Janssens and J.R. M. Gerris, “Factor Structure and Construct Validity of the
Block Child Rearing Practices Report (CRPR)”, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,
vol. 3 (2) (1991), 182-187.
18. E. Diener, “Subjective well-being”. Psychological Bulletin, 95 (1984), 542-75.
19. K. Durkin, Developmental Social Psychology (Blackwell Publishers, 1995).
20. E. Erikson, Childhood and Society, 2nd ed. (New York: Norton, 1963).
21. E. Erikson, Identity, Youth, and Crisis (New York: Norton, 1968).
22. S. Freud, “Das Ich und das Es”, in Psychology of Unconsciousness (Moscow: Prosveshchenije,
1923/1989, In Russian), p. 425-439.
23. A. Grob, “Subjective Well-being and Significant Life Events Across the Life Span”, Swiss Journal
of Psychology, 54 (1995), 3-18.
24. A. Grob, “Adolescents’ Subjective Well-being in Fourteen Cultural Contexts, in Adolescents,
Cultures, and Conflictes: Growing Up in Contemporary Europe, ed. J.-E. Nurmi (New York:
Garland Publ, 1998), 21-41.
25. A. Grob, R. Lüthi, F. G. Kaiser, A. Flammer, A. Mackinnon and A.J. Wearing, “Berner Fragebogen
zum Wohlbefinden Jugendlicher (BFW)”, Diagnostica, 37 (1991), 66-75.
26. E. Hatfield and R.L. Rapson, Love, Sex, and Intimacy: Their Psychology, Biology, and History
(New York: Harper Collins, 1993.
27. C. Hendrick and S. Hendrick, “A Theory and Method of Love”, Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, v. 50 (1986), 392-402.
28. M. Holodynski, “Emotion, Expression and the Principle of Internalization”, Paper presented at
IXth European Conference on Developmental Psychology in Rennes (1997).
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29. C. Izard, The Psychology of Emotions (New York: Plenum Press, 1991).
30. M.L. Jaffe, Adolescence (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1998).
31. E.E. Maccoby, Social Development: Psychological Growth and the Parent-Child Relationship
(New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980).
32. E. Maccoby and J. Martin, “Socialization in the Context of the Family: Parent-Child Interaction”,
in Handbook of Child Psychology: Vol. 4, Socialization, Personality and Social Development, 4th
ed. P.H.Mussen (Series ed.) and E.M.Hetherington (Vol. ed,), (New York: Wiley, 1983), 1-101.
33. D. Markiewicz, H. Lawford, A.B. Doyle and N. Haggart, Developmental Differences in
Adolescents’ and Young Adults’ Use of Mothers, Fathers, Best Friends, and Romantic Partners to
Fulfill Attachment Needs”, Journal of Youth & Adolescence, vol. 35 (1) (2006), 121-134.
34. S. Masciuch and K. Kienapple, “The Emergence of Jealousy in Children 4 Months to 7 Years of
Age”, Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 10 (1993), 421-435.
35. S McNally, N. Eisenberg and J.D. Harris, “Consistency and Change in Maternal Child-rearing
Practices and Values: A Longitudinal Study”, Child Development, 62 (1991), 190-198.
36. B.I. Murstein, “Love at First Sight: A Myth”, Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 14 (9) (1980),
34, 39-41.
37. D.M. Nielsen and A. Metha, “Parental Behavior and Adolescent Self-esteem in Clinical and
Nonclinical Samples”, Adolescence, vol. 29 (1994).
38. T.S. Parish and J.J. McCluskey, “The Relationship Between Parenting Styles and Young Adults’
Self-concepts and Evaluation of Parents”, Adolescence, vol. 27 (1992), 915-919.
39. K.R. Popper, The Poverty of Historicism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957).
40. K.R. Popper, Objective Knowledge (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972).
41. E. Reitz, M. Dekovic and A. M. Meijer, “Relations Between Parenting and Externalizing and
Internalizing Problem Behavior in Early Adolescence: Child Behavior as Moderator and Predictor”,
Journal of Adolescence, 29 (3) (2006), 419-436.
42. M. Rosenberg, Society and the Adolescent Self-image (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press,
43. M. Rosenberg, Conceiving the Self (New York: Basic Books, 1979).
44. Russell, Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits (London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., 1948).
45. P. Salovey and J. Rodin, “Differentiation of Social-comparison Jealousy and Romantic Jealousy”,
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50 (1986), 1100-1112.
46. Earl S. Schaefer, “A Circumplex Model for Maternal Behavior”, Journal of Abnormal and Social
Behavior, 59 (1959), 226-235.
47. E.S. Schaefer, “Children’s Reports of Parental Behavior: An Inventory”, Child Development, 36
(1965), 413-424.
48. E.S. Schaefer and Richard Q. Bell, “Development of Parental Attitude Research Instrument”,
Child Development, 29 (3) (1958), 339-361.
49. Ph. Shaver, C. Hazan and D. Bradshaw, “Love as Attachment: The Integration of Three Behavioral
Systems”, in The Psychology of Love , R. Sternberg and M. Barnes (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1988), p. 68-99.
50. J. A. Simpson, “Influence of Attachment Styles on Romantic Relationships”, Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 59 (1990), 971-980.
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51. E. Spranger, Psychologie des Jugendalters (Leipzig: Heidelberg, Quelle & Meyer, 1924).
52. R.J. Sternberg, “Triangulating Love”, in The Psychology of Love, ed. by R.Sternberg and M.Barnes
(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988), p.119-138.
53. R.J. Sternberg, “Construct Validation of a Triangular Love Scale”, European Journal of Social
Psychology, 27 (3) (1997), 313-335.
54. L. Vygotsky, Selected Works, v. 4 (Moscow: Pedagogy, 1984, In Russian).
55. L.A. Wenger (Ed.), Genesis of Sensory Abilities (Moscow: Pedagogy, 1976, In Russian).
56. A. Westhues and Joyce S. Cohen, “A Comparison of the Adjustment of Adolescent and Young Adult
Inter-country Adoptees and their Siblings”, International Journal of Behavioral Development, vol.
20, no. 1 (1997), 47-65.
57. A. Wolf, History of Science, Technology, and Philosophy in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth
Centuries, v. I-II (Gloucester, Mass.: Peter Smith, 1935/1968).
58. J. Youniss and J. Smollar, Adolescent Relations with Mothers, Fathers, and Friends (Chicago:
University of Illinois Press, 1985).
59. A.V. Zaporozhetz, “Significance of Early Stages of Childhood in Child’s Personality Development”,
in Principle of Development in Psychology, ed. L. I. Anciferova (Moscow: Science, 1978, In
Russian), p.243-267.
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 15-21
УДК 410
Natural Language and Computational Linguistics
at the University of Sussex
John A. Carroll*
Department of Informatics, University of Sussex
Falmer Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
In this project we develop new ways of estimating the frequency distributions of the senses of words
from raw (unannotated) text. We are starting to exploit these distributions to implement WSD systems
which do not rely on the availability of hand-labelled resources. One way is to adopt the meaning distinctions set out in a particular dictionary or thesaurus and then to relate these distinctions to measures
of similarity that we compute automatically between the occurrences of words in a text. Another way in
which we use measures of word similarity is to automatically augment existing specialised thesauruses
with new terms.
Keywords: computer processing of human language, natural language processing, COGENT, DELPHIN, RASP, SPARKLE, LEXSYS.
The Natural Language and Computational
Linguistics group in the Department of Informatics
at the University of Sussex is one of the largest
groups in the UK of researchers focusing on
computer processing of human language – also
known as natural language processing (NLP).
The group was formed over twenty years
ago, and currently consists of around fifteen
faculty, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers,
headed by two professors. The group has a high
profile internationally for research in both basic
technologies for NLP, and also language-based
computer applications.
Recent areas of research – and some national
and European collaborative projects that have
funded this research – are summarised below.
1. Basic Language Processing Technology
1.1. Word Meanings
-- Ranking Word Senses for Disambiguation
When faced with the question “Which plants
thrive in chalky soil?” humans have no trouble
understanding that the plants are floral rather
than industrial. Furthermore, humans recognise
that the answers “Sweetcorn and cabbage family
vegetables do well on chalky soil”, “Sweetcorn
and cabbage grow well on chalky ground”, and
“Maize and cabbage-like vegetables grow well on
chalky soil” are all paraphrases and mean more
or less the same thing. Semantic interpretation
and disambiguation is performed effortlessly by
humans but poses great difficulties to computerbased applications that extract, filter and
manipulate information from textual data. With
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
the rapidly growing amounts of text being stored
by businesses and available over the Internet,
such applications become increasingly important
and the development of improved methods for
identifying the intended meaning of words (word
senses) will be a key technology.
The most accurate techniques for word
sense disambiguation (WSD) to date are those
trained on text in which each word has been
manually annotated with its intended sense. A
major shortcoming of these methods, though,
is that accuracy is strongly correlated with the
quantity of training data available, and this is in
short supply because its production is very labourintensive. For many words the distribution of their
senses is highly skewed and WSD systems work
best when they take the most frequent sense into
account. However, the most frequent sense of a
word is often not known, particularly in domains
(subject areas) in which no text has ever been
manually annotated.
In this project we are developing novel
ways of estimating the frequency distributions
of senses of words from raw (unannotated) text.
We are starting to exploit these distributions to
implement WSD systems which do not rely on the
availability of hand-labelled resources.
-- Word Similarity
One way in which we are approaching the
phenomenon of word meaning computationally
is to adopt the meaning distinctions set out in a
particular dictionary or thesaurus, and then relate
these distinctions to measures of similarity that
we compute automatically between occurrences
of words in text.
Pioneering research at Sussex has
comprehensively investigated a range of different
measures of word similarity: these are based on
various ways of comparing vectors of frequency
counts, where elements of the vectors encode
specific, pre-determined features of the context of
occurrence of a word. Context features might be
(for a noun), whether it is the object of a particular
verb, whether it is modified by a particular
adjective, etc. For example, the words “star” and
“planet” often occur as the object of “view” and
modified by “bright”. But “star” is also similar to
“actress” (since they are both often modified by
“famous”) although “planet” is not. These sorts of
contextual differences can help us define ways of
automatically teasing apart word meanings.
Another way in which we are using measures
of word similarity is to automatically augment
existing specialised thesauruses with new terms.
One area in which this is especially important is in
medical research, in which new types of diseases,
pathogens and other micro-organisms, and drugs
and treatments are being discovered at an ever
increasing rate. Researchers in this area need to
be able to keep track of new terminology and
easily find out how it relates to existing terms. To
tackle this problem, we are currently investigating
a novel technique for automatically enlarging
an existing medical thesaurus with new terms
appearing in published scientific papers.
-- MEANING: Developing Multilingual
Web-scale Language Technologies
Most computer applications that use the
World Wide Web as a knowledge source process
the information available only at the word level,
making no attempt to go deeper and deal with
the words’ meanings. The MEANING project
was concerned with automatically collecting and
analysing language data on a large scale, building
(for several European languages) comprehensive
knowledge bases about word meanings and their
inter-relationships, and developing techniques for
computing with word meanings. These knowledge
bases and techniques can facilitate development
of concept-based - rather than word-based - open
domain Internet applications (such as Question/
Answering, Cross Lingual Information Retrieval,
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
Summarisation, Text Categorisation, Information
Extraction, Machine Translation, etc.).
The main organisational structure for
language data in the MEANING project was
EuroWordNet, a large multilingual thesaurus
covering several European languages, and
between the languages through an `Interlingual
Index’. Using this index, information about
concepts acquired for one language can be ported
across to all the other languages in the thesaurus.
So, for example, certain types of concept-level
information might be more easily or accurately
found by processing English text (since there
is a more of it available than other European
languages), and then it could be distributed to the
other languages.
Towards the end of the project, we
started to treat the Web as a (huge) corpus to
learn information from, since even the largest
conventional text corpora available are not large
enough to be able to acquire reliable information
in sufficient detail about language behaviour, and
most European languages do not have large or
diverse enough corpora available.
1.2. Text Generation
-- COGENT: Controlled Generation of Text
Natural Language Generation (NLG)
technology has reached a level of maturity where
applied systems exist in a range of specialised realworld domains (such as weather bulletins, software
documentation, health and legal advice and stock
market movements). However, developing such
systems currently involves hand-crafting and
special-purpose tuning by NLG experts, which
is non-portable, non-scaleable, time-consuming
and expensive. Wider deployment of language
generation requires more generally applicable
and reusable NLG components based on widecoverage grammars, but at present, effective
techniques for such wide-coverage generation are
not well understood.
In this project we are investigating
systematically the characteristics of widecoverage generation and developing reflective
techniques for controlling it effectively. As well
as furthering our understanding of wide-coverage
generation, the project is delivering a substantial
and novel resource to support future research in
this area, and practical implementations of widecoverage controllable generators.
-- The DELPH-IN (Deep Linguistic
Processing with HPSG) Collaboration
Related to our work in the COGENT project,
we have been collaborating with colleagues in
Norway to implement algorithms for generating
text using large, detailed grammars written by
linguists. The main problem with using such
grammars is efficiency of processing; we have
devised a number of new approaches for dealing
with the complexity of such grammars. The
resulting system forms part of an automatic
translation demonstrator from Norwegian to
English in the domain of tourist information.
1.3 Text Analysis
-- Robust Accurate Statistical Parsing:
Over the past few years we have been
developing a robust, domain-independent parsing
system for English, called RASP. The system
takes text as input, and produces as output a set of
relations encoding the grammatical dependencies
between the words in each sentence. The system
uses a combination of symbolic information (a
hand-written grammar) and statistical information
(probabilities associated with parts of the grammar
that indicate what types of grammar structures
are more likely than others, in order to deal with
ambiguities). The RASP system is being used
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
by a large number of research groups worldwide
within language processing applications.
The system forms the focus of further
research at Sussex on:
– the development of fully domainindependent automated training regimes, allowing
the rapid construction of an accurate parser for
specific domain-dependent applications;
– the integration of statistical techniques
for disambiguation with related techniques for
learning new grammar rules in the face of parse
failure, allowing robust coverage of linguistic
phenomena that the grammar cannot currently
cover; and
– tackling the problem of evaluating the
accuracy of parsing systems, by producing
“gold standard” data and automatic evaluation
-- SPARKLE: Shallow PARsing and
Knowledge extraction for Language Engineering
The first goal of the SPARKLE project
was to produce generic software able to reliably
produce a unique, correct but simple phrasallevel syntactic analysis of naturally occurring free
text, in four European languages. The software
was capable of practical use for processing of
substantial quantities of text. The second goal
was to develop a lexical acquisition system
capable of learning from free text certain types
of grammatical information about words, such as
subcategorisation (e.g how verbs can link up with
particular types of phrases), argument structure
(how these types of linkages can represent
meanings), and semantic selection preferences
(biases in what types of meanings go together).
The aim of the project was to deploy and
test parsers in multilingual information retrieval
and speech dialogue systems. At Sussex we
specifically worked on:
– syntactic annotation schemes for corpora
and evaluation standards for parsers;
– developing a robust and accurate phrasal
parser of English;
– a system for automatically acquiring
subcategorisation information from corpora; and
– techniques for modeling semantic type,
acquisition of selectional preferences, and
automatic recognition of diathesis alternations.
1.4. Representation of Language Data
-- LEXSYS: Analysis of Naturally-occurring
English Text with Stochastic Lexicalized
In the LEXSYS project we hand-crafted
a wide-coverage, lexicalized tree grammar, in
which each word is associated with one or more
`elementary’ tree structures (which are combined
to produce complete syntactic structures); we also
implemented an associated parser that assigns rich
descriptions to the sentences it parses, and created
a system for structural disambiguation with such
grammars. We devised and implemented a number
of novel techniques which address a number of
important problems in developing large grammars
and processing with them. These can be divided
into three areas:
Grammar size: we developed techniques for
encoding what is logically a single grammar in a
variety of different ways, each encoding tailored
to a particular task. In doing this, we exploited
the fact that the grammar is inherently redundant
along certain dimensions in order to substantially
reduce problems stemming from its size.
Efficiency: we designed the grammar in a
way that addresses the computational problems
that typically arise when large structures are used
extensively in hand-crafted grammars. The key
to this involved localizing those dependencies
within the elementary structures of the grammar
that a parser is required to check.
experimented with a probabilistic technique for
acquiring knowledge of which words are able to
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
function as dependents of others, using a semantic
hierarchy to group together senses of nouns into
semantically similar classes.
-- Annotation of Language Data: SUSANNE,
The SUSANNE (Surface and Underlying
Structural Analysis of Natural English) project
designed an annotation scheme for English
encoding the detailed phrasal structure of
sentences, and produced a 130,000-word corpus
of written English annotated in accordance with
the scheme. The SUSANNE Corpus is freely
available for use by researchers, and has proved to
be a very popular and useful resource.
Extending the work of the SUSANNE
project, the CHRISTINE Corpus comprises
a socially representative annotated sample
of current spontaneous speech, applying the
annotation standards devised in SUSANNE
to create resources for studying structure in
present-day British language. It includes various
extensions of the annotation scheme to identify
the many structural features particular to speech.
This corpus is also freely available.
The LUCY project developed an electronic
database of structurally analysed modern written
English, including not only the “polished” writing
of published books and magazines but also the
writing of young children and teenagers.
These annotated corpora have been used for
many different purposes, including comparing the
complexity of adult and child language, analysing
differences between spoken and written English,
statistical training of automatic language analysis
systems, and evaluating the accuracy of such
-- Multilingual Lexicons: PolyLex
Computational linguists have made
significant advances over the last dozen years in
developing theoretically motivated techniques for
representing the lexicons of individual languages.
By contrast, little progress has yet been made in
the design of lexicons for two or more related
languages. However, such multilingual lexicons
will be central to the operation of many of the
products of the natural language processing
industry that will appear in the next two decades.
In the PolyLex project, we developed a
trilingual computer lexicon for the core vocabulary
of Dutch, English and German. From a linguistic
perspective, this allowed us to ascertain the extent
to which these Germanic languages can be lexically
related, examining formal ways of expressing
linguistic generalizations that hold across two
or more languages, and assessing the degree to
which the historical links between languages can
be exploited in descriptions of the languages as
they are now. From a computational perspective,
we evaluated how well existing techniques for
representing monolingual lexicons generalize to
the multilingual case and investigated the extent
to which multi-language lexical representation
techniques may be applicable within monolingual
The project developed an inheritance-based
trilingual lexicon for the core vocabulary of Dutch,
English and German using inheritance networks
to share information across the languages at all
levels of linguistic description.
2. Language Processing Applications
-- Sentiment Analysis
An automatic system that could accurately
determine whether a document expresses positive
or negative opinions (also called sentiment
analysis) would be useful for a number of different
types of user: for instance in brand and corporate
image monitoring, investment analysis, product
marketing, and consumer research into goods
and services. Most approaches to this problem
use machine learning techniques, inducing sets of
features that usually indicate positive or negative
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
language, based on hand-classified reviews or
news articles.
We are currently investigating a number of
different aspects of this task, including:
– the influence of domain and text type on
sentiment classification accuracy;
– fine-grained classifications of words and
phrases using the linguistic theory of Appraisal;
– integrating retrieval of opinionated texts
with classification; and
– cross-lingual sentiment analysis (e.g.
reporting in English about opinions originally
written in Chinese)
-- Natural Habitats
In the near future, many everyday devices
(in the home, the office, etc.) will contain
substantial amounts of computing power and will
collectively provide a wide variety of networked
services. The value of such services will be
greatly enhanced if the user is able to `compose’
them: link them up in ways that are tailored to
their own particular environment. This project
is investigating how NLP techniques can help
make service composition a possibility for nontechnical users, focusing on the development of
an interactive service composition tool that uses a
natural language interface.
As the trend towards ubiquitous computing
technology gathers pace, and the potential benefits
of the technology begin to emerge, there is a
growing need to make configuration of pervasive
environments accessible to non-technical users. If
we are all to maintain a sense of being in control
of the technology around us, we need to be able
to tailor the behaviour of our environments in a
straightforward way to make it suit our particular
personal needs. This amounts to composing
virtual services from the set of actual services
that populate our environment. The ability to
effectively configure a pervasive environment
and compose virtual services is not just a matter
of adding useful functionality: without such a
capability, many people will find the technology
so intrusive that they will not want anything to do
with it.
Natural Habitat is an interdisciplinary
research project that brings together researchers in
the areas of distributed systems, natural language
processing and human computer interaction,
with the aim of exploring the extent to which
an approach centred around the use of natural
language processing technology can produce
tools that support non-technical users in the task
of configuring their pervasive environments. We
have completed the development of a running
prototype system, providing services such as
printers, email and alerts in the context of a virtual
notice board.
-- PSET: Practical Simplification of English
A number of studies have concluded that
improving access by disadvantaged groups of
people to written language on the World Wide
Web should be a priority. One barrier to accessing
written material on the Web is that most of the
written material is in English, often employing
an extensive vocabulary and a sophisticated style
that may make the text difficult or impossible
to understand for people for whom English is a
foreign language in which they are not fluent, or
for people who have language disabilities.
In the PSET project we aimed to help widen
access to the Web by building a computer system
which takes in English (newspaper) text published
on the Web, and outputs a simplified version
with broadly similar meaning with, for example,
uncommon or unusual words replaced with more
common or familiar synonyms, and difficult to
follow syntactic constructs replaced with simpler
ones (e.g. changing passive constructions to
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John A. Carroll. Natural Language and Computational Linguistics at the University of Sussex
Over the course of the project we gained a
good understanding of what types of simplifications
could be useful for people with aphasia (a medical
condition in which understanding or production
of language is impaired, perhaps as a result of a
major accident or a stroke), and experimented with
a prototype system that could perform these types
of simplifications. Unfortunately, we were not
able to deploy the system within the constraints of
the project, but we gained valuable experience in
building the tools necessary to do this.
-- DEEP THOUGHT: Hybrid Deep and
Shallow Methods for Knowledge-Intensive
Information Extraction
This project was concerned with devising
methods for combining robust shallow methods for
language analysis with deep semantic processing.
Shallow analysis can always find some sort of
analysis for a piece of text, but the analysis might
not contain enough detail for advanced types of
language-based application.
The main idea behind the project was to
preserve the advantages of shallow processing
while adding more accuracy and depth in a
controlled fashion at places where the application
has a real demand for such increase in semantic
analysis. The goal was the detection of relevant
types of information, not full text understanding.
Shallow processing enriches a text with
annotations (parts of speech, phrases, named
entities, simple relations). Deep processing is
only called at places where shallow analysis
hypothesises relevant relations but cannot detect
or select the correct relations. This approach has
important advantages. Robustness is maintained.
The necessary coverage can be provided by
adding to the full-coverage shallow grammars
a specialised deep grammar for the relevant
domains and semantic relations. Efficiency is
guaranteed by adding deep processing to the fast
shallow analysis only at places where it is needed
and where it has a reasonable chance of producing
useful information.
Three knowledge-intensive language-based
applications were implemented that were able
to benefit from the increased depth in semantic
– Information extraction for business
– Email response management for customer
relationship management; and
– Creativity support for document production
and collective brainstorming.
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 22-38
УДК 140
A.P. Chekhov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon
and «Existence in the Face of Death» in his Dramas
Natalia P. Coptseva*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Analyzing Chekhov’s dramas reveals his spiritual connection with the problem of finding an authentic
existence, a problem which has been at the centre of modern philosophic research since the beginning
of the 20th century. The analysis considers, from the point of view of abstract thought, the unity
of philosophy and art where formal and contextual difference allows us to see something whole, a
meta-situation, meta-language, through which an understanding of the universal human situation is
Keywords: Russian thought, Russian aesthetics, Russian literature, game phenomenon.
1. The dispute of Chekov’s place in Russian
THOUGHT, Russian ESTHETICS is a dispute of
recent times. Most (people) consider the question
itself to be absurd, that one can see inclination for
«the knowledge in the sphere of thought», hidden
energy, aimed at comprehension of words about
truth among Chekhov’s lyric stories. Chekhov
seems to be too simple, ordinary for that, there
is no «two chasms», no religious intensity; one
cannot see that, what is considered to be family
signs of Russian thought. But Chekhov is gladly
given a place of artist – realist, psychologist,
diagnostician, landscape painter... A place of
anybody, but of philosopher-thinker.
During recent years this traditional rejection
of «philosophic dimension» in Chekhov’s works
has acquired its characteristic form. Though
new works, dedicated to Russian peculiarity and
Russian Idea, appear, Chekhov’s name is not
mentioned at the works at all or mentioned in the
negative meaning, and thus, Chekov turns out
to be out of the range of people, expressing and
determinating Russian thought peculiarity. For
example, famous book by G. Gachev «Russian
Thought»: there are writers, poets, of course,
Gogol, Dostoievskiy, Tolstoy, there is Block and
even Yesenin («Russian Slang») in the brilliant
row of those, who has made contribution to the
Russian Thought development. Chekhov has
not been included into this row. To the author’s
opinion, Chekhov is a social critic, critical realist,
subtle artist, but not a thinker. This is the point
of view of very many modern historians and
literature theoreticians.
We would like to change to some extend the
existing opinions and to show, that Chekhov’s
influence over Russian culture spiritual space
is as huge as universally recognized influence
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
of Turgeniev, Dostoievskiy, Tolstoy. Exactly
Chekhov, having come to Russian literature after
majestic absolutists, each one prophesying each
own truth, told that «nobody knows the real truth»
[3. V.14: 152], and as an artist he concentrated on
the comparing of different kinds of truth, which
turned out to be «false notions» or «personal view
of the situation». He raises a problem of tragedy
in a different way, the problem which is one of the
central in art. Chekov says: «Between «there is
God» and «there is no God» there is a whole huge
field, which is crossed with big difficulties by a
true man of wisdom» [3. V. 17: 56]. Speaking
about that nobody knows the truth, Chekhov, like
Goethe, saw, that between «yes» and «no» there
is no emptiness, but there is а problem. Chekhov
contributed to Russian literature a new element,
having added considerably and in essence to its
spiritual sense. In his works there are always
heroes of two types: those, who suffer from life
target absence and those, who suffer from an idea.
He became the first writer in Russian literature,
who had researched the pathology of idea influence
over a man, the pathology, which appears, because
of naïve and spontaneous perception of the idea.
He described a lot of different variants of a man
becoming silly and blind of ideas, and that makes
his works most actual nowadays. But he saw both
sides of the coin, considering that the inclination
to “I know everything” statement is accompanied
by the inclination to “I know nothing”. Russian
intelligentsia, by Chekhov’s, «willingly denies
everything, because for a lazy mind it is easier to
deny, than to make statements» [7: 458].
A man cannot live only by denying. Chekov
was sure, that a man needs «higher and distant
targets», and that «meaningful life without definite
world outlook/weltanschauung is not a life, but a
burden and a horror» [7: 242]. He wrote about
it in «Dull Story» and «Black Monk», where
his yearning for «common idea» is revealed. In
comparison to Dostoyevsky F.M. and Tolstoy
L.N., he did not create a concrete, definite belief
content, which gives sense to a human’s life, but
he accomplished something much more rare, may
be unique: he raised the question of true belief
criteria and answered it.
Below, we represent the analysis of Chekov’s
drama, at which his spiritual connection with
the problem of existence authenticity will be
revealed, the problem, which has defined the
philosophic research nerve of modern philosophy,
beginning from the border of 19-20 centuries. The
analysis will be done from the point of view of
the abstract thought space unity of philosophy
and art, which formal and contextual difference
allows to see something whole, a meta-situation,
meta-language, by means of which universal
human situation of understanding is realized.
Philosophy and art (already - literature) are two
sides of the coin, edges of the whole, and that is
why their comparative mutual addition becomes,
on principle, possible.
At first, the world of Chekov, as the
world of Dostoyevsky, “makes an impression
of “kaleidoscope” of random photo shots of
pessimistic grumbling” (S.N. Bulgakov), and
only a deeper gaze can reveal the whole mosaic
picture, his common world outlook.
Philosophical and artistic unity of the world
of Chekov’s masterpieces does not mean that
his works are tendentious. The art cannot serve
for popularization of these or those philosophic
statements, dogmatically perceived and taken in
by an introduced way. “Tendentious art is not
artistically sincere, it is an artistic lie, the result
of a weakness or distortedly directed talent” [2:
135]. Chekov remains an independent artistic
thinker; he is at full rate characteristic of that
peculiar intuitive synthesis, which makes the art
unique. So, it was not without reason, he was so
often reproached of imaginary unscrupulousness.
Taking this into account, we will not though
insist on the necessity of taking Chekov as a
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
thinker, appealing to his statement of human
problems and their salvation. Then another
question is raised, if the dramatist’s work will be
just an illustration to the philosophic theory? The
question is natural and needs a special answer.
The answer is both yes and no. Chekov’s drama
can really be presented as an illustration of this or
that philosophic conception, but there is nothing
deteriorative in that for artistic work. The thing
is, that such “illustrating” is possible, only if there
is some common spiritual field, which gives an
opportunity to connect a philosophic idea and
a literature image. This common field is a real
situation of UNDERSTANDING, which in reality
is never being parted into different components
– rational understanding on one side, artistic
understanding on the other side, and mystical
understanding is also apart. Human situation of
understanding demands all the human means of
cognition, including philosophic and artistic.
Moreover, there are such ideas, which,
as a matter of fact, can be revealed only at the
reciprocal reflection of philosophic notion and
artistic image. We consider such a notion to be
a “game”, and one of the leading traditions of
modern philosophy - phenomenal hermeneutics sees ontological content of art in the game content.
Exactly, the drama realizes itself with the help of
theatrical “game”. And what concerns Chekov, till
up today his play “Seagull” still remains obscure,
we consider that, there a “game of the game” is
revealed in a special compositional formula.
2. In the second half of the 20-th century the
big role of the game notion becomes clear in the
ontological sense, it is a new turn which philosophy makes [7, 9, 13]. Game phenomenon attracts
attention of the researchers mostly; because of
a wide range of human possibilities is revealed
during the game process for making contact to
the multi-dimension of the world. The subject can
be transformed by a person not only by one, but
by many directions. Both numerous possibilities
of human interaction with the surrounding world
are revealed, and complexity of the very inner
human attitude towards the world is displayed as
well. Game turns out to be a necessary condition
of natural (non-forced) human personality
development. Showing ontological sense of the
game, Kemerov V.Y. writes: “Since philosophy
is now oriented to comprehension of cognition,
thinking, ethic and esthetic forms of the very
human activity as EXISTENCE BONDS, so turns
out to be the game one of the most important
models of these bonds functioning.
Philosophy makes accents in the existence
structures interpretation on their (structures)
repetition, process durability, changeableness, so
the game becomes a pattern of mobile interactions,
stating and transforming the bonds of existence
elements “ [7: 194-195]. The same researcher pays
attention to the fact, that some time ago the game
notion was peripheral for philosophy, but now it
becomes its most important modern instrument for
understanding of fundamental relations between
people, between a man and natural and artificial
systems. So, to the mind of V.Y.Kemerov, in
social existence structures interpretation, the
game itself becomes a fundamental bond, which
provides concord existence and stimulates social
individuals to assimilate and support the rights
of such a concord. The game works in the gaps
of social existence – it can create such gaps on
purpose (making carnival of the routine, turning
of the common social behavior forms upside
down). There can be used such methods as:
creative research, gaming creation of absent social
bonds, and gaming substitution of ineffective
bonds. Game is contrasted with serious behavior
and utilitarian object action or other people
interaction. But its mobile opportunities – to get
the role and to reject the role, to change the roles
freely – makes a person be a master of his own
forces and possibilities, makes him revise his
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
living in one dimension, his simplicity and one
line interaction with other people. That is why,
though, it is not oriented to the outer benefit,
game allows a person by a non-forced way to
pay attention to the inner self creation and to
person’s relations with the outer world (first of
all, with the world of social existence). Though,
inner dialectics of the very game is outstandingly
difficult. It is possible to reveal it, for example,
with the help of masterpieces. Inner connection of
the art ontological sense and the game ontological
sense is quite vivid. Moreover, in G. Gadamer’s
philosophy the game ontological sense defines the
art ontological sense. Game is the very force of art,
which involves the spectator or listener, allowing
opening the world’s reality not by a logical notion
(category) application into the thinking process,
but by a free thinking manipulation in the game.
Precisely this was written by V. Ivanov and
Russian symbolism theoreticians about the game
sense in art on the board of 19 and 20 century:
“Shall we have at last art to be a merry craft,
which it would like to be, - but not a jeremiad and
satire, as it has defined itself almost from the very
beginning of our written language, - not teaching
and even not prophesying, but clever merriment?
For not only because of the wine merry is a man,
but because of any play of his divine spirit. And
shall the artisan of a merry craft fullfill merry
orders, but shall not grieve and keep the fast,
like John, - and like John, call himself “a voice
crying in the wildness”... The fate of our art is the
fate of our culture, the fate of the culture is the
fate of people’s merriment. This is the name of
culture: clever people’s merriment “[14: 65]. In
this reference one can feel indubitable influence
of F.Nietzsche and his term “merry science”, but,
nevertheless, the problem is raised, and one of
its possible salvations we shall find in Chekov’s
world of art.
The very genre of drama and widely
researched writer’s personal relations with the
theatrical environment of Russia of that time
draw attention to the game phenomenon research
in Chekov’s drama. However, special attention is
paid to the comedy-play “Sea-gull” and not only
by the fact, that both leading heroines are actresses,
and the main hero is a play-writer, but by the play
composition as well. The comedy “Sea-gull”
begins with the game situation and ends with
it too. Apparently, the artistic reality supposes
tough symbolic text surface, presence of sense in
every image, in every turn of the plot; otherwise
it would not differ from a routine narration of real
or fabricated events. That is why “a play in the
play”, “a game in the game”, and frequent use of
the word “play” on the whole in the “Sea-gull”
play cannot be accidental. At the beginning of
the comedy the heroes gather together to watch
“a play without action”. Everything is mixed
up in the situation: Arcadina actress becomes a
spectator, and her son, a young dramatist Treplev,
makes a performance of “new forms” especially
for her. “It is difficult to act in this play, there are
no alive people in it”, - says Nina, a comedy’s
heroine [3. V. 13: 10]. But, may be, in this artistic
reality there are no alive people at all? Here, the
leading persons are actors themselves. So, the
“Sea-gull” comedy does not only begin with a
game but ends with it too:
“ Arcadina: ...We shall PLAY and drink. Let’s sit
down, sirs. And everybody sits down to play
at the table “.
Such drama framing by game situations
and the play beginning after Treplev, having
committed suicide in the last act, makes us,
as well, decide what before us is – it is not just
simply a lotto play, or a home performance game,
it is a symbol of a certain image, which demands
further research.
Let’s examine the “Sea-gull” play dynamics,
proceeding from its inner logic, which is set by
the initial game-performance, given by Treplev
in the first act of “Sea-gull”. At first, let’s try to
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
understand, what the “new forms” mean? What
kind of old forms are rejected by him? What kind
of play does not he want to play? He himself
speaks about it:
“When the curtain is raised and the evening
lights are on, in a three- walled room, these brilliant
talents, the priests of divine art depict, how people
do eat, drink, love, walk, wear their jackets; when
they try to fish out some moral from commonplace
pictures and phrases, the moral which is small,
comfortable, useful at domestic utensils; when
I am given one and the same, one and the same
thing in thousand variants, - then I am running and
running away, like Maupassant ran away from the
Eiffel tower, which pressed upon his mind by its
commonplace” [3. V. 13: 8].
This multi-words dialogue is suddenly
interrupted by Sorin’s retort: “It is impossible
without theatre”.
In G. Gadamer’s and J. Hasing’s research of
the ontological game sense as a method of human
existence, they come to a conclusion that, the
player subjective state does not matter so much,
as the existence of the game itself: “Even if we
are speaking about the games, where they strive
for fullfilling of independent tasks, there is always
some risk, that the game “will go” or “won’t go”
according to the scenario, that a good luck can
be with the player or it can be a bad luck, and
suddenly the situation can change for the worse
or for the better, that fact makes up all the attractiveness of the game. Thus, the person, who tempts
his fate in such a way, as a matter of fact, becomes
tempted himself. In fact, the game subject – and it
is obvious when there is only one player, – is not a
What kind of game dose involve Treplev
into itself? Apparently, we are again speaking of
the “new forms”: not without reason this phrase
sounds at first in his retort to Sorin, being repeated
“ Treplev: We need new forms. The new forms
are needed, and if there are none, then it is
better to have nothing at all...” [3. V. 13: 8].
These “new forms” will echo in Arcadina’s
irritation because of the “decadence” play of her
“Arcadina: For the sake of a joke I am
ready to listen to any gubberish, but here, we see
pretensions for new forms, for new era in art. And,
to my mind, there are no new forms at all, but just
a wicked character” [3. V. 13: 15].
And, at last, the final, on the eve of his death,
Treplev makes his confession:
“Treplev: I have been speaking of new forms so
much, and now I feel that, I am falling away
by and by into the routine myself. (reading)...
Yes, more and more I come to a conclusion,
that the matter is not in old or new forms,
but in that, what a person writes, not thinking
about any forms, but writes, BECAUSE IT IS
[3. V. 13: 55].
If we accept the thesis that, before us there
has been presented a theme of new forms from
the very beginning to the end, then we may agree
to the observation of G. Gadamer: “The player
cognates the game as a superior reality “ [19: 155].
The game, which begins as a performance, where
there has been no any “alive person” and “no
love”, ends by the act of the last human despair suicide, where there is no and there will be neither
“alive person”, nor “love “.
The Treplev’s game of “new forms” creator
has not taken place, because the new forms
themselves have not begun working. His game has
remained just a convulsive human effort, but antipragmatic and anti-utilitarian essence of the game
could not have been realized. Treplev “creates”,
trying to prove his own importance apart from his
mother’s, now to Trigorin, now to Nina. There
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
is no natural easiness and freedom let it be even
tragic, but freedom:
“ Treplev: ...And that… is to me like a dagger in
the brain, may it be accursed, together with
my pride which sucks my life-blood like a
snake...” [3. V. 13: 56].
But, like any free creative work, game
demands, strange as it may seem, to be closed in
itself: “A spectator is not being supposed even
in those games, which... are performed in front
of the spectators. Moreover, they (games) are
threatened to loose their playful character, which
is so distinctive of them... Consequently, the game
is transformed into a performance not by the
forth wall absence; but rather by the game being
closed in itself and it creates game openness for
the spectator. The spectator just realizes what the
game being as such” [9: 155].
Inner contradiction of Treplev is in the
following: from the very beginning his play does
not suppose any spectator, but at the same time, it
needs the spectator for finishing the performance
integrity. Any creation is made for somebody.
Performance needs spectators for giving it some
sense and completeness. Treplev’s artistic play
about World’s Soul and his personal life play
have been cut short by one and the same reason –
absence of proper inner sense of the performance,
which makes it meaningful for the spectator. This
dependence on the spectator is imaginary, and,
in fact, it closes the performance as meaningful:
the game transformation into art, into an artistic
work can not take place. There is a talent, some
energy, but there is no capability to perform any
On the contrary, Nina Zarechnaya constructs
her “game” like an ACTION. May be at the
beginning, she has no energy, for the action
responding to its maximum degree of the truth:
“Undertook she almost constantly for the big
parts, but she played rough, tasteless, with
much howling, with sharp gestures. There were
moments, when she screamed in a talented way,
died with some talent, but there were just moments
“ [3. V. 13: 50]. But everything changes, when
the real suffering of her life reaches its highest
degree: “Now I am not the same... I am a real
actress, I play with pleasure, with ecstasy, getting
intoxicated while on the stage and feeling myself
being beautiful” [3. V. 13: 58].
Game leads its participants by most difficult
ways and paths. The player initial target does not
always coincide with the target of the game itself,
as far as the game also demands outer space for
fullfilling its integrity. This outer space includes
in itself both other people, and life circumstances
of the given player, which seem to be not included
into the given concrete game. Strange as it may
seem, game demands from players and spectators
extremely serious attitude towards itself, demands
full return, up to self-oblivion, up to being fully
captured by game.
Notwithstanding of the complete failure of
private life (breaking-off of the relations with her
beloved man, her child’s death), Nina, manages to
become captured by her own game and come up to
the borders of real art, which revealed the reality
truth, having been hidden. The other thing is
Treplev, who initially has a talent, but he does not
realize any possibilities of creative game, as far as
the creativity itself does not capture him fully. He
always compares himself feverishly with others,
with Trigorin, who remaines his secret competitor
both in art and in private life.
But the contest between Treplev and Trigorin
is a one-sided, incomplete game. Only Treplev
takes part in it. But the playing competition
won’t take place. All Treplev’s challenges are
simply ignored by Trigorin, making Treplev
perform more and more absurd, rash actions. But
absurdness can transform into act of abomination
– a murder and a suicide. A bird, a sea-gull is
murdered - why, what for? What a cruel game has
begun, but do the outer conditions demand such
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
cruelty? Apparently, there is no such necessity.
This is jealousy of his mother, jealousy of his
beloved girl, jealousy of the famous writer, of
many other people – with easy characters, with
good luck; jealousy, conversing into a murder.
The famous Uruguayan writer Mario Benedetti
finds out a formula of suicide in one of his novels:
“a self-murderer – is a manqué murderer”.
In common, non-theatrical life, suicide is the
most terrifying event for human existence. Death
is coming with it for the first time into the human
world, up till now there has been no death in this
world. Human’s life is a constant overcoming of
oneself, a constant overstep of one’s limits. Some
life situations vanish, other situations appear
– this is the core of life, to be the everlasting
transformation. Transformation refusal in any
case means death - either slow, under the cover of
vegetable or animal existence, or instant – in the
form of a murder or a suicide.
Treplev commits both: a sea-gull murder –
what would have been his attitude towards the
“beautiful bird” murder, if it had been done, for
example, by Trigorin? Treplev and Trigorin do
not differ as “bad” and “good”. Vice versa, they
extremely resemble each other. They are like two
comedy centers, and other personages, excluding
Nina, shade their relations, make them opposite
each other like in the mirror. Nina image symbol
And what is here beautiful and bright, I ask
you? Oh, what a wild life!.. And in those
years, in my best youthful years, when I was
just beginning, my writing was all a sheer
torture. A small writer, especially when he
is unlucky, seems to himself being clumsy,
awkward, unnecessary, every nerve being
strained, worried; irrepressibly roams he
about people, concerned in literature and
art, unacknowledged, ignored by everybody,
being afraid of looking directly, daring not
looking into somebody’s eyes, LIKE A
MONEY...” [3. V. 13: 29].
Enough! Curtain! Curtain down!
Sorry! Я have lost from my sight, that only
few of the elite can write novels and play
on the stage. I have violated the monopoly!
Me... I... (Wants to say something else, but
waves his hand and goes to the left)” [3. V.
13: 14],
Inner feelings of heroes – ”like a passionate
player, who has no money” – are seemed to be
extremely alike. Moreover, their actions are alike
at the bottom. One kills the sea-gull. And the other
performs his own scenario: “a man has come, has
seen and, as for there is nothing to do, has killed
her, like the very sea-gull “ [3. V. 13: 31- 32].
Then why is the play, where there is so much
is somehow more difficult. Nina is her own part,
World’s Soul, which is being refined in sufferings
and her initial talentlessness turns out to be a life
full of meanings.
But here, we see two men, undoubtedly
talented by nature. And what is out of it?
“Trigorin: ... Day and night I am overcome by one
and the same haunting thought: I must write,
I must... Hardly have I finished a narrative,
for some reason, I have already to write
another one, then the third, after the third
the forth must come... I write con-stantly,
as if traveling by relay, otherwise I can’t.
suffering and so many destroyed lives, nevertheless
called a comedy? There can be given two answers
to the question, as we see. The first one we have
investigated at the very beginning. The “Seagull” comedy is the play, where the main event
is the game. Actresses and writers, landowners
and doctors, teachers and stewards perform a play
for us, where the decorations are the moon and
the lake, and the country estate. Could it fail to be
called a comedy – the life, presented as endless
The second answer is somehow more difficult
and demands to address not an artistic symbol,
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but a philosophic one. This symbol is a situation
of indefiniteness, zombie-situation, situation of
Kafka, creating a “through the looking-glass”
This situation is described in details in a
work of М.К.Mamardashvili “Consciousness and
civilization”. Philosophic sense of the work is to
define the circumstances, under which the human
consciousness real work becomes possible. The
given problem statement also suggests “unreal”
work of consciousness, that is the situation of
absurd. The situation of indefiniteness, the same
as the situation of absurd, is characterized by the
fact that, outwardly they are revealed through one
and the same subject and symbolic nominations.
The situation of indefiniteness includes in
itself two moments:
1) A famous phrase “cogito ergo sum” by
Descartes - “I think, consequently, I exist”. It
means that, when I come into the world, the world
is not complete, and there is always a place for me
in it. “All the meanings of this world are created by
me and through me. In this sense a man is a creature capable to say: “I can, I think, I exist”; and
there are opportunities and circumstances of the
world, which a man can comprehend, under which
he can act as a human, can take responsibility and
can know something ... For such a world is being
created, and YOU can and may, whatever visible
in it, guaranteeing this right and comprehension”
[20: 111].
Human “normal” situation includes that,
“something else is necessary to be turned (again
and again) into the situation, subjective to sensible
evaluation and salvation, for example, in terms of
ethic and personal dignity, that is a situation of
freedom or refusal from it as one of the possibilities of freedom» [20: 111].
And what concerns the third situation, the
situation of indefiniteness, zombie-situation, so it
outwardly does not anyhow differ from “normal”
situations. The other thing is that inner acts,
including consciousness, do not take place. And
then instead of a human consciousness we see a
zombie-consciousness, and instead of a human
world – a world “through the looking-glass”.
“The situation of absurd is indescribable;
it can be delivered only by grotesque, BY
LAUGHTER. The language of good and evil,
courage and cowardice has nothing to do with it,
as far as the situation is not in the sphere, outlined
by acts of primary spaciousness. The language on
the whole appears on the basis of such acts. Such
situations are alien to their own language and
do not possess human commensurability... They
resemble a nightmare, when every attempt of
thinking and self-comprehension, any search for
truth would resemble a search for a lavatory by its
anti-necessities of nature, spontaneously natural
compulsions and other circumstances could be “
[20: 110].
2) In the world’s structure there are
experimentally discovered objects, subjects,
integrities - projects or development conceptions,
thanks to which a man, an ultimate creature
in space and time, can sensibly perform acts of
comprehension by his own experience, of moral
action, appreciate, get satisfaction in problem’s
salvation and so on. That is that the world could be
even meaningless, but sense is possible, as far as
there are “special mind-comprehendible objects”
meaning-lessness... The search for him is a purely
mechanic way out of the situation, its automatic
salvation – has found, has not found! That is why
this indescribably strange person is not tragic, but
BEYOND “SUFFERING”. It is impossible to
take the situation seriously, when a man searches
for the truth, as if searching for a lavatory, and vice
versa, in fact a man searches just for a lavatory, but
it seems to him that it is the truth or even justice...
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Ridiculous, odd, of everyday use, absurd, it is like
some drowsy quagmire, something beyond” [20:
A situation of a destroyed consciousness,
a comedy of tragedy impossibility, this is the
situation of Treplev-Trigorin. Their behavior
very much resemble “authorship”, and very much
resemble the actions of “affection”, and very
much resemble “torments and sufferings”. But
some very important condition is not fulfilled, the
condition which anticipates the concrete existence
(inclusion of oneself into the world existence,
and inclusion of one’s own world into it as well,
comprehension of this inclusion necessity), and
“it is already late” to write, to love, to suffer. If
Trigorin’s situation could be solved by a reference
to the past - “there” was “love”, there was striving
for talent, there was a possibility to live a real life,
but for Treplev, being a young man, the situation
“it is already late” does not have any approval.
Thus, existence authenticity of Chekhov’s
heroes – Treplev and Trigorin - remains undecided.
One self’s existence, a possibility of being oneself
in the ontological game act, leading to a genuine
creativity, has been realized by neither of them.
And even the suicide - neither the first attempt, nor
the second one, the really committed suicide, has
failed to make Treplev’s sufferings meaningful,
because up to the last moment his inner life has
been divided between love and envy, between
striving for an independent free creativity and
a constant jealous of the other man, between
his own existence and the existence of others in
himself, between the truth and non-authenticity.
Psychologists affirm that a suicide
materializes, makes substantial the inner condition
of a man before direct death. More often, it is
destruction, a real emptiness - “has there been a
boy at all?”
The “Sea-gull” comedy as a work of literature
carries in itself a concrete essence of any work
of art. In 4 century B.C. Aristotle defined for the
first time the essence of art as an imitation in his
“Poetics” treatise. By the ancient thinker, various
kinds of poetical literature differed according to
the forms and methods of imitations. But under
the word “imitation” Aristotle meant something
bigger, then simply coping of reality.
One can understand Aristotle, if addresses to
the esthetics of his teacher, Platoon, for whom art
is an imitation of objects, but objects themselves
do not have their own essence and that is why they
are an imitation of their ideas. That is why art is
an imitation of imitation [in detail 8: 32-56]. In 20
century philosophy and art theory were interested
by active character of the imitation, when objects
are not copied but created over again in the
creative work of a master, who reveals the core of
the object, its real essence.
Gadamer answers the question, what the
ancient imitated, the following way – they imitated
the world order and the spiritual order. We have
to perceive the order through its imitation in an
artistic work, though it were poetry, paintings,
sculpture, music or drama. A tragedy, comedy
or drama also imitate some world order, cease its
essence and show it before us, perform it before us
in united art of a dramatist and actors. By the way,
difference between drama and poetry was already
known to the same Aristotle: “...a tragedy is not an
imitation of passive people, but of an ACTION,
of life, happiness; and happiness and unhappiness
consist in ACTION. And the aim of a tragedy is to
depict some ACTION, but not a QUALITY... an
EVENT, a legend make up the aim of a tragedy,
and the aim is the most important. Moreover, a
tragedy is IMPOSSIBLE without an action, and
possible without characters” [9: 652].
If art is a creativity-and-imitation of the
world order, then what kind of order is achieved
in Chekhov’s “Sea-gull” comedy? Of course,
there is no saying about the previous, harmonious
universal order of Nature. There is no stable world
of relations and emotional sufferings. The artistic
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work itself, the drama itself just reminds us about
possibility of order in our outer and inner life.
Our inner feelings, comprehension, reflections are
built around the play. They are fed by the energy
of play content, its form and its poetics.
“The artistic work stands as order guarantees
among the world falling to pieces, the world of
habitual and dear things; and, may be, all the
forces of economy and support, the forces having
been carrying on themselves the human culture,
having got their basis that, what is presented to us
archetypically in the work of painters and in art
experience: we do always put again in order, what
is falling to pieces “ [8: 242].
Then Chekhov’s play sense is pouring out
from itself into the work of our thinking. We shall
interpret his symbol-images by the language of
commonplace conscious, and by the language of
complicated philosophical notions. Subtle inner
dialectics of the play heroes’ existence is outwardly
depicted extremely stingily – people are speaking,
drinking tea, playing the lotto, making home
performances. Behind this outward usualness
all the existence drama, being revealed in an
authenticity – non-authenticity dilemma, is being
slightly open only at some symbolic moments –
the murder of the bird, the young man’s suicide.
But these symbolic moments attract us, who are
reading and watching the performance, us, the
spectators, who, by our own existence, fulfill the
game of the performance up to its integrity. The
drama essence of Chekhov is shown here not in the
play of high passions, but in the fact, that exactly
his artistic works make us regulate outer and inner
order in ourselves, overcoming those situations,
in which the heroes of this strange “comedy”
have found themselves. The first situation, which
we have investigated earlier, is an ontological
status of the game, in which the human existence
is involved and which sets a row of parameters to
it, the parameters, which allow exiting the game
only in an act of a sincere and free creativity. The
game notion includes not only characters’ special
efforts to realize a commonly accepted condition
of a “writer”, an “actress”, and an “affectionate”
in them. A common condition of the artistic reality
is also revealed in the notion, and its peculiarity is
the opening and the hiding at the same time of its
playing existence, the opening and the hiding of
its fabrication, that is artificialness.
The notion of the truth is widen by an
inclusion in it an irrational game condition, which
demands from its participant a full and selfless
plunge. A game participant creates an invented
artificial world inside the game, which changes
the structure of its own actions, and continues
acting trough the structure change even when the
game is already visually over. The game notion
allows to connect “natural” easiness of playing
conscious condition to a creativity without any
visual compulsion (but, nevertheless, it goes
without saying, that the creativity is necessary,),
“Compulsion” of oneself to a game finishes by
complete inner self-destruction, as far as violence
is being doubled - and from the side of objective
(and human) world and now also from one’s own
ego. Conjectural freedom turns out to be a double
compulsion. An attempt of authentic existence
through the game ends up by the ascertaining of
its non-authenticity by the act of suicide.
The problem of existence authenticity,
as its being true, continues to be developed in
Chekhov’s works and through the opening of such
method of human existence, which in Heidegger’s
philosophy has been called “existence in the face
of death”. The game of Treplev’s life has been
finished exactly with death. But not only his life.
The whole row of heroes of other plays finishes or
is trying to end up their lives, committing suicides
or with the help of outer forces. Further research
will be dedicated to the research of this method of
heroes-symbols existence of Chekhov’s drama.
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3. At first sight to expose the connection
of existential-ontological “existence in the face
of death” with heroessymbolic biographies of
Chekhov’s drama is extremely easy: Treplev
shoots into himself, uncle Vanya tries to commit
a suicide, Tuzenbach is killed in a duel, and the
cherry orchard is cut down and is perishing from
axes... And so on, and so on, and so on... But
physical death, as a biological life termination,
means very little in the existent ional “existence
in the face of death”, all the more that suicide
is so unnatural. If the research theme of human
existence were the phenomenon of a suicide, we
would have to address to quite another thinker –
Albert Camus, for whom exactly the suicide is the
only theme, justifying philosophy existence (ref.
his famous essay “About Absurd” “Myth about
Sisyphus”). For Albert Camus, human existence
is absurd from beginning to end; life absurdness
admittance, challenge to life in its absurdness – this
is the paradoxical salvation of human existence
sense problem in philosophy. But in such a case
we are oriented to Heidegger’s understanding of
“existence in the face of death”. His conclusions
are quite contrary to the conclusions of А. Camus.
The word “death” does not have masochistic
nuance of self-frightening, death is perceived
here as “temporariness”, “finiteness”, as a quality
of human existence itself. It is temporariness in
the sense of the finiteness.
Philosophic point of view at a man brings
us to a paradox elucidating: a man can operate an
infinity notion, though, at first sight, it is already
unclear that, how the notion could be formed at
finite and mortal man’s mind, which has got just a
limited experience. Moreover, it is unknown, how
a man can operate a law notion, a moral notion,
first of all, if the law notion supposes its “ever”
fulfillment for any time and space. One of the
problem’s salvations is given by М. Heidegger,
when he says about death’s presence in any human
deed, in any experience. Situation temporariness
makes it (situation) complete, integral. Only for the
complete situation it is possible to raise a problem
of meaning. Only that thing has meaning, which
is completed. So, the problem of history meaning
was raised for the first time in the Christian world
outlook in the middle Ages, because exactly the
Christians perceived their being “before the end of
the world”. Jorge Luis Borges has put this world
outlook into a capacious phrase: “As always, we
are living at the end of times” [ref. 9: 89].
Human existence is comprehended and
has got meaning only because it is temporal
and mortal. All the human senses and moods,
and all the human deeds are characterized by
the temporariness and mortality. In his dramas,
Chekhov discloses a life before us, the life which
is already over. His heroes very often experience
their present condition as constant, as if dragging
out for centuries:
“Astrov: Well... I have become another person for
the last ten years. And what is the matter?
Overloaded am I with work, like a nurse.
From morning till evening I am always at
feet, restless, and at night I am lying under
the blanket and all frightened of being
called to a patient... How could one fail to
grow older? And the life itself is dull, silly,
dirty... This life is dragging you in. Only odd
fellows are around you, nothing but only odd
fellows; and if you live by them for two or
three years, by and by, imperceptibly you are
becoming an odd fellow yourself. What an
inevitable fate” [3. V. 13: 63-64].
“Olga: Every day I am at gymnasium and then I
deliver lessons till evening, and that is why
I have got constant head aches and there are
such thoughts in my mind as if I am already
old. And in fact, for these four years I have
been working at gymnasium, I feel as my
strength and my youth is leaving me daily by
and by, drop by drop.” [3. V. 13: 72].
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“Irene: Oh, I am a poor thing... I can not work and
I won’t work. It is enough, enough! I have
been a telegraphist, now I serve at the town
council and I hate everything I am given to
do...I am twenty four soon, and have been
working for a long time already, my brain
has dried out, I have grown thin, faded away,
became older, I have got nothing, nothing,
no satisfaction, and time is passing by, and it
seemed I am going away from real, beautiful
life, going farther and farther into some gulf.
I am desperate, and I do not understand how
I am still alive, how I have not killed myself
yet ...” [3. V. 13: 74].
Almost the bitterest mood is of Andrew’s
in “Three sisters”; what is worse, that we, the
spectators and the readers, know in what a vulgar
situation he has found out himself. Here not only
one’s own life, but here the life of all the worldtown is infinite and dreary:
“Andrew: Oh, where is it, where has my past gone
away, when I was young, cheerful, and clever,
when I had graceful dreams and my thoughts,
when my present and my future were have
been lit up by hope? Why do we become
dull, grey, uninteresting, lazy, indifferent,
useless, unhappy, hardly having started our
living... Our town is already two hundred
years old, there are one hundred citizens
living in it, and there is none, who would
not be the same like others, no one zealot,
neither in the past, nor in the present, no any
science devotee, no any zealot of art, no one
at least slightly significant man, who would
provoke envy or desire for imitating him...
they do only eating, drinking, sleeping, and
then they die... then are given births others
and they are also eating, drinking, sleeping,
and, in order not to become torpid from
dullness, they diversify their lives by an ugly
gossip, vodka, cards, litigiousness, and wives
deceive their husbands, and husbands lie,
pretend that, they see nothing, hear nothing,
and vulgar influence presses upon children
irresistibly, and god’s flame fades away in
them, and they become corpses resembling
each other, as pitiful, as their fathers and
mothers” [3. V. 13: 181-182].
Most researchers of Chekhov’s literary
works, as a rule, take such kinds of word-images
as a description of “dullness”, “vulgarity”,
“insignificance” of the personages in his works.
All this really takes place. Even the point of view
at Chekov as at a thinker does not change that,
what is considered to be the main Chekov’s theme:
“Chekov raises at full volume and artistically
the problem of mediocrity, mental and spiritual
narrow-mindedness, spiritual Philistinism, which
make life tasteless to both oneself and others,
make it dull, hateful” [2: 141].
Though not denying this fact, we would
like to widen the formulation of Chekov’s world
outlook. This is not a simple banality, but an endless
banality, commonplace infinity, domination
eternity of insignificance and vulgarity. There is
no sense in trying to go away – the commonness
is everywhere. Philosophy of 20-th century tried
to give a universal description of the phenomenon
in many of philosophic directions, М. Heidegger
fixed it in his existential “das Man”, and Ortegaand-Gusset called it “a popular uprising “.
In spite of the fact, that Chekov’s heroes
deliver not only mournful, but also full of anguish
monologues (they have said a lot of words,
containing hope for the better future, for a new,
bright life), we see, that there is no any future
RIGHT NOW. “Now and here” people are dying
of anguish and hopelessness. Chekov’s persistence
makes pay special attention to his own world
outlook, which is defined by the philosopher S.N.
Bulgakov as “Weltschmerz (world sorrow) at
the full meaning of the word” [2: 145]. It makes
Bulgakov compare Chekhov to …George Gordon
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Byron. An incredible comparison: “The same as
at Byron’s, the main Chekhov’s creativity motive
is a sorrow about man’s impotence at the fulfilling
of a clearly or vaguely sensed ideal into his life;
the dissension between the due and the existing,
between an ideal and the reality, poisoning an
alive human soul - all these made our writer sick
more then anything else... Chekhov... mourned of
man’s winglessness, of his inability to reach even
that height, which is quite accessible for him, of
weakness of his heart longing for the good, which
is unable to burn the boring foam and the rubbish
of the commonplace” [2: 146].
This impotence comes out of the
commonplace eternity vision:
“Ivanov: If not a silly, educated and a healthy
man begins without any visual reason to
bemoan his fate and goes downhill, then
he goes downhill without any brakes, and
there is no salvation for him! So, where is
my salvation? What is it? I cannot drink –
my head aches of wine; I am not good at bad
poems; shall I pray to my daytime laziness
and see something elevated in it? – I cannot.
Laziness is laziness, weakness is weakness –
I have got no other names. I have perished,
perished – and there is nothing more to say!”
[3. V. 12: 71-72].
Situation of despair brings Ivanov to death.
And not only him! Though Christianity regards
suicide despair as the most horrible sin, Chekov
like an author, is extremely merciful and indulgent
to his personages. In spite of the mildness of the
artist himself, his heroes reach the last limit in
their despair. But their death is not the death, in
the face of which the sense of life uncovers itself
for the first time, and human existence becomes
authentic for the first time. Chekhov’s heroes’
suicides are not an authentic life, but the most
real, the most horrible death. The only excuse of
theirs is the fact, that they kill themselves, but not
the others. But it is no coincidence that attempts
of suicides are twice preceded by attempts of
murder in Chekhov’s plays – Voynitskiy tries
to kill Serebryakov (“Uncle Vanya”), Treplev
kills a bird instead of a man (“Sea-gull”), Lyvov
challenges Ivanov to a duel (“Ivanov “) and at
last, Solyoniy kills Tuzenbach in a duel (“Three
sisters”). The “Cherry orchard” play seems to stay
apart from others, but here not a man is going
to non-existence, but the whole world, all the
previous habitual world is going away under the
sounds of the axe, killing the cherry orchard.
Heroes’ death, as far as it has been
accomplished, is leaving nothing for their
existence. It is impossible to speak about
authenticity or non-authenticity in the face of
death. Suicide puts an end to the hero’s existence,
but makes us to analyze the fact, why it has turned
out to be inevitable.
Authentic “existence in the face of death”
uncovers itself quite for different people. There are
very few of them, and often they are so discordant
to the common twilight mood of Chekov’s plays,
that seem to be unexpected and as if coming out
of some other world.
The most pure image of Chekov’s drama
is Sonya from the “Uncle Vanya” play. Her full
name is Sophia. The best Russian philosophic
thought, beginning from Vladimir Solovyov and
ending with P.А. Florenskiy, has been sophiology
– the teaching about Sophia as the personification
of an ideal world, as a come – between the
Creator and the world, created by him, as Eternal
womanhood, perceiving God’s love and giving
it into the human world. The mystical ending of
the “Uncle Vanya” play “is not an anguish or
delirium of young creatures crushed by life, but
a hint of hidden thoughts and hopes of the author
himself” [2: 151].
“Sonya: We, Uncle Vanya, shall live. We shall
live a long, long row of days, long nights; we
shall patiently undergo many severe ordeals,
whatever the fate will send us; we shall work
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for others, in our old age, not knowing any
rest, and when it is high time for us, we
shall humbly die and there, after death, we
say, that we suffered, that we cried, that we
were miserable, and the God will feel pity
for us, and you and I together, uncle, dear
uncle, shall see a life radiant, beautiful, fine,
we shall rejoice and turn around and have a
look at our today’s misfortunes with a tender
emotion, with a smile – and have a rest. I believe, uncle, believe passionately, with all
my heart “ [3. V. 13: 115].
This monologue is not a naïve vision of
unhappy girl, consoling her beloved uncle like
a child, - this is a pure soul knowledge, which
uncovers itself to her together with the knowledge
about the end of any earth existence, and which
comprehension is inevitable.
In three years after the “Uncle Vanya” play
has been finished”, in the “Three Sisters” play
there are depicted three sisters, to whom the end
of their earth existence and earth suffering is also
uncovered mystically and out-of-the-plot, and
then both the comprehension of their existence
and the understanding of common existence sense
do sound in their monologues:
“Masha: Oh, how the music is playing! They are
going away from us, one has gone already,
for all, for ever, and we shall be alone to start
our life again. We must live... must live...
Irene (puts her head on Olga’s breast): The time
will come, and everybody will know, what
it is all for, what all these sufferings are
for, there will be no any secrets, and for the
time being we must live... we must work,
just work! Tomorrow, I shall go alone, shall
teach at school and shall give all my life to
those, who need it, may be, they need it. It
is autumn now, winter is coming soon, and
will cover everything with snow, and I shall
work, shall work...
Olga (embraces both sisters): The music is playing
so merrily, cheerfully, and I want to live!
Oh, my God! The time will pass by, and we
shall go away for ever, we shall be forgotten,
forgotten will be our faces, voices and how
many there have been of us, but sufferings of
ours will be transmitted into the joy of those,
who will live after us, happiness and peace
will come to earth, and those, who live now
will be spoken well and blessed. Oh, darling
sisters, our life is not yet over. We shall live!
The music is playing so merrily, so happily,
and it seems that in a little while and we shall
know, why we are living for, and what we
are suffering for... If I knew, oh, if I knew!”
[3. V. 13: 187-188].
As a religious thinker, S.N. Bulgakov finds
the proofs of sincere religiousness of the author
himself in these scenes. We suppose, that it is
impossible to say anything exactly instead of
the dramatist himself, who was always keeping
off one-sidedness and rough simplification of
his opinion, but sincere confession of Sonya:
“I believe passionately, with all my heart...”
illustrates the possibility of belief in superhuman
termination of Chekhov’s sufferings, or, at least,
it illustrates his deep respect for faith itself. Thus,
to our mind, the dramatist solves the problem
of existence authenticity, the existence which
becomes possible for him and his heroes “in the
face of death”. The confirmation of these words
one can also find in the situation salvation of Nina
Zarechnaya, who has come to the very brink of
ruin - “ occasionally, a man has come, has seen
and, as for there is nothing to do, has ruined...”
[3. V. 13: 58]. She continues living, but not in that
blind way, but realizing her life finite meanings in
her existence:
“Nina: Now I know, I understand, Kostya, that in
our business it is indifferent weather we play
on the stage or we write, the main thing is
not fame, not glory, and not that I have been
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
dreaming about, but an ability to endure.
Be able to bear your cross and believe. I do
believe, and it is not so painful for me and
when I think of my vocation, I am not afraid
of life” [3. V. 13: 58].
In the work of Y.M. Lotman “Death as a
Plot Problem” is written: “Linear culture building
makes the death problem one of the dominant in
the culture system. Religious consciousness is the
way of the death overcoming “death is trampled
by death”. But the culture is too much plunged
into the human space, in order to be limited by
it and simply to decline the death problem, as an
imaginary one. Notion of death (the end) cannot
be solved by a simple negation as far as, here
cosmic and human structures are intersected”
[19: 420]. But further he says that “a special
form of victory over death and its overcoming is
suicide...” [19: 421]. And in spite of the fact, that
Chekov’s heroes act very often right this way, the
multi-dimensionness of author’s narration allows
to disagree with this decision.
The complicated logic of suicide is in the
following, that suicide, as a definite human
condition negation, is necessary, but not as a
murder of one’s own life and not as a physical
suicide. Rejection of the previous conscious
condition, when a man cannot solve the arisen
problem by the previous, habitual for him means;
when it is demanded, a sort of, “to be born over
again”, is a paradoxical necessity for the human
existence itself. A man continues living, but we
say, that he “has become quite other person”. It
has happened to Nina, and to three sisters, and
to Sonya. And what concerns, so called, a “real”
suicide, existence vanishes together with it for
ever, and in Chekov’s plays, ending by the hero’s
suicide, the curtain falls down immediately after
it. Eternal death obviously celebrates a triumph.
The only thing, which can be set off against such
death is making life transcendent in creativity,
patience and labor (compare to Heidegger’s
existential “care”).
Y.M. Lotman writes: “In literature work,
if the theme of death is being implemented into
the plot, then in fact it must be subjected to a
negation” [19: 422]. Death is absolute in life, in
art it is relative, but it does not prevent us from
“having an experience of death tragedy and at
the same time feeling it almost deeper than in the
reality itself” [19: 423].
“Death negation” in Chekov’s works is not
out loud, not of pathos. Lev Shestov calls him, not
ironically at all, but with respect - “the quietest
writer”: “The leitmotiv of the last Chekhov’s
works is: “You feel, that people hardly hear you,
that you should speak out loud, should cry. But it
is abominable to cry. And you speak quieter and
quieter and soon you may stop speaking at all” [24:
641]. The philosophical existential “existence-inthe-face-of-death” helps to hear the voice of “the
quietest writer” so, as if he cries about it.
An accomplished suicide looks like an act
of despair in Chekov’s drama, appearing before
eternity of vulgarity and commonplace, but it cannot
be the truth (authenticity) of human existence. It
means inability to submit and incomprehension of
simple labor possibility, of simple care as a sense
of human existence. It means the death of not only
the body and the soul but of the spirit, which is
a possibility of free immortal creativity. “There
is no happiness in the world, but there are peace
and will” – this is the meaning, “peace and will”
which are uncovered to the best, the purest, the
real heroines of Chekhov’s art:
“Sonya: We shall have a rest! We shall hear
angels, we shall see the sky all in diamonds,
we shall see, as all the earth evil, all our
sufferings will be flooded by the charity,
which will overwhelm the whole world, and
our life will become quite, gentle, sweet, as
tenderness itself. I believe, believe... “ [3. V.
13: 116].
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There is just the same truth in almost childish
ingenuous words, as in a discourse of a very
serious philosopher G. Hegel: “Death, if we call
the mentioned reality this way, is the most horrible
thing, and in order to keep the dead, the supreme
force is needed. But not that life, which is afraid of
death and only protects itself against destruction,
but that one, which endures it and preserves itself
in it, is the life of spirit. The spirit reaches its truth,
only having found itself absolutely disrupted. The
spirit is that force, but not that positive, which
makes eyes turn from the negative, like, when we
call something insignificant or false, we finish with
it immediately, turn away and pass to something
else; but it is the force, when it faces the negative
and stays in it. The staying is the very magnificent
force, which converts the negative into existence”
[ref. 19: 475-476].
Whatever strange it could seem, but in
Russian religious philosophy neither the game
phenomenon, nor the phenomenon of “existencein-the-face-of-death” is considered as the truth
(authenticity) content of human existence.
“Game” cannot be the subject of religious
philosophy at all, because from the point of view
of religious world outlook the human existence
takes place not only in time and space, but in an
absolute dimension, which takes everything for
“serious”. What concerns death phenomenon and
suicide, this is just the same. They, by themselves,
irrespectively of existence eternity, cannot be the
subject of Christian philosophy attention. As far
as Christian philosophy considers, that soul is
immortal and body is subjected to resurrection,
all this removes the radically raised problem of
death as a condition of fallen and transient. The
only exception is L.P. Karsavin, the author of “A
Poem about Death”, who considers that the main
drama of universal existence spreads around a
sacrificial death as the centre of its plot. Raising
and solving most difficult metaphysical problems,
connected to the existence truth and authenticity
of thinking, in the beginning of 20 century the
Russian philosophic thought comprehends the
game phenomenon and the phenomenon of death
as the inevitable moments for human being in the
world outlook, taking the artistic form, the form
of literature. The problem of meaningful human
existence as real (authentic) existence has been
raised and solved in Chekhov’s drama, filling in
the problems of the philosophic world outlook, the
problems connected to the raise and salvation of
the truth problem as human existence authenticity
in the Russian philosophy.
G.P. Berdnikov, A.P. Chekhov (Rostov-on-Don: Phoenix, 1997).
S. N. Bulgakov, Chekhov as a thinker. V. 2, (Moscow: Science, 1993), p. 131-161.
A. P. Chekhov, Complete works. (Moscow: Science, 1974 – 1992).
“A.P. Chekhov: Pro et Contra” (St.Petersburg: RGAI, 2002).
Chekhoviana. Chekhov in the Culture of the XX century: Articles and Publications (Moscow:
Science, 1993).
6. Chekhoviana. Chekhov and his Circle: Articles and Publications (Moscow: Science, 1996).
7. Contemporary dictionary of philosophy. (Moscow: Panprint, 1998).
8. H.-G. Gadamer, The actuality of the beautiful. (Moscow: Art, 1987).
9. H.-G. Gadamer, Truth and method. (Moscow: Progress, 1988).
10. S.N. Gladisheva, “The Creation of A.P. Chekhov in the Estimation of I.S. Shmelyov”, Bulletin of
the VSU. Series: Philology, Journalism (2005).
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Natalia P. Coptseva. A.P. Chekov as a Philosopher: «Game» Phenomenon and «Existence in the Face of Death»…
11. V.A. Goltzev, “A.P. Chekhov”, Bulletin of the VSU. Series: Philology, Journalism, № l (2005).
12. M.O. Goryacheva, “Occasion and Antioccasion in the Dramatic Plot of Chekhov”, RAN’s News.
RAN’s Journal: Series of Literature and Language, v. 63, № 5. (Moscow: Science, 2004),
p. 19-23.
13. Y. Huizinga, Homo ludens. (Moscow: Progress, 1991).
14. V. V. Ivanov, About a merry craft and clever merriment //Native and universal. (Moscow:
Republic, 1992).
15. O. Kolesova, “A Modest, Lonely, Forgotten Man”, Bulletin of the VSU. Series: Philology,
Journalism, № 1 (44) (2004).
16. S. A. Lishaev, A.P. Chekhov: Spirit, Soul and “Darling” (Samara: Philosophical Samara, 2007).
17. S.A. Lishaev, A.P. Chekhov: The Style of Uncertainty (Samara: Philosophical Samara, 2007).
18. A. F. Losev, Philosophy. Mythology. Culture. (Moscow: Republic, 1989).
19. Y. M. Lotman, Selected works on semiotics: Death as a problem of a plot. (Moscow,
20. M. K. Mamardashvili, My understanding of philosophy. (Moscow: Progress, 1988).
21. E.A. Polotzkaya, “Chekhov’s Plays in the XX - XXI Centuries”, Russian Literature: Scholarly,
Theoretical and Methodical Journal, Jfe8 (Moscow: School Press, 2006), p. 2-8.
22. A.D. Stepanov, “About the Nature of Chekhov‘s Sign”, RAN’s News. RAN’s Journal: Series of
Literature and Language, v. 63, Jfe5 (Moscow: Science, 2004), p. 24-30.
23. O.V. Shapigina, The Theleology of the Poetic Prose.
24. L. Shestov. What the truth is. V. 2. (Moscow: Science, 1993), p. 363 – 404.
25. The Russian Philosophy. Small encyclopaedia. (Moscow, 1995).
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Andrey A. Davydov. A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions and Functions in Social Systems
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 39-44
УДК 301
A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions
and Functions in Social Systems
Andrey A. Davydov*
Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences,
Krzhizhanovskogo st., 24/35, b.5, Moscow, 117259 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
The basic postulates of this theory, which unites proportions in statics and dynamics, explain their ties
with social system Junctions. The theory has been verified. Its value is supported by concrete examples,
not only for forecasting social processes and determining optimal correlations in society, but also for
developing a general theory of systems.
Keywords: theory, social systems, functions, proportions.
The proportion shall be determined as the
balanced ratio of the system parts [21 p. 162].
Formally this proportion may be written up as
a : b = c : d,
where a, b , c, d - parts of the system.
The parts of a system may be social groups,
products of their material and spiritual activities,
as well as periods of the system development
cycles. Harmony ensures stability and constancy
of structure, functioning and development of the
social system [8].
The function is a method for achievement
of the goal of social system [19,25]. Since the
social systems are characterized by the principle
of unity of structure and functions, it may be
expected that certain functions will correspond
to various other functions. At the same time the
analysis of existing theories of social systems
[15,19,25,27,29,etc] showed that the problem of
harmony of proportions and functions was not
elucidated in them.
The analysis we carried out (Social Sciences
Citation Index) for the period 1980-2005 gave
a possibility to reveal the following reasons of
undevelopment of this problem.
First of all there are no theoretically and
empirically grounded sets of proportions and
functions, and second, the study of functions was
not carried out at the level of concrete proportions.
Using the system paradigm as a base, we developed
the theory of correspondence for proportions and
functions, the basic postulates and consequences
of which are presented in this article.
Postulates of theory
Traditionally the study of proportions
obtained the widest propagation in art, and in
particular, in architecture. Let us remember that
the so-called system of the double square is
successfully applied in architecture and unites
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© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Andrey A. Davydov. A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions and Functions in Social Systems
the following proportions: 1; 1.237; 1.618; 2.236;
3.237; etc [16, 32]. Is it possible, however to
apply these proportions to the social system? We
consider that it is possible and for the following
reason. First of all, proportionality is the general
system property [28] and second, some proportions
of the double square system are successfully used
in various sociological theories, for example, “the
theory of critical mass” [20, 22], mobilization of
resources [17] thresholds of collective behavior
[14], discretion [23]. We also believe that the
proportions are bound up with certain functions of
the social system, since it follows from the system
principle of unity of the structure and functions [19,
25]. In accordance with the postulates of system
analysis, we shall designate the correspondence
between the proportion and the function as the
social system functioning mode. It also follows
from system concepts, that the social system
is characterized by the two general functions
- preservation and development [19, 25]. In this
case an equal number of proportions corresponds
to each function. This postulate follows numerous
observations. For example, the equal ratio of
sexes and population where the male performs
the function of development, and the female the
function of preservation, the equality of volume
of cerebral hemispheres, each of which performs
different functions [1] and so on.
When constructing the theory we used one of
the system axioms, in accordance with which the
possibility of the system development is decreased
with an increase of orderliness [28]. This means
that the higher the proportion value, the more likely
it is to perform the system preservation function.
In addition, we based our theory on the fact that
the social system, like any other system, has
three basic components: elements, properties and
ratia, transitions between them being performed
either from elements through the properties to the
ratia, or vice versa from the ratia to the elements
[31]. The above-mentioned preconditions were
taken as fundamental to the theory, which is
presented in Table 1 in the form of progressions.
In Table 1 the parts of the progression are
given in the form of decimal fractions, but they
may be presented by integers. For example, the
progression for the function of development of
properties will correspond to the Fibonacci series
(0,1,1,2,3,5,8,...). It was determined that this set of
numerical values represents the law of structural
genesis of various systems [28].
Proceeding from the analysis problems it is
sometimes much more suitable to deal not with
relative values, but, for example, with percentage
distributions. To calculate percentage distributions
it is necessary to take a proportion which is typical
for the concrete regime and to construct the
geometrical progression for the required number of
Table 1. Correspondence of proportions and functions in social systems
(denominator of progression)
Members of progression
1.237; 1.530; 1.893...
Development of elements
1.618; 2.618; 4.236...
Development of properties
2.236; 4.999; 11.179...
Development of relating
3.237; 10.478; 33.913...
Balance of functions of development
and preservation
4.236; 17.944; 76.009...
Conservation of relations
8.434; 71.132; 599.930...
Conservation of proportions
16.857; 284.158; 4790.059...
Conservation of elements
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Andrey A. Davydov. A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions and Functions in Social Systems
parts. Let us assume that it is necessary to find the
respective percentage distribution for three parts
of the function of development of elements. First
let us sum up the progression members: 1.237 +
1.530 + 1.893 = 4.66. Then let us find the share of
each member and multiply by 100 per cent (1.237
: 4.66) x 100 = 26.5%. As a result we obtain the
following percentage distribution for three parts
40.7 : 32.8 : 26.5, in which the ratio of large share
to a smaller one corresponds to the denominator
of the progression for the element’s development
function. The proportional relations for any
function and numbers of parts are calculated in a
similar way.
Verification of theory
Verification of the theory was carried out by
several methods. First of all we used the already
known social proportions and respective functions,
second, we studied the materials of national and
international statistics for a long period and third,
we drew on the already known general system
proportions to prove it. Since the limited length
of this article does not allow the possibility to
demonstrate all the proofs obtained, we shall
briefly note only four regimes: development of
properties and relations; the balance of function
of preservation of elements, which play the most
important role in the constructing, functioning
and development of social systems. Proportion
1.618 is a function of development of properties.
This proportion is known in science and art as
the golden proportion. It is proved in numerous
papers that it characterizes the wholeness between
the part and the whole in natural systems [28,
32, et al.]. Our studies showed that the golden
section in social systems also reflects the
origin of new system property - the wholeness
[3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10]. Proportion 2.236 is the function
of development of relations. The main argument
here is the numerous theoretical and empirical
investigations dedicated to monopolization of the
market. So, in world practice it is considered to be
proven, that monopolist relations arise if the share
of products of one firm in the market begins to
exceed 31% [33]. Proportion 3.237 is the balance
of development and preservation functions. The
investigations show that the optimum share
of small-scale and average-scale businesses generators of innovational activity - are on average
equal to 25%, and the share of large firms basically
oriented to preservation of the achieved is equal
to 75% [34]. The same proportion is observed
in respect to the ratio of natural and social as
analogues of preservation and development, in
various social indices, for example, traumatism
[18], intellect [13], birth rate of gifted people[2],
etc. Proportion 16.857 is a function of preservation
of elements. Our study testifies that this ratio is
typical for the optimum share of social minorities,
for example: unemployed people, drug addicts,
traumatics, those who are dismissed from
enterprises, homosexuals, lesbians etc., who
perform the function of keeping up the required
variety of elements in the social system [11].
These and many other arguments we obtained in
the process of verification testify convincingly
that there actually is a correspondence between
these proportions and functions. Thus our theory
was confirmed.
Applications of theory
The proposed concept gives a possibility to
reveal the social system functioning regime. Our
investigations of various social indices for various
countries of the world for long periods testify
that the proportion 1.237 is most frequently met
in social systems. It corresponds to the function
of development of elements. For comparison, in
musical systems we observe the domination of
function 1.618 [2], and in architectural systems 4.236 [32]. We determined that different functions
dominate in various subsystems of society. For
example, the function of properties development
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Andrey A. Davydov. A Theory of Correspondence of Proportions and Functions in Social Systems
predominates in value subsystems, the relations
development function dominates in demographic
subsystems and the function of development of
elements prevailed in Russia in 1985-1989. On the
basis of this theory it is possible to forecast various
events. For example, applying the Fibonacci
series (0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13, ...) we succeeded (with
an accuracy of up to 5%) in describing basic
social and economic reforms in Russia for the
period 1540-1985 and to forecast the approach of
new reforms in 2005-2008 in further perspective
[9]. It is also possible to forecast crises by some
indices. Thus, for example, if the proportion of
people satisfied and unsatisfied by labor comes
to proportion 1.237, i.e. the share of satisfied
people is equal to 55%, this testifies the crisis in
a labor collective [12]. Applying the regularity of
successive replacements of regimes in the social
system we had discovered we succeeded in 1989
in forecasting shares of persons participating in
voting in 1990 within a one per cent accuracy [7].
Using the theory of social proportions as a base,
it is possible to determine exactly the optimal
shares by various indices. For example, the share
of women in the economically active population
in the normal functioning of society will be equal
to 38%, the ratio of general coefficients of birth
and death rates is 2.618, the share of optimists is
30.9%[4], the share of male suicides 75%[10],
the unemployment level is 7%[5], etc. Since the
theory of social proportions is based on the limit
general system principles, its conclusions may
also be applied to natural systems. At first, the
stable natural proportions receive the functional
interpretation. For example, it was determined
that the succession of preferable dimensions of
rocks in a wide range of scales - from bodies in
the solar system to quartz glass globules -forms a
geometric progression with index 3.5 [26]. Let us
remember that proportion 3.2 in our theory reflects
the balance of functions of preservation and
development. In the second place, considerable
progress bay be achieved in the study of natural
cycles. For example, the sun’s activity has the
following cycles: 11 years, 22 years, 55 years,
80-90 years and some other [30]. This succession
is well coordinated with the initial fragment of
the Fibonacci series (13,21,34,55,89, ...). Let us
remember that in our theory the Fibonacci series,
based on the proportion 1.618 corresponds to the
function of development of properties.
Consequently the sun, as many other
subsystems, for example the economic, functions
in the same regime - the regime of properties
development. Moreover, the results obtained
allow us to propose that the sun’s activity may
have longer cycles, based on Fibonacci series,
which cannot be observed at present due to lack of
data. These are cycles with periods of 987 years,
1597 years, 2584 years and so on.
The theory allows one to see the dominating
function of the social system as a whole and
functions of its subsystems, to determine the
optimum proportions by various social indices
and to forecast the approach of events which
are of importance for the society. The results we
obtained showed that the society is an open living
system, characterizes by the correspondence of
various proportions and functions. In general
the mechanism of this correspondence does not
cause doubts, since it is self-organizing due to
feedback, determined by the process of adaptation
to the surrounding medium and other subsystems
of society. However, the concrete quantitative
regularities, determining these processes of selforganization, shall be a subject for subsequent
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Oleg M. Gotlib. Distinctive Features of the Language Picture of the World in Chinese Ethnoconsciousness
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 45-53
УДК 410
Distinctive Features of the Language Picture of the World
in Chinese Ethnoconsciousness
Oleg M. Gotlib*
Irkutsk State Linguistic University,
Lenin st., Irkutsk, 664025 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Chinese writing, consistently ideographic and substantively pictographic, must participate in the formation and semantic “painting” of various “pictures of the world”. Generic-specific classes of lexicon
can be subdivided into partitives and conglomeratives. An important difference between partitives and
conglomeratives is that the generic component of partitives can be represented by a concrete meaning,
while that of conglomeratives can be represented only by an abstract concept.
Keywords: Chinese ethnoconsciousness, language picture of the world, logograms, Chinese written
Nomina si nescis, perit et cognitio rerum.
K. Linne
Carl Linnaeus’ famous remark - if you do not
know the names you are lost in cognition of things
- taken as an epigraph to this article seems rather
significant in the light of the problems stated
therein, namely: to what extent language and its
written form are crucial in the formation of our
knowledge and notions within the framework of a
“scientific picture of the world” as well as within
the framework of a “language picture of the
world” and how it affects the ethnoconsciousness
of its carriers.
The concept of a scientific picture of
the world, dating back to scientific models of
scholars of Ancient Greece, India and China, is
represented rather comprehensively in the works
of theoretical physicists, the ones who most
deeply and, probably, most completely perceive
the world in a scientific light. “While perceptional
sensations invoked by objects in different people
may not coincide, the picture of the world, the
world of things, is identical to all people, and one
can say that transition from the perceptional world
to creation of its scientific picture happens when
instead of motley subjective variety comes stable
objective order, when law takes place of chance”
(Planck, 1958 : 106). In this observation by the
great scientist there is no indication as to what is
the instrument by means of which man and the
mankind reveal and register “objective order” and
“law”. That certainly is the human language that
covers the diverse area of “subjective variety” as
well as the area of scientific law.
Human language, being the primary and
essentially the only means of naming, storing and
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transferring of any information, is thereby one of
the major components of N. Bohr’s “principle of
complementarity”. Without this “instrument” the
existence of mankind is simply inconceivable.
The concept of the language picture of the
world originates from W. von Humboldt’s classical
works that became the foundation of the theory
of language relativity. So he wrote, in particular:
“Every language incorporates a distinctive world
outlook. Just like a separate sound arises between
the object and the person, the language as a whole
acts between the person and the nature influencing
it. Each language forms a circle around the people
to which it belongs, whence the person is allowed
to escape only so far as he immediately enters a
circle of other language” [6: 80]. Speaking about
the necessity of comprehensive historical study
of languages, the scientist points out that in this
case “ we shall feel ever less propensity to treat
languages as random symbols and … we shall
discover in the originality of their structure the
means of study and knowledge of truth as well
as the way of formation of consciousness and
character. If the languages that have reached
high degrees of perfection possess their own
world outlooks there should exist not only their
relationships toward each other, but also their
relationships to the totality of all conceivable” [6:
In this context it is obvious that “outlook”
not is something political or ideological, but
is essentially the ability of man, ethnos and the
mankind to reflect, realize and see the world. This
is the outlook Heidegger spoke about – “the world
becomes a picture, the position of a person is
understood as outlook” (Heidegger, 1985: 228).
When speaking about language it is necessary
to realize that it exists in two forms - written and
spoken, at least those languages we call civilized.
There is no doubt that the spoken form precedes
written, that verbal speech is more flexible, mobile
and active. However, it is precisely the writing
that transforms human speech from a purely
temporal phenomenon into a spatio-temporal one,
making it the instrument of «trace» in J. Derrida’s
interpretation, that is the instrument and means
owing to which human speech - and in many
respects human knowledge - became the fact of
history. “ With the invention of writing in hands of
man there appeared a lasting resource for fixation
of speech, he was now able to keep knowledge of
his history on the edge of a bottomless abyss in
which it could always fall despite the efforts of
collective memory which for millennia kept this
knowledge thanks to verbal tradition” [1: 70].
The writing initially served as the instrument
of semantic segmentation of the world. In the
opinion of experts, this function is inherent even
in alphabetically-phonetic types of writing which,
formally not corresponding with the meaning, at
the same time carry in their “ancestral genetics”
pictographically-semantic bases. A. Dieterich,
referring to the role and status of the alphabet in
the history of Indo-European civilization, wrote:
“Although the alphabet was not consciously
considered a model of the world it was perceived
as such. Separate symbols of the alphabet were
considered elements of the world, and the alphabet
as a whole - the name of the world” [8: 224]. At
the same time, no doubt, in modern Indo-European
ethnoconsciousness the graphic and the phonetic
components of a language are coalescent, forming
a certain unified plane of expression, “a uniform
visual-acoustical complex” [11: 72].
ethnoconsciousness, in the Chinese language
picture of the world there is a clearly expressed
dichotomy of spoken and written forms of
language - 文wen и 言 yan . The first character
is understood as the written form of the language,
its meaning going back to the image of a tattoo
on the body of a person; the second - the verbal
form, etymology of this character is associated
with the image of a tongue sticking out, or of
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something coming out of the mouth. Ancient
Chinese is called 文言 wenyan (written speech
+ oral speech). This binomial apparently reflects
the status characteristics of these two forms of
existence of the language.
The Chinese writing, being consistently
ideographic and substantively pictographic,
must participate in formation and semantic
“painting” of various “pictures of the world”.
Let’s now analyze this participation, its features
and conflicts. We will refer to Chinese written
symbols as logograms, that is units of a written
system correlative to a word or to a morpheme,
having rejected the use of the traditional term
“hieroglyph” (a mythical, mysterious symbol) for
having incorrect terminological basis.
Let’s begin with a fragment of the “scientific
picture of the world” and use for this purpose the
constituents of Mendeleyev’s Periodic Table,
which we know represents the classification of
all known chemical elements according to their
properties. Generally chemical elements are
divided into metals, nonmetals and gases. These
attributes can be regarded as a hyperseme for all
components of these classes.
In this connection it is necessary to point out
that here we encounter the systemic organization
of both the actual language and the world, which
is traditionally expressed in generic -specific
relations. Generic-specific classes of lexicon can
be subdivided into partitives and conglomeratives.
Partitives are categories of words brought together
by an inherent unity; their meanings correspond
with the generic the way a part correlates with the
integral whole. We perceive a table as the organic
unity of a support (legs) and a tabletop without
which this object is no longer the same, an eye as the unity of eyelids, pupil, crystalline lens etc.,
without which an eye is no longer an eye.
Conglomeratives are classes of lexicon with
relatively free dependence on each other. They
are united by common properties and features;
the same lexical unit can be a part of different
conglomeratives. Classes of words with the general
seme “gas” or “metal” can serve as examples.
Another important difference between
partitives and conglomeratives is in our opinion
the fact that the generic component of partitives
can be represented by a concrete meaning,
while that of conglomeratives – by an abstract
concept. Indeed, a table, an eye or an arm are
concrete objects fixated by concrete meanings.
But furniture, tableware, clothes, gases, metals
are essentially abstractions that can be realized
in a certain set of concrete entities, features and
relations possessing properties or functions
attributed to their generic concepts.
The class of gases is represented by the
following elements: 氢 qīng – hydrogen, 氪 kè
– krypton, 氦 hái – helium, 氖 năi – neon, 氧 yăng
– oxygen, 氟 fú – fluorine, 氦 hài – helium, 氮dàn
– nitrogen, 氡dōng – radon, 氯lü – chlorine, 氩
yà - argon, 氙xiān – xenon. As appears from the
above list, all components of this series include
in their structure the simple logogram 气 qì - gas,
air, which can be considered the graphic marker
of the hyperseme.
Metals are presented by the following list: 镥
lǔ – lutetium, 镱 yì - ytterbium, 锂 lĭ – Lithium, 铍
pí – beryllium, 铷 rú – Rubidium, 铪hā – hafnium,
锶 sī – Strontium, 钽 tăn – Tantalum, 锝 dé
– technetium, 钇 yi – yttrium, 钨 wū – Tungsten,
钾 jiǎ - potassium, 锆 gào - Zirconium, 锇
é – Osmium, 铂 bó – Platinum, 铽 tè – terbium,
铌 ní – niobium, 金 jīn – Gold, 钠 nà – Sodium,
钌 liǎo – Ruthenium, 铊 tā – Thallium, 镁 měi
– Magnesium, 铑 lǎo – radium, 铅 qiān – Lead,
铝 lü – Aluminum, 钯 bǎ – Palladium, 铋 bì
– Bismuth, 银 yín - Silver, 钋 pō – Polonium,
镉 gé – Cadmium, 钔 mén – Mendelevi, 铟 yīn
– Indii, 钫 fāng – Franzii, 锡 xī – Tin, 镭 léi
– radium, 锑 tī – Antimony, 锕 ā Actinium,
钙 gài – Calcium, 钍 tǔ – Thorium, 钪 kàng –
Scandium, 镤 pǔ - protactinium, 钛 tài – titanium,
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铯 sè – Caesium, 铕 yǒu – Europium, 钒 fán Vanadium, 钡 bèi – Barium, 镎 ná – neptunium,
钼 mù – Molybdenum, 镧 lán – lanthanum, 钚 bù
– Plutonium, 铬 gè – chromium, 铈 shì – Cerium,
镅 méi – Americium, 锰 měng – Manganese,
镨 pŭ – praseodymium, 锔 jú – curium, 铁 tiě
– iron, 钕 nǚ – neodymium, 锫 péi – berkelium,
钴 gǔ – cobalt, 钷 pó – promethium, 锎 kāi –
californium, 镍 niè – nickel, 钐 shān – samarium,
锿 āi – einsteinium, 铜 tóng – copper, 铀 yóu –
Uranium, 镄 fèi – fermium, 锌 xīn – Zinc, 钆 gá
– gadolinium, 锘 nuò – nobelium, 镓jiā – gallium,
镝 dí – dysprosium, 铹 láo – lawrencium, 锗 zhĕ
– germanium, 钬 huŏ – holmium, 铒 ĕr – erbium,
铥 diū – thulium, 汞 (銾) gǒng – mercury.
This list of logograms shows that all
metallic elements include in their composition
the logogram 金 jīn - metal, gold as the generic
marker of substance of this type. Interesting in this
respect is the element mercury, which as we know
exists in liquid form. Precisely for this reason this
element is represented by two logograms: the
first, more traditional 汞 incorporates the symbol
水 - “water”, the second, more specific, also
includes the symbol “metal”, thereby marking this
element’s ascription to both liquids and metals.
The aforementioned classification of
logograms designating gases and metals shows
that all of them include in their composition a
component common for both series indicating
the hyperattribute of each of the symbols.
Recognizing this regularity and obligatoriness, we
will examine the rest of the elements of the table
from the position of either presence or absence of
such generic marker in the composition of their
Proceeding from this standpoint the rest of
the symbols identifying chemical elements can
be divided into two groups: the first - logograms
including in their composition the symbol 石 stone (碲 dì – tellurium, 硼 péng – boron, 碳 tàn
– carbon, 硅 guī – silicon, 磷 lín – phosphorus, 砹
ài – astatine, 硫 liú – sulphur, 碘 diăn – iodine,
砷 shēn – arsenic, 硒 xī selenium); the second logograms including in their structure the symbol
水 - water (溴 xiù - bromine). One must admit
that here too the characters’ graphic shell did not
“make a mistake”, as all elements denoted by the
symbol 石 - stone represent crystals, and bromine
is a liquid.
To what extent is it universal for the Chinese
written system to have such state of affairs
under which a composite logogram includes
a symbol-hyponym and a symbol-hyperonym
in its structure? In our opinion it is sufficiently
universal, pertaining to the names of things,
anyway. All equanyms united under the common
seme “illness” include the morphogram 疒
chuáng/nè - the person lying on a bed; sickness;
symbols 衣(衤 - clothes or 革 / 皮 – skin(leather)
are mandatory components of all logograms with
the generic meaning “clothes”; all the names of
fish as an obligatory constituent incorporate the
logogram 鱼 - fish, and all the names of trees - the
logogram 木 – tree; and if in a character there is
the seme “woman” the logogram structure by all
means will include the symbol woman [10], etc.
This gives us reason to believe that a
considerable number of complex logograms,
pictograms and, mainly, ideograms consistently
fixate hyper-hyposemantic relations, including in
their composition generic and specific components
and thus “tracing” both the language and the
scientific pictures of the world. If we were to use
the logical apparatus the first component would be
the function, and the second one – the argument
At the same time, the scientific picture of
the world and the language picture of the world
in their expression through the graphic shell of a
written symbol will fairly often clash with each
other. This can be explained by the rather high
stability of the written system of language and by
mobility and variability of terminological markers
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of science. It is quite possible to assume that
here the conflict of the old and the new scientific
pictures takes place, that is the written symbols
existing for several thousand years reflect through
their graphic semantics scientific conceptions
about an object of the corresponding period.
As it was already mentioned, large fields of
conglomeratives are consistently and obligatory
marked by hyperonymic symbols: all the names
of illnesses, clothes, metals, forms of water, etc.
From our point of view this is sufficient argument
in favor of the assertion about the presence in
the Chinese ethnoconsciousness of a particular
“picture of the world”, shaped by Chinese writing.
Let’s go into detail on the problem of “scientific
character” of this cognitive matrix.
For this purpose we’ll analyze some partitives
- “eye” and “hand” – aiming to find out whether
their components are marked by corresponding
symbols and how consistent this labeling is. In
everyday consciousness an “eye” includes such
constituent as “eyebrows”, “eyelashes”, “eyelids”
and “pupil”. In Chinese writing there are two
characters designating “eye”: the more ancient
pictogram 目 mù and the modern complex
logogram 眼 yǎn whose structure also includes
the symbol 目; characters 眉 méi - eyebrows, 睫
jié - eyelashes, 睑 jiǎn - eyelid, 瞳 tóng - pupil
just as consistently include in their structure the
logogram 目.
In lexicology there is a widespread classical
sample of different segmentation of the world
by means of language - the example being the
Russian word “рука” and both “hand” and “arm”
in English. Without breaking any conventional
norms let’s consider this object from the point of
view of Chinese writing.
The simple logogram 手 shǒu conveys both
the concept of an arm and the concept of a hand
that is associated with its etymological meaning
- the image of a hand ( ? ). Hand is subdivided
into 掌 zhǎng - palm and 指 zhǐ - finger, both
symbols are complex logograms including in
their structure the simple logogram 手, in the
second instance – in its morphogram variant 扌.
For designation of the part of the arm between the
wrist and the shoulder symbols 胳膊 gēbo and 臂
/ 胳臂 bì/gēbì are used, and the logogram 胳 gē is
mentioned in “Shuo wen ze zi” in just that content.
This segment of the arm is structured as follows:
腕 wàn - wrist, 臂 bì – part of the arm between
the wrist and the elbow, 肘 zhǒu - elbow, 肱 gōng
– the section between the elbow and the shoulder.
All examined characters are complex logograms
with the common hyperonymic component 月 ròu
- meat, muscular tissue. Consequently, semanticgrammatological segmentation of the arm in
Chinese ethnoconsciousness is associated with the
attribute of either presence or absence of muscular
tissue in the specified organ.
This opposition is recognizable not only in
connection with the written name of the arm, but
also with other organs of the body. Indeed, the
logograms 胸 xiōng - breast, 背 bèi - back, 腹 fù
- stomach, 腿 tuǐ - thigh include in their structure
the symbol 月, while characters jǐng - neck, 头 tóu
- head, 鼻 bí - nose, 趾 zhǐ – toe do not.
The analysis of the written symbols
designating partitives shows that Chinese writing
paints its own “picture of the world” which may
or may not coincide with the “scientific” one.
Let’s move on to conglomeratives.
ethnoconsciousness is the conglomerative
“cereals”. As far back as 7-5 centuries BC
the treatise “Zhou li” (周礼) outlines the
corresponding lexical-graphic field «five cereals»
(五谷), which in its different interpretations
includes the following units: 麻 má - hemp, ramie;
麦 mài - wheat, 豆 dòu - beans, 米 mǐ - rice, 黍
shǔ - millet. Vital importance and antiquity of this
conglomerative are obvious from the nature of
characters comprising it: most of them, except for
the symbol 黍 shǔ – millet are simple logograms,
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i.e. units able to act as symbols-hyperonyms.
The logogram 黍 includes the symbol 禾 - cereal
that marks the semantics of the whole complex
logogram. Therefore the given conglomerative
is not consistently marked, meaning that its
components do not make up a list of complex
logograms with obligatory hyperonymic
Let’s now focus on the names of animals.
The “scientific picture of the world” gives
us a sufficiently comprehensive hierarchical
classification of the fauna incorporating species,
families, classes, subclasses, etc. For example,
common knowledge positively identifies the cat
and the dog not only as different animals, but also
as two distinct categories, placing into the first
one, in particular, lion, tiger, panther, lynx, and
into the other - wolf, fox, jackal, etc.
Chinese written symbols exhibit the following
designation of the names of the said animals:
狗 gǒu - dog, 狼 láng - wolf, 狐 hú - fox, 狸 lí
- raccoon dog, 猫 māo - cat, 狮 shī - lion, 虎 hǔ
- tiger, 豹 bào - panther. As we can see from the
above list, written markers do not coincide with
scientific classification: both canine and feline
names are chiefly marked with the morphogram
犭 quǎn - dog, tiger is represented by a standalone
symbol, and panther includes in its structure the
morphogram 豸 zhì which, according to the first
peculiar to the Chinese written language labeling
system, which requires most careful and detailed
study and understanding.
All the language facts presented above are
«names of things»; let’s now look at the «names of
relations», in particular, relations-actions. As the
subject of this analysis we’ll take several groups
of logograms united by meanings common for all
of them in order to trace the labeling of semantics
in the graphic shell of these symbols.
The first is the group of logograms united by
the common seme “to sew”. Here we’ll only be
sampling monosyllabic words with the indicated
semantics. 补 bu - to darn, repair, patch; to
supplement, fill in; 缝 feng - to sew, stitch; 缀
zhui - to sew, stitch, bind; 织 zhi - to weave, knit,
spin; 绷 beng – to tie up, bandage; to baste, tack;
缉 qi - to stitch, hem; 缲 qiao to hem; 禢 ta - to
sew on, sew around; 绗 hang - to quilt; 缭 liao to baste, overstitch, make buttonholes; 絮 xu - to
put on cotton wool, to line with wadding. From
the above list of logograms one can tell that they
are all complex, which in general is characteristic
for the names of relations, and that composition
of each of them includes the same element - 糸
mi - silk thread, which traces semantics for the
whole group.
To the next group belong the logograms
united by the general seme “foot motion”: 踩
ideographic dictionary “Er ya” (尔雅), published
in the 1 century BC, means insect without limbs.
This same morphogram marks the logograms
designating such animals as marten (sable) - 貂
diāo, or raccoon - 貉 hé, and the morphogram 犭
quǎn is part of the symbol monkey (猴 hóu).
All this is indicative of complex pictograms
and ideograms being consistently ideographic,
i.e., they consistently and obligatory mark hyperhyposemantic relations. At the same time, the
Chinese writing system paints its own “picture of
the world”, different from the so-called “scientific
picture of the world”; moreover, it forms its own,
cai - to tread, trample down, balance; to start up
with the foot or pedal; 蹅 cha - to step, walk over
mud; to step into dirt; 踹 chuai - to kick; to stamp,
trample; 蹈 dao – to step along, tread, trample on;
to follow in smb’s footsteps, to keep on one’s legs;
to trample down, tread in, to stamp one’s foot; to
carry out; to pass through; 蹬 deng - to step on,
to press down with the foot; to step over, trample
on; to walk up, ascend; to kick; 跺 duo - to stamp
one’s foot, tap with one’s heels; 践 jian - to walk
on, to step, trample down; to arrive; to follow; 蹍
zhan - to walk on, to spoor (track); 蹑 nie – to
step cautiously, walk on tiptoe; to follow; to tread,
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trample on; to reach, arrive; 踏 ta - to push with a
foot, to stamp one’s foot; to tread on, press; to step
on, to trample; to tap out, beat time with a foot; 蹠
zhi - to stamp, step, trample; to reach, get to; 蹴
cu – to tread upon, trample down; to kick, hit with
one’s foot; 跐 ci - to tread upon, shift one’s feet;
to stumble, slip; cai - to crush with a foot; 蹙 cu
- to kick; 蹩 bie - to plod on, hobble; 躛 wei - to
kick, buck; 躇 chuo - to step firmly on the ground;
to march; 躇 chu – to shift from one foot to the
other; to step through; 跈 nian - to crush with a
foot, to crush; 踶 zhi - to kick, trample; 跦 chu to shift from one foot to the other. All symbols of
the given group include in their composition the
simple logogram 足 zu - foot.
The group of oral actions is represented by a
number of symbols united by the common meaning
“to act upon an object with one’s teeth”: 嚼 jiao/
jue - to chew, masticate, swallow; to corrode,
wash away; to taste, try, savor; 咀 ju - to chew,
masticate, savor; 嗑 ke - to gnaw, crack, nibble;
啃ken - to gnaw, chew; to eat); to masticate; 啮
nie - to gnaw, eat away; 噬 shi - to bite, sink one’s
teeth into; to devour, peck; 咬 yao - to bite, gnaw;
噍 jiao - to chew, gnaw; eat; 咋 ze/zuo/zha - to
bite, gnaw, bite through one’s tongue; 齕 he - to
gnaw, bite, bite off; 齮 yi - to chew, gnaw; 囓 nie
- to bite, gnaw; to swallow; to nibble grass. All
symbols of this group have their graphic markers
as represented by simple pictograms 口 kou mouth and 齿 chi - tooth.
The following is the group of names of
relations connected by the common seme “to
perceive the world by means of organs of sight”:
bi – to look askance/scornfully; 瞠 cheng - to
peer, stare; 瞅 chou - to look, observe, look out
for, dart a glance; 眈 dan - to look a short way off,
being carried away far by thought; to look down;
to look greedily, peer; 瞪 deng - to look fixedly,
stare, turn one’s eyes towards, dart a glance on; 觌
di - to see; to peer into the distance; 睇 di - to look
asquint, askew; 盯 ding - to stare, turn one’s eyes,
to look intently; 睹 / 覩 du - to look, observe, see;
to behold, ascertain; 顾 gu - to glance back, shift
one’s gaze; to look with interest; to pay attention;
观 guan - to look at, to examine; to contemplate; to
study; 见 jian - to see, possess sight; to understand,
find out; 瞯 jian - to peer, peep; 看 kan - to look,
admire; to read, scrutinize; 瞰 / 矙 kan - to look,
gape, observe, peep; 窥 kui - to spy upon, look
out for; be on the watch (for), watch, spy; 闚 kui
- to peep, look out for; to look intently, peer; 睽
kui - to stare; to be amazed, surprised; 览 lan - to
look, see, examine, survey; to read, skim through;
瞭 liao - to look afar; to look from a distance; to
look high into the air ; 瞜 lou - to glance, look;
覛 mi/mo - to look askance, to scrutinize; 眄 mian
- to look askance, look asquint; to look, examine;
瞄 miao – to take sight, point, aim; 眸 mou - to
turn one’s eyes, to look; 睨 ni - to look askance/
askew; 盼 pan – to hope, to wait; to look, observe,
examine; 瞟 piao - to look askance, to cast a
sidelong glance; 瞥 pie - to glance over, run one’s
eyes over, cast a cursory glance, cast a glance;
瞧 qiao - to look, dart a glance, examine; to look
furtively; 觑 qu – to covet, to look with desire;
to look from under the brows, to glower; 頣 shen
- to look with raised eyebrows; 视 shi - to look,
examine, observe, peer; 眺 iao - to look into the
distance, to stare fixedly, peer; 望 wang - to look
from a distance, to look upwards; to observe, look
at; xue - to look with fear, to look around; 覞 yao
- to look at each other, to exchange a look; 觎 yu
- to peep, spy; 瞻zhan - to look up, to look from
afar; to look with respect, hope; 瞩 zhu - to peer,
scrutinize; to stare, be all eyes; to have one’s eye
glued to; to peer into the distance.
This group is interesting in two aspects:
first, despite the large number of characters, it
is consistently marked by the pictogram 目 mu eye, or its synonym, the pictogram 臣 chen - eye
in a lateral projection. Second, the quantity of the
lexical units associated with this seme shows very
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Oleg M. Gotlib. Distinctive Features of the Language Picture of the World in Chinese Ethnoconsciousness
high divisibility of semantic segmentation of the
world by Chinese ethnoconsciousness.
The language facts offered for the analysis
certainly do not convey all complexity,
multidimensionality and contradictoriness of this
picture of interrelation between Chinese written
system and the objects of the world. At the same
time, even this rather small array of language
material has shown indubitable connection of
Chinese character’s graphic shell with the world
of things and relations and, therefore, its direct and
consistent participation in formation of semantics
and pragmatics of these relations.
Chinese writing in its present-day condition,
which historically emerged approximately in the
2-nd century B.C., is predominately ideographic
in the sense that the lion’s share of its symbolslogograms is comprised of ideograms, not
pictograms or symbolograms [5: 49-51]. The
relationship between the form and the referent in
symbols of such type has indirect, metaphorical
nature. We can however argue, with all the
language facts presented above testifying to the
same effect, that the said relationship exists, albeit
not as immediate as in the case of pictograms.
There again arises the question about the
lack of motivation in a linguistic symbol, about its
consistent symbolism. Chinese written symbols
are motivated; their form is in many cases directly
connected with the object being designated. And,
Socrates was probably right in his remark from
Plato’s famous dialogue, saying, “If the name is
similar to a thing, it is necessary by nature that the
letters of which the first names were made also be
similar to things. Isn’t this so? I shall assert that
nobody could make what we now call a drawing,
similar to any real thing, if naturally there were no
means that make up a pictorial image, themselves
similar to the things imitated by painting” [9].
Recognizing this characteristic of Chinese
writing ability to “paint” the world while
designating it, we must also recognize the fact that
this phenomenon is directly connected with the
ethnoconsciousness of carriers of these symbols,
that it shapes and in many respects diagnoses it.
Quite relevant in this context seems J. Derrida’s
remark, particularly true for Chinese writing and
Chinese ethnoconsciousness: “A written record
infinitely expresses the Universe, resembles it and
continuously puts it together” [7: 18].
1. C. Hagege, L’homme de paroles. Contribution of linguistics to the humanities (Мoscow: URSS,
2. N. Bohr, Quantum physics and philosophy (Мoscow: Znanie, 1959).
3. I.E. Gelb, A Study of Writing: The Foundations of Grammatology (Мoscow: Raduga, 1982).
4. O.M. Gotlib “Grammatological-semantic research of certain names of actions in Chinese
language”, Matters of Philology, № 2 (14) (2003), p. 8-6.
5. O.M. Gotlib, Grammatological foundations of Chinese writing (Мoscow: AST “Vostok-Zapad”,
6. W. von Humboldt, Selected works on linguistics (Мoscow: Progress, 1984).
7. J. Derrida, Writing and Difference (St. Petersburg: Akademicheski proekt, 2000).
8. A. Dieterich, Kleine Schriften. B (Leipzig: Teubner, 1911).
9. Plato, Dialogues (Мoscow: Mysl, 1985).
10. A.A. Prutskikh, “Structural-semantic analysis of characters with the element “woman””, AKD
(Мoscow, 2003).
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11. Y.S. Stepanov and S.G. Proskurin, Concepts of world culture. Alphabets and alphabetic systems
during the dual faith period (Мoscow: Nauka, 1993).
12. G. Frege, Logic and logical semantics (Мoscow: ASPECT PRESS, 2000).
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Copyright ОАО «ЦКБ «БИБКОМ» & ООО «Aгентство Kнига-Cервис»
Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 54-61
УДК 303.6
Competence in Conflict Resolution
Through Educational Practice
Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Students can be successfully introduced to conflict resolution in the second half of primary school. With
proper educational guidance, they can develop competence in conflict resolution, which includes: a
willingness to overcome difficulties, an ability to reveal the contradictions that form the basis of the
conflict, and possession of the skills necessary to resolve different types of conflict.
Keywords: abilities to conflict, conflict resolution, competence in subject.
Nobody likes the taste of yeast in the dough,
though the yeast made it rise after all.
Stanislav Ezhi Lets
In the course of our research and working
with conflicts we proceed from the assumption
that capacities and abilities to conflict and get the
maximum benefit out of it is the basis for personal
success and social capital formation. In other
words, we consider conflict competence to be the
key one for individual and social development.
This proves the necessity of maximum utilization
of educational resources to assist establishment
of this competence. Meanwhile, we clearly see
that insufficient formulation of relevant tasks for
educational theories and practices is the main
hindrance on the way to effective education.
Conflict theme can be either a kind of
a scarecrow for a practicing teacher, who is
encouraged to avoid conflicts by all possible
means, or it is strongly imposed on a teacher, who
receives recommendations to conduct special
lessons up to introducing separate educational
subjects to be taught starting from primary school
in order to explain a child, as early as possible,
what a conflict is and what is the right way to
behave in conflict situation. This ambivalence
is an important indicator for us, as it reveals the
huge resources contained in the practice of a child
facing educational subject related material through
the intermediary of a teacher, which consequently
represents indirect relationship of childhood and
Thus, we consider one of our tasks to be
provision of conflict competence genesis through
disclosure and special creation of psychologicalpedagogical facilities, already existing in modern
educational practice.
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
I. Correlation between conflict competence
and competence in subject
We believe that the question of possibility
to assist conflict competence genesis can be
raised in the second half of primary school course
already, as it is the period when, according to
development teaching concept and provided
that relevant educational technologies are fully
realized, we have a right to expect the first effects
of educational independence.
In this regard, research devoted to conflict
competence genesis in school inevitably faces the
question of correlation between activity aimed
at development of productive conflict resolution
capacity and activity directly connected with
teaching school subjects proper. This is the
very question we have raised in the context of
correlation between subject and metasubject
education. In this context, conflict competence
acts as an effect of metasubject education. But
its genesis requires the educational material to
be organized in a special way. In this regard, our
research orientation altogether corresponds to
organization of educational tasks within the system
of developmental teaching. At the same time, we
believe that it is possible to detect appearance of
such an effect as conflict competence only using
subject-indifferent material, which enables us
to indicate a person’s capacity or incapacity to
transfer the skill and apply it in unstandarized
Talking about competence, we understand it
(according to J.Raven [1]) as personal efficiency
within the given (imputed) framework of activity.
Prerequisite for display and, apparently, for
appearance of competence is personal pertinence
of activity: “It is important for me to cope with
the task, to succeed in the activity, that is why I
put maximum effort and display my competence”.
If it is not important, not necessary, issue of
competence is out of the question. This means
that we just do not know if a person has it or not,
because a failure in achieving the given result can
be explained not only by lack of skill, but by lack
of motivation for achievement as well.
In the context of education this means that
competence being predefined, imputed according
to the age or a year of study must correspond
or correlate with a child’s aspirations. In other
words, these very aspirations – “I want to know,
to be able to do, to overcome” – in the course of
study transform into personal “I can” and only in
this case we can speak about competence.
It is necessary to emphasize that according
to Raven and some other authors (see also [2; 3] it
is impossible to be competent and not know about
it. This issue raises the questions, which refer to
subject of teaching and formation of capacities.
Is something, which is formed by teachers, and
later on measured and enthusiastically detected by
them, really a competence (or at least a capacity)
of the student or it is the reflected effect of actions
performed by the one, who forms and measures?
In order to organize research program and
project the use of results obtained in the course of
it, we formulate the following key these.
1. Thus, to establish competence it is
necessary for a child to note and detect his own
progression, to register his own transitions from
“me incapable” to “me capable”.
At the same time these “I can”, when
necessary, should be applied not only within
the artificial framework of a school subject. A
subject should transform from something that is
studied into something that is applied and that
really works. Moreover, it should be discovered
by the child himself as something workable and
From our point of view, it is the normal logic
of subject teaching, which is not self-contained,
but serves the purposes of development. There
should be a transition from mastering a subject as
a subject for learning to discovering a subject as
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
a resource, means of working with other subject
(see [4])
2. What is conflict competence? It is a complex
of capacities enabling to resolve contradictions
effectively. In this regard it is important for us that
when we say “resolve” we do not imply ultimacy
of actions, their completeness. What is important
for us, it is the processual features of productive
oriented action with the contradiction and conflicts
representing it. Following our definition of a
conflict as a special organization of activity, as a
form, within which a contradiction is maintained
in the process of its resolution, a person can be
defined as the one possessing conflict competence,
if he has mastered this form and is capable to
distinguish it among any others. And the most
important is that he can detect a contradiction and
possesses the skills of maintaining it.
We suppose and this is a basic assumption,
that the capacity of this type has its own line of
development, which can be built in accordance
with an age. This means that at each age stage
there is a task (imputation!) to generate conflict
competence of a definite level.
3. Variants of correlation between the
dynamics of conflict competence genesis and
subject education:
- doesn’t matter what you teach, it will grow
itself (if you teach well - it will grow to be good, if
you teach badly - it will not be so good);
- it is necessary to teach intentionally and
separately. No difference if it is during separate
lessons or the same ones.
- special organization of subject education,
which constructs connections between different
lines (by “goal - means of achievement” principle
and in reverse direction, when something what
used to be a goal yesterday, today becomes a
means of achieving the new goal).
If we manage to understand the connection
between the actions to transform subject
educational material with the actions, which define
conflict competence, we will understand how to
assist its genesis and help a student to achieve the
new “I can”.
4. Within the model of subject under study
it is important to distinguish three layers of
competence genesis logic.
 Educational subject transformations (the
layer of scientific subject logic and its didactic
organization). The skill of specific normative
transformation is formed within this layer, and
this is the way how norms of organization and
transformations in specific subject culture are
 Conflict (the layer of actions organization
on detection of gaps in one’s own capacities to
perform transformations when they are necessary;
searching and creation of forms to keep the
contradiction for resolution).
 Self-perception (the layer, at which the
connection between the other two takes shape,
which is done by means of experiencing the
transition from “it is necessary” to “I-want-butI-can’t” and further to “I can” accompanied by
confirmation of what exactly “I can” and what
made it possible and will make it possible from
now on)
Capacities are always detected in the
situation of overcoming, but they are confirmed as
capacities and further as a personal competence,
in case their application does not require special
effort and becomes irreversible, impossible to be
Thus, from our point of view, conflict
competence cannot be considered as a separate
goal and result of some special process, as well as
a random effect (bonus) of subject education. It is
established together with competence in subject
and becomes a condition for effectiveness of the
In other words, if we really want to achieve
stable and transferable effects of subject education
together with the same result for behaving in
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
a conflict as a metacapacity (one of the key
competences), it is important to search educational
technologies for connections of these lines in
the connection: “goal – material – means of
transformation”. At the same time, it is impossible
to achieve productivity in a subject as well only
by means of complication and intensification of
subject line.
II. Experimental investigation
of connection between conflict competence
and competence in subject
Thus, components of conflict competence
are the following:
1. Willingness to overcome difficulties
2. Ability to reveal the contradiction, which
forms the basis of the conflict
3. Possession of skills to resolve conflicts of
different types
Being the main means to resolve conflicts,
reflection provides the possibility to transform
the situation of uncertainty into a “task-type”
situation. In other words, it means to arrange the
“circumstances” a person finds himself in into a
construction-conflict, resolution of which will
become resolution of the conflict.
At the final stage of primary school, according
to age tasks and imputations of educational
programs, students can achieve a certain level of
conflict competence, which will enable them to:
1. Effectively resolve conflicts of noneducational subject in the course of group work
(via cooperative formulation of the task and
organization of cooperation)
2. Differentiate and maintain in the scope
of resolution 2 types of transformations: subjectrelated and organizational.
Thus, the task and contribution of primary
school age into formation of conflict competence
consists of 1) acquisition of capacity to distinguish
object matters of transformations (which is the
basic capacity for effective resolution of a conflict
and will further become the basis of distinguishing
between an object and material of the conflict,
further - between interests and intentions of the
parties) and 2) recognition of interaction as a
resource for resolution.
From our point of view, prerequisite for
formation of these capacities is a teacher’s
treating of an educational subject as a means of
activity, rather than an object for exploration and
studying only. In its turn, this is possible only by
organizing such interaction of children during the
lessons, in the context of which an educational
subject is treated only as a ground for cooperation
and its further reflection. We have conducted an
experiment, in the course of which we made an
attempt to:
- create a situation of uncertainty, which
is necessary to overcome (situation of personal
pertinence for the participants)
- detect phenomena of distinguishing
different type of material in group work
- compare, according to these criteria,
students of the classes, where different pedagogical
strategies of educational interaction organization
have been implemented.
The procedure of the experiment was
organized on the following way.
Within the context of a school-wide event
“Remember your classroom” a form master
acquaints a class with a group of adults who will
make a short video about their classroom. To do
this, they will have to select a team of four people,
who will act as scriptwriters and narrators. In
order to select the best team they organize a game,
which will detect the most quick-witted students
and those, who are able to work together as a team.
The rules of the game are the following:
Conductor of the game thinks about a word
indicating some object inside the classroom. Task
of the teams is to figure out the word. Doing
this, they have to follow some rules. A team can
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
ask the conductor some questions, which can be
answered with “yes” or “no” only. Teams take
turns. The first team has 15 tries, i.e. they can ask
15 questions. If they still cannot figure out the
word, the turn goes to another team. They can ask
13 questions. If they do not succeed in making out
the word, the turn goes to the next team, which
has 11 questions. The team, which figures out the
word, is the winner. It gets 1 point. Altogether
there are 3 rounds, order of turns changes in every
round. The team, which gets the most points, is the
winner. Number of questions asked is indicated
on the blackboard.
The whole procedure is recorded; groups
include observers, who keep the minutes of the
Once the first round was finished, students
were given some time to discuss the course of
the game, there were no definite tasks set for this
We have conducted this game in three 4th
grades in the middle of academic year. In total
36 students took part in the experiment. The
classes differed in teaching system applied, as
well as system of pedagogical actions concerning
organization of educational cooperation.
The first group represented the class being
taught according to the traditional teaching
system, and the teacher did not set any tasks for
the development of cooperation skills (hereinafter
- TT)
The second group was the class, representing
developmental teaching system. The teacher
actively applied group and pair wise forms of
work; this was done, however, only to facilitate
an effective digestion of the subject relevant
material. Interaction was not a separate object of
the teacher’s and students’ activity (hereinafter DT).
The third group included students of the
class, where developmental teaching included
a teacher’s purposeful and systematic use of the
form of educational cooperation and realization
of an integral program, aimed at transfer of
interaction skills to the students. Interaction was
discussed as an independent subject within the
educational process (hereinafter – DT+).
Within the given experimental situation we
were interested in the following:
1. Do the students of these classes differ in
selecting the solution strategy?
2. Is it possible to discern differences
in the forms of interaction and ways of its
3. Do students of the final stage of primary
school treat the subject relevant material and
interaction as different objects of activity?
Analysis of the questions asked to the
conductor of the game enabled us to mark out
questions of strategic search and chaotic search.
We referred a question to strategic type, if the
answer obtained defined the further actions of
the team (if the answer is “yes”, we ask about...;
if the answer is “no”, then...). Every question
within the framework of a strategy is linked to
the previous one. Chaotic search is represented by
questions-enumerations, which lack any system
logic and special plan of figuring out some feature
or obtaining some specific information. As a
rule, this type of search is accompanied by active
inspection of the classroom, “visual search”.
Participants just try to guess the word and in most
cases a negative answer bears no information,
except for “we didn’t guess”.
Another type of questions should be
mentioned separately; these are the questions of
pseudoreflexive type. By its form the question can
be referred to a group of objects, it is a try to figure
out some feature, but the content of the question
is referred to a specific object. For instance, a
team asks a question “Is this used to make a
video?” meaning a videocamera, or “Do we use
this to write on the blackboard?” meaning chalk
etc. It should be noted that instructions for the
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
game did not include any restrictions for naming
the object. Only once such questions were the
result of one of students misunderstanding of the
instructions. Cases of pseudoreflexive utterances
were registered in each class with no exception,
in some groups such type was predominant. This
phenomenon means for us that there was a try
of external correspondence with the “right” way
to act without any reflexive attitude towards it.
Having an intuitive1 feeling of “how it should
be”, students seem to act like this, but they do
not apply the method of strategic search. We
register stereotype action following the example
of reflexive operations, which are not mastered as
a method of operation.
Table. Ratio of utterances by type of search
Utterance type
Strategic search, %
Chaotic search, %
Pseudoreflexion, %
The Table represents the percentage ratio of
different types of utterances made by 4th grade
The following results of analysis refer to the
dynamics of search methods in the course of the
game. We remind that the procedure consisted of
three rounds. It was important for us to compare
search methods used in different rounds. In order
to do this, we compared the percentage of strategic
search utterances in all classes starting with the
first round and up to the third.
Results of the comparison are represented by
the graph (Fig. 1).
The graph data make it obvious that the
dynamics of strategic utterances is positive only
in DT+ class. With figures being practically
the same in the first round, which represents
spontaneous activity of children for us, some
significant differences came up towards the third
round. These quantitative indicators made us turn
to analysis of subjective data. The first round
was detected to be of provisional character with
task specifications being understood and some
tries of spontaneous actions being made (chaotic
search). The pause before the second round allows
framing up the problem and proposing the ways
of effective activity. They are realized during the
second round. Effective realization is connected
with distribution of functions within the group
(organization of interaction) and discussion of
solution strategy during the whole time of the
round (subject related transformation). In this case
by the beginning of the third round strategy starts
to dominate and percentage of chaotic utterances
considerably decreases.
In case of orientation in task specifications in
the first round being unsuccessful and discussion
of possible ways being just a formality, increase
of strategic utterances percentage in the second
round is followed by decrease up to the initial
level by the third round. We see the reason of it in
failing to realize agreements within the team. We
consider it to be a sign of students knowing “how
it should be”, trying to do so, but not keeping it
in their own activity. We dare to suppose that,
in case of the teacher being present and him
organizing the work, these attempts would have
had continuation. Thus, students of DT class can
face some difficulties and try to overcome them,
but they are not able to keep to reflexive position
during group interaction.
We make a conclusion about intuitive feeling, basing on the fact that there was no case of a group discussing such type of
questions as adequate, effective or ineffective. That means that this way of operation was not comprehended, but was rather
a case of acting by stereotype.
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
1 round
2 round
3 round
DT +
Fig. 1. Dynamics of strategic search in the course of the ga
We have also discovered significant
differences in forms of interaction in different
classes. In this case during the first round
almost all groups demonstrate direct interaction
“individual participants – conductor” and a group
does not function as an organized team. Further,
after extension of task specifications definition
and formulating the method of solution, some
other forms appear in DT classes. In the first
class we observed predominance of “individual
participants – leader – conductor” interaction,
and this form of interaction is kept until the end
of the game. Thus, there is some organization of
the work and questions are not asked at random.
This means that, if we judge by formal features,
the group is structured and some method of
operation is worked out. This method, however, is
not coordinated with the content of subject related
transformation (though the group is organized, this
organization does not serve the task of defining
the way of searching).
In DT+ class this stage is practically not
observed, individual actions in the first round
are followed by group discussion of the solution
strategy, which then defines the form of interaction.
Further the group discusses and makes a decision
about the question to be asked altogether.
This allows us to make a conclusion
that distinguishing of two types of material
(interaction and subject related transformation)
is a key efficiency factor in this experiment. We
see phenomena of such distinguishing in the
work of DT+ class students. This means that it is
possible for students of the final stage of primary
school to distinguish and maintain two layers of
educational interaction. And this does not require
organization of special subjects or meta-subjects,
as a corresponding level of competence is an
effect of full realization of educational activity.
With special organization of educational
subject discreetness by a teacher, with considering
it as means for other activity realization, students
of the final stage of primary school are mostly
effective in overcoming situations of uncertainty
and group solution of a conflict.
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Boris I. Khasan and Tatiana I. Privalikhina. Competence in Conflict Resolution Through Educational Practice
1. J. Raven, Competence in Modern Society: Its Identification, Development and Release (Moscow,
Kogito-Centre, 2002).
2. J. Kristiansen, “Profession of a Human Factors Engineer”, in The Human Factor. ed. by G.Salvendi,
vol. 1 (Moscow: Mir, 1991).
3. A.K. Markova, Psychology of Professionalism (Moscow: Znaniye, 1996).
4. B.I. Khasan, “Borders of Competences: Pedagogical Imputations and Age Aspirations. Development
Pedagogics: Key Competences and Their genesis”, Proceedings of the 9th Scientific-Practical
Conference (Krasnoyarsk, 2003).
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Igor E. Kim. Levy-Bruhl’s Concept of Participation and the Indirect Use of Relation Nouns…
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 62-69
УДК 410
Levy-Bruhl’s Concept of Participation and the Indirect Use
of Relation Nouns in the Russian Language
Igor E. Kim*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
The paper discusses various ways of expressing the linguistic category of participation. The concept of
participation was introduced into cultural anthropology by L. Levy-Bruhl. Participation is concerned
with people’s feelings towards objects around them, as well as with the evaluation of the object’s relation to the speaker. The category can be expressed by a variety of means in the Russian language. This
article argues that the indirect use of Russian relation nouns (drug ‘friend’, brat ‘brother’ etc.) is most
comprehensively explained by the theory of participation.
Keywords: linguistic category of participation, Russian relation nouns, Russian language
On the history of participation
This paper deals with the problem of
expressing the category of participation in the
Russian language.
The concept is very important for Russian
ethnic culture; however, until recently scholars
have not been able to find the means of its
expression in the Russian language.
The author tries, therefore, to demonstrate
the variety of means used to express participation
in the Russian language and to indicate why
they were so difficult to discover. The concept
of participation is often expressed indirectly, by
means of transpositions. The most important of
these are the transpositions of the grammatical
forms of person and the indirect use of relation
The concept of participation was introduced
into cultural anthropology by L. Levy-Bruhl [11,
12, 13]. He used the concept to explain the ways of
thinking in traditional cultures and compared them
to modern scientific thinking based, according to
L. Levy-Bruhl, on the principle of contradiction.
According to the author,
connections created between the person and other
phenomena of the physical world. This relation
can be represented as some internal intimacy
between the subject and object of the relation,
the importance of the object for the subject. A
person is a part of his/her environment and
things of the world are parts of the person. These
connections are quite stable, but not static. Magic
actions change or reproduce participations and
taboo violations destroy them. The process is
E-mail address:
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similar to that of manipulation with objects, to
creative, reproductive processes and destructive
processes, respectively. Participation seems to be
actualized in magic actions and taboo violations
both positively and negatively (positively for the
former case and negatively for the latter case).
Participation is a specific category for
traditional cultures and for the traditional layers
in the cultures of “civilized” people, in particular,
Russian people. It can be revealed in people’s
day-to-day behaviour and their language.
The concept of participation was introduced
into Russian linguistics by V.S. Khrakovsky and
A.P. Volodin in their monograph “Imperative
Typology. Russian Imperative”. The authors
describe specific examples of the inclusive
imperative (1st person plural), representing
the joint actions of a speaker and an addressee
(addressees) to demonstrate the addressee’s
action, e.g.:
A teper’, deti, davajte zapišem domašnee
zadanie ‘Now, children, let’s write down your
home work’
The authors call it a “participation effect”:
“The speaker willingly simulates his intention
to perform the caused event together with the
addressee/addressees” [6].
The concept of participation hasn’t been
widely used in linguistics.
Lexis and grammar
to express participation
Russian linguistic categories used to express
participation are as follows:
1. Predicates and their derivatives directly
denoting different types of participation
‘participating’ / sopričastnost’ ‘participation’,
rodnoj ‘own’ / rodstvo ‘relation’ / rodstvennyj
‘relative’, blizkij ‘intimate’ / blizost’ ‘intimacy’,
ljubit’ ‘to love’ / ljubov’ ‘love’, simpatizirovat’
‘to like’ / simpatija ‘liking’, družit’ ‘to be friends’
/ družba ‘friendship’ / družnyj / družestvennyj
‘friendly’, bratstvo ‘brotherhood’, etc., e.g.:
Davajte že rabotat’ I žit’ kak v Evrope, a
dumat’ i družit’ po-russki ‘Let’s work and live
according to European standards but think and
make friends according to Russian standards’ (D.
Severskij. Introduction. In: Domovoj, 04.03.2002.
– The National Russian Corpus www.ruscorpora.
ru (NRC).
Participation predicates are closely connected
to the predicates causing participation: privleč’ ‘to
attract’, priblizit’ ‘to approach’, vyzvat’ doverije
‘to gain one’s confidence’, očarovat’ ‘to charm’,
Ona bystro s nim spravilas’, očarovala…
‘She managed to make him love her. She charmed
him into loving her’ (I. Grekova. The masters of
life. (1960) – NRC).
2. Vocabulary and grammar means to express
possession. In fact, alienable possession is both
a social and personal relation, as the connection
between the possessor and the possessed is biased,
arbitrary and maintained by social establishments,
on the one hand, and the possessor’s internal
(psycho-mental) feeling, on the other hand. The
sentence Daj moju ručku ‘Give (me) my pen’
suggests that addressee have some physical
contact with the object, but the “invisible” feeling
of possession is ascribed to the speaker.
However, it is often the case when possession
implies other relations which are mostly described
by participation. For instance, my father is not
the object of possession despite the use of a
possessive pronoun. The relation of kinship is the
participation. For instance, a formal refusal to be
a mother or a father, annulment is a social break
in the kinship relation, while an informal break
in kinship between children, parents and relatives,
for example, by the following statement means a
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break of an informal relation, even if it is only
Ty mne ne syn (doč’, otec, mat’, brat, sestra)
‘You are not my son (daughter, father, mother,
brother, sister)’.
3. Some means to express evaluation, in
particular, diminutives [18, see also 20]:
Ne ugostiš’ tabač-k-om? ‘Will you treat me
with your nice little tobacco bar?’ (-k- is the suffix
of diminutive-hypocoristic).
The author of the sentence expresses
his participation with the addressee with the
diminutive tabačok. The connection between
participation and estimation has been discussed in
detail in [8].
4. Personal deixis. Various transpositions of
the linguistic person allow us either to claim the
participation of the grammatical subject with the
speaker or to disclaim it.
It can be said that a communicative
(pragmatic) situation does not only create the
conditions to express participation for the speaker
and the addressee, or the speaker and the object
of his speech, but can also be considered a kind
of a world model. The model suggests that the
speaker, the author of a statement is in the centre
of the universe, the addressee (his communicative
partner) is in his communicative environment,
being the closest object of his communicative
reality. The communicative reality involves also
other actors who are beyond the communication
(characters). These positions are marked by the
1st, 2nd and 3rd persons. The speaker, addressee
and other actors can be plural, in that case they
are expressed by the corresponding person plural.
This is the standard, primary use of personal
pronouns. The 1st person plural also means two
combinations of communicative roles: the author
+ the addressee(s) (so called, inclusive), the author
+ character(s) (so called, exclusive). Both options
are considered a standard use.
It is important to distinguish between the
grammatical category and the communicative
role of a person, as they can be used indirectly,
in a transposition. V.G. Gak defines transposition
as “the use of a grammatical form in the function
of another grammatical form as another member
of the paradigm” [5]. The concept of the
transposition is widely used in the morphology
of the verb, where transpositions are often the
case, e.g. [4]. Transpositions of the grammatical
category of the person suggest the use of personal
grammatical forms to denote such participants of
a pragmatic situation which are usually revealed
by other grammatical forms. The transpositions
of personal grammatical forms considered in the
paper suggest the shift of communicative roles
(their characteristics and hierarchy) from the
communicative situation to the image of the world
in the speaker’s consciousness. Thus, the speaker
and, consequently, the grammatical form of the 1st
person represent the speaker’s self-consciousness
(H.-N. Castaneda), his ego-sphere; the addressee
and the grammatical form of the 2nd person are
exceedingly close to the speaker; the characters
expressed by the grammatical forms of the 3rd
person do not have any personal relations with the
In terms of the category of participation, two
types of transpositions can be distinguished.
The first shift is that of the personal
grammatical form described by I.I. Kovtunova
[9]. The grammatical form of the 1st person can
be shifted to the grammatical form of the 2nd or
3rd person, the 2nd person can be shifted to the 3rd
person, the 3rd person can be shifted to the 2nd
The 1st person represents the author’s egosphere, which is not subject to transpositions.
The transpositions of the 2nd person (when the
speaker or the character is represented by the 2nd
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person) express the participation of the denoted
object in the speaker. The transpositions of the
3rd person (when the speaker or the addressee is
represented by the 3rd person) demonstrate the loss
of the actor’s participation in the corresponding
communicative role in the speaker.
The second shift is that from the singular to
the plural grammatical form. Such transpositions
express the shift of informal/formal relations
between the speaker and the figure behind the
grammatical form. This transposition is connected
to the category of participation (to the personal
sphere). It is described by Yu.D. Apresyan [1].
The shift of the person can be considered the
strongest one of the two shifts, as it is related to
the shift in communicative roles.
Transpositions can generally be represented
as follows: grammatical forms of the 1st person
singular (self-consciousness, ego-sphere) →
grammatical forms of the 1st person plural → 2nd
person singular (participation) → 2nd person plural
→ 3rd person (no personal relation). However,
taking into account the two types of shift, the
distribution of the grammatical forms can be more
detailed (see the Table).
The most important transpositions are as
1) 2nd person singular → 1st person plural.
The transposition is often related to the author’s
social role.
– conductor’s “my” (“my” ‘we’ used by
Russian conductors):
Dveročki ne zagoraživa-em (We-inclusive)!
‘Let’s don’t stand in the doorway!’)
Potorop-im (We-inclusive)-sja! ‘Let’s hurry
Knopočki nažima-em (We-inclusive) pered
ostanovkoj! ‘Let’s use buttons before stops!’.
– policeman’s or the military “my”:
– Naruša-em (We-inclusive)? ‘– Are we
violating the rules?’)
– Čto tut dela-em (We-inclusive) “What are
we doing here?” (A. Kim. Sobirateli trav ‘Herb
– doctor’s «my»:
– Nu kak my sebja čuvstvu-em (Weinclusive)? ‘Well, how are we feeling?’
– cameraman’s “my”:
– Tol’ko na Ženju smotr-im (We-inclusive)
‘Let’s look at Genya’ (a cameraman. Prima TV
channel, camera work. Krasnoyarsk, November
2) 3rd person → 2nd person and a poetic form
of address:
O Volga!.. kolybel’ moja! Ljubil li kto tebja,
kak ja? ‘Oh, Volga, my cradle! Did anybody love
you as strongly as I do?’ (N. Nekrasov. Na Volge
‘At the Volga’).
3) 2nd person singular ↔ 2nd person plural:
[Samanta, 2005.02.19.
00:51.] Marija
Nikolaevna, no ona menja vela, a kto spasal ne
pomnju. A ty (Vy) tože tam? Davno? ‘She was
Table. Distribution of personal grammatical forms and pronouns
1st person
2nd person
Ja idu
Ty idёš
‘I am going’
‘You are going’
My idёm
‘We are going’
– 65 –
3rd person
On idёt
‘He is going’
Vy idёte
‘You are going’
Oni idut
‘They are going’
No relation
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my doctor, I don’t remember who saved me. And
you (singular/plural) are also there, aren’t you?’
([Krasota, zdorov’e, otdyx: Mediсina i zdorov’e //
Forum on, 2005] – NRC).
4) 2nd person → 3rd person:
Kakie сeli stavjat pered soboj Lina
Krasnoruсkaja i Šamil’ Tarpiščev ‘What aims
do Šamil’ Tarpiščev and Lina Krasnoruсkaja
set’? Sport za nedelju (Sports Weekly). RTR,
8.10.2000; interview with Šamil’ Tarpiščev and
Lina Krasnoruсkaja, an interviewer’s question).
The system of transpositions for grammatical
forms of the person is discussed in detail in [7].
5. Some nouns denoting people: drug
‘friend’, sosed ‘neighbour’ and kinship terms.
They are called relation nouns [2: 233-248; 3:
61-62]. They have some meaning or potency of
participation. Such words can only be used with
possessive adjectives or, sometimes, relative
pronouns or nouns in the genitive case: moj drug
‘my friend’, sosed Ivanova ‘Ivanov’s neighbour’,
eё brat ‘her brother’.
Relation nouns have obligatory semantic or
syntactic valency of a possessor, which indicates
the object of participation. It means that even if the
position of the possessor is vacant, the possessor
is still present. In this case, the phenomenon of the
syntactic zero [15] can be observed. Depending
on the pragmatic situation and the semantics of
the sentence, there are various zero possessors,
1) participant of a pragmatic situation, for
example, the speaker or the addressee:
Kak Ø otec? ‘How’s (your) Father’
(Colloquial speech in Krasnoyarsk, 1998, author’s
b) proposition subject:
Kak pomoč Ø tovarišču? ‘How Ø (you) to
help (your) comrade’ (Soldat udači ‘Soldier of
fortune’. 2004. – NRC)
Relation nouns also include words which
express stable connections between people:
1) kinship (babuška ‘grandmother’, muž
‘husband’, vnuk ‘grandson’, etc);
2) spatial intimacy (zemljak ‘fellowcountryman’, sosed ‘neighbour’),
3) professional unity (kollega ‘colleague’,
odnokašnik ‘fellow-student’),
emotional bonds (drug ‘friend’,
sweetheart etc.).
These words express an objective relation
with somebody else but they can also express
and often do express participation, especially as
a form of address.
Indirect use of relation nouns
to address
Relation nouns express participation
explicitly when used in a transposition, indirectly,
as a form of address:
Tam, brat... poxuže dela byli ‘There were
worse things there, brother’ (V. Šukšin. Gore
When an addressee is called the speaker’s
friend, brother or father without being in such a
relation, this form of address shows a shift from
an objective relation to participation:
– Daj ešče vypit’, oteс. ‘I’d like to have one
more drink, father’ (V. Šukšin. Oxota žit’ (I Want
to Live)).
Participation is also actualized when a
kinship term is a form of address:
JA očen’ tebja ljublju, oteс, ne serdis’ na
menja, no ja uezžaju odna ‘I love you so much,
father, but don’t be angry with me, I am leaving
alone’ ([Evgenij Švarс. Obyknovennoe čudo ‘A
Simple Miracle’ (1956)]. – NRC).
The speaker uses address to establish
communicative contact with the addressee. And
use of the relation noun as address allows us to
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establish some additional personal contact, as if
the addressee were the speaker’s actual friend,
brother or fellow-countryman.
Indirect forms of address are represented by
the words of the following semantic classes:
1) kinship terms are widely used:
– Nu, brat Vanja, xorošo, xorošo! ‘Well,
brother Vanya, it’s good!’ (F. Dostoevskij.
Unižennye i oskorblennye (The Insulted and
– Šumim, bratсy, šumim? Zdravstvujte! ‘Are
we being noisy, brothers? Good afternoon!’
(Vasilij Šukšin. Master ‘Master’).
– Ty mne ponravilsja, synok
‘I like
you, sonny’ (Marijskaja pravda (Joškar-Ola),
2003.01.10. – NRC);
– Ty podoždi, mat’! ‘Will you wait, mother?’
(V. Šukšin. Materinskoe serdсe ‘A Mother’s
– Nagnи́s’ ko mne, doča ‘Get closer to me,
daughter’ (I. Grekova. Perelom (1987). – NRC).
Indirect forms of address involve terms of
close relation only. A. Wierzbicka describes the
difference between “kinsfolk” and “relatives” [19].
According to A. Wierzbicka, some components of
the words’ meaning can be interpreted as follows:
“these people are like part of me”, “I am like part
of these people”, “when I think of these people
I feel something very good». These components
reflect the participation of the speaker in the
people whom he considers his kinsfolk.
2) The noun zemljak ‘fellow-countryman’,
which is a widely used word of spatial intimacy
and derived hypocoristic words zёma, zemelja:
– Zdravstvuj, zemljak! ‘Hello, fellowcountryman!’ ([Viktor Kordovskij. I dva «Oskara»
v pridaču ‘Two “Oscars” to add’. // Vestnik SŠA,
2003.10.15. – NRC);
– Ty čё, zёma? ‘What’s the matter,
fellow-countryman?’ ([O. Gladov. Ljubov’
strateničeskogo naznačenija ‘Strategic love’
(2000–2003)]. – NRC);
– Zemelja, zakurit’ est’? ‘Will you give me
a smoke, fellow-countryman?’ (B. Khazanov.
Dalekoe zrelišče lesov ‘A distant view of the
forest’ (1998). – NRC).
The relations expressed by the term zemljak
can cover a wide area of space. It may be somebody
living in the same town with the possessor or in the
same country or somebody representing the same
nationality. All this allows the speaker to use the
word zemljak without causing a negative reaction.
This is the reason why these words are often used
to express participation in the addressee and are
used as a form of address.
3) the words used to express emotional
bonds, such as the common drug ‘friend’, prijatel’
‘mate’, tovarišč ‘comrade’:
Ja umeju pristat’ k slučajnomu proxožemu
– pomogi, mol, drug ‘I am quite able to start a
talk with a complete stranger – will you help me,
friend’ (V. Makanin. Andegraund, ili geroj našego
vremeni ‘Underground or the Hero of Our Time’
(1996–1997). – NRC);
– Nu čto, prijatel’? Neuželi snova proigral?
‘Well, my friend? Have you lost your game?’
(Kollekсija anekdotov: sport (1970–2000). –
Vy sami-to voevali, tovarišč? – sprosil
pod koneс Mixajlo ‘Have you been to the war,
comrade? – asked Mikhailo in the end’ (V.
Shukshin. Moj zjat’ ukral mašinu drov ‘My Sonin-law Stole a Truck of Timber’).
According to A. Wierzbicka, the model
of “friendship” in the Russian culture differs
significantly from a similar model in Western
culture. First, Russians consider friendship to be
a more intensive and close relationship. Second,
friendship is much more important for Russians
than for British people or Americans. The English
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word friend corresponds to the Russian words
drug, podruga, tovarišč, prijatel’ and znakomyj.
The order of the words shows the degree of
feelings’ intensity [19]. Correspondingly, the
address friend demonstrates participation,
comrade is neutral, while fellow, on the contrary,
establishes some distance between the speaker
and the addressee.
As can be seen from the examples, the words
from the three groups are normally used as a form
of address with zero possessor.
The relation noun tovarišč comrade as a
form of address is of special interest. This form
of address was considered standard and neutral
in Soviet society. This noun was the opposite
of the noun citizen which, as a form of address,
was stylistically marked, formal and opposite of
relation nouns marked as colloquial.
Tovarišč, as a form of address, has its origin
in the speech of Bolshevik party members. In this
context, tovarišč, as a form of address, adequately
expressed the implied attitude. The idea of party
solidarity, friendship and equality was widely
spread among party members. Later, the concept
of solidarity shifted from the party level to the
level of the state. Cf. the dictionary explanation
of the word comrade: “1. A person who shares
the same opinions, activity, life conditions, etc …
2. A person who is a member of Soviet society
or a citizen of a socialist country (generally used
as a form of address, when speaking about one’s
profession, title” [14] “2. A person connected
to somebody because he shares his activities,
professional occupations 3. A person connected to
somebody by the emotional bonds of friendship;
4. A revolutionary workers’ party member; 5. A
citizen, person in Soviet society ” [16].
M. Krongauz describes the word tovarišč,
stressing the difficulties which arise when
translating the word into other languages [10].
However, he does not discuss the important aspect
of participation implied by this form of address
as the opposite of more formal address, such as
mister or citizen. These forms of address actualize
the addressee’s social background. For instance,
employees working in courts and prisons were
instructed not to use comrade when speaking to
prisoners. The word citizen was considered more
appropriate in this context.
Participation can be expressed by a combination
of a relation noun and a proper name. For instance,
I.V. Utekhin writes about a specific feature peculiar
to communication between neighbours sharing
the same apartment (kommunalka). Younger
neighbours may call older neighbours their “home”
names, e.g. djadja Petja ‘Uncle Petya’, tetja Katja
‘Aunt Katya’. Such names can be remnants of the
time when the speaker was a child and called his
neighbours according to the etiquette of popular
speech [18: 125].
The nouns djadja ‘uncle’ and tetja ‘aunt’ can
mean 1) kinship (a relative’s name); 2) the names of
adults in children’s speech. Semantic intersection
is caused by a semantic component meaning “not
a child, adult in relation to the speaker” which is
present in both nouns. However, there is no such
a component when the speaker himself is an adult.
In this case, the semantic component meaning
a relative is actualized, with this component
embracing the concept of participation. Thus, a
semantic transposition can be observed, that is, a
kinship name is indirectly used, and this implies
participation. There is semantic agreement with
the second part of this name – proper hypocoristic
Thus, participation seems to be mostly
expressed by anomalous linguistic means, that is,
transpositions and semantic shifts. The Russian
language has few specific means to directly
express this relationship.
Participation is a hidden, “invisible”
relationship. It is revealed by actions, behaviour,
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verbal and non-verbal signs with some
primary meaning. Nevertheless, regular use of
transpositions and semantic shifts proves that
spiritual intimacy, participation is as important for
Russians as biological kinship. The former means
that the participation is inherent to the Russian
social structure.
1. Ju. D. Apresjan, “Deixis in Lexis and Grammar and “Naïve” World Picture”, Semiotics and
Informatics, 28 (1986), 5-53.
2. N.D. Arutjunova, On the Problem of the Functional Types of a Lexical Meaning: Aspects of
Semantic Research (Moscow: Nauka, 1980), 156-249.
3. N.D. Arutjunova, “Evaluation in Life and Language”, in Language and the World of Man, ed. by
N.D. Arutjunova 2nd ed. (Moscow: Jazyki russkoj kul’tury, 1999), 130-274.
4. A.V. Bondarko, Tense and Aspect of the Russian Verb, Its Meaning and Usage (Moscow: Nauka,
5. V.G. Gak, “Transposition”, in Linguistic Encyclopedic Dictionary (Moscow: Sov. enсiklopedija, 1990),
6. V. Khrakovsky and A. Volodin, Semantics and Typology of Imperative. Russian Imperative
(Leningrad: Nauka, 1986).
7. I.E. Kim, “Personal Deixis and Personal Sphere”, Annual Review of Russian Linguistics, 1(8)
(Krasnojarsk, 2006a), 56-67.
8. I.E. Kim, “Evaluation and Personal Sphere.”, Philology and Journalism 2006, Krasnoyarsk State
University (Krasnojarsk, 2006b), 51-57.
9. I.I.Kovtunova, Poetic Syntax (Moscow: Nauka, 1986).
10. M.A. Krongauz, Semantics (Moscow, 2001).
L. Levy-Bruhl, Les fonctions mentales dans les sociétés inférieures (P.: Felix Alcan, 1910).
L. Levy-Bruhl, La mentalité primitive (P.: Felix Alcan, 1922).
L. Levy-Bruhl, Le surnaturel et la nature dans la mentalité primitive (P.: Felix Alcan, 1931).
S.I. Ozhegov, Dictionary of the Russian Language, 16th ed. (Moscow: Russskij jazyk, 1984).
E. Paducheva, On Semantics of Syntax: Materials to Transformational Grammar of the Russian
Language (Moscow: Nauka, 1974).
Dictionary of the Russian Language, in 4 volumes. AN SSSR, Int rus. jaz. 2nd ed. (Moscow:
Russkij jazyk, 1981-1984).
N.F. Spiridonova, “Russian Diminutives: Formation and Meaning”, Proceedings of the International
Workshop “Dialogue’97. Computer Linguistics and Its Applications”. Moscow, Jasnaja poljana,
10-15.06.1997, p. 264-265.
I.U. Utekhin, Studies of Communal Life, 2nd ed. (Moscow: OGI, 2004).
A. Wierzbicka, Understanding Cultures Through Their Key Words: English, Russian, Polish,
German, Japanese (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997).
Wierzbicka A. The Russian Language. In: Wierzbicka, A. Semantics, culture and cognition:
Universal human concepts in culture-specific cofigurations (New York: Oxford University Press,
1992), p. 395-441.
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Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 70-76
УДК 930.1(T2-575)
Stone and Ceramic Tools from Ust-Shilka-2,
a Hill-fort of the Early Iron Age
Galina F. Korobkova, Pavel V. Mandryka and Pavel V. Volkov*
Siberian Federal University, Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia
Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Siberian branch of RAS,
Ac. Lavrentiev’s av., 17, Novosibirsk, 630090 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
This article examines only the stone and ceramic tools from a fully studied hill-fort of the early Iron
Age. These tools are from the Shilka culture and are dated from between the 5th – 2nd centuries BC.
Keywords: complex Ust-Shilka 2, artifacts, anvil, universal tool, hammers, pestle, sharpening stones,
smother, tool for correction surfaces.
Complex Ust-Shilka 2 is arranged 200 km
to the North of Krasnoyarsk near the Kazachinsk
rapid on 17-meters cape of the right bank of
Yenisey near an estuary of the Shilka river
(Mandryka 2006). During eight field seasons,
1244 square meters were excavated by Mandryka,
in which chronological and cultural assemblages
from Mesolithic to the late period of Middle Age
were found.
The fortified part of the one-square capeshaped hill-fort occupied the highest northern
part of near estuary’s bank and had five-corner
shape. From the West and North it was torn off
by slope of the terrace and from the East and
South it was restricted by a wall, which was set
in a moat (trench). The general size of the hillfort was about 900 square meters. There were
three deepened rectangular dwellings (sizes were
6.3×4.6 m, 7.0×4.6 m, 6.4×4.8 m) in one line in
the centre of the fortified area. A passage with a
shape of a 3-meters rupture of wall was arranged
on southern side of the fortified area. A deepened
rectangular structure (2.8×3.1 m) was built near
this passage and over the hill-fort’s walls.
All artifacts are correlated with each other
typologically; even if they are from different
objects or parts of a cultural layer. Moreover, some
vessels are restored (partly or fully) with fragments
that were found in different points of the hill-fort.
Detailed observations shows that all subjects and
materials of settlement can be considered united
chronological and cultural complex that did not
exist for an extended period.
An insignificant share of the implements
consists of metallic artifacts (a bronze raised-back
knife with an openwork handle and ending in
symmetrical stylized images of griffon’s heads, a
fragment of a flat bronze arrowhead, iron raisedback knife and an iron awl with four flat sides point
and round part for implant) and bones (unfinished
arrowhead and broken-off rhombic ones, punch
and point). But the principle set of tools is of a
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Galina F. Korobkova, Pavel V. Mandryka and Pavel V. Volkov. Stone and Ceramic Tools from Ust-Shilka-2…
stone and ceramic subjects. Their trassological
analysis done by G. F. Korobkova and P. V.
Volkov allowed their use by the inhabitants of
the hill-fort to be determined. The base of this
study was diagnostic signs distinguished for
establishment functions of ceramic and stone
tools and later objects (Bronze Age — Middle
Ages) and the character of the material treated
by them [4]. Fifty-five objects were examined
by microscope, traces of work saved on their
surfaces. As a result of this microanalysis, some
functional groups were distinguished.
Fishing tools
The fishing tools consist of a stone screen and
rod sinks with notches made by a pointed technique
(77 specimens). All of them are of one type and
made from flat round stones, and have two notches
on both sides for tying. The sizes of the sinks are
varied (from 3,0×4,5×1,0 cm to 9,0×10,0×4,5
cm). Their different sizes and weights (from 20
to 100 g) show whether they were used for nets or
other fishing instruments. Light sinks could be tied
to fishing rods because their weight was scarcely
effective for net drawing. These objects were
found both in places, where dwellings had been,
and in the cultural layer outside of them. In the
first dwelling four sinks lay near a hearth. There
were 16 sinks in the second one, six of them were
found near the hearth and ten were on shelves and
floor. The other sinks were found outside.
Cooking stones
More than 100 specimens of cooking stones
were found. On their outer surfaces remained
traces of burning (black soot or coloured spots).
Moreover, many stones have chaotic cracks
formed not by mechanical means, but by high
temperatures. According to these signs, they had
been used to warm liquids in ceramics vessels
in order to cook. It is possible that they could
sometimes be used as fishing sinks, but their
patterns of cracking could have been caused by a
fire in the hill-fort. Need to take into account, that
smoked whole and cracked stones are noted on all
parts of excavated square and often lay in group,
what shows that cooking was realized with stones
for warming. It is especially important that they
lay among ceramic pieces, it is supplementary
evidence of their appointment as warming stones
for cooking.
Tools for grinding hard
and soft materials
A pestle found in the first dwelling was
made from stone with big-grain’s structure. It has
lengthy round shape of blunt part and brightly
expressed wide working flat for hit and friction.
Sizes of implement are 7.6×12.3×6.0 cm (p.
1:10). Friction’s traces of micro relief and typical
for pestles for grinding grain lined scratches can
be seen on it.
The hammer from the third dwelling was
made from brick stone with rounded corners at
the rectangular section with two working surfaces.
One of them is narrow and has traces of beating.
The second blunt end had been used for treating
and breaking away hard material. The implement
size is 15.0×7.5×5.0 cm (p. 1:3).
One massive tool for hitting was found in
cultural layer of the hill-fort. It was made from
lengthened ellipsoid stone, the edges of which had
been mounted by transversal chopping. Traces of
beating were found on the transversal sides of tool.
These are typical for hitting implements that had
been used for hard material (for example, stones).
Its size is 24.0×8.3×5.1 cm (p. 1:8).
The transversal end of the stone tool with
round-ellipsoid shape was mounted on one side
for chopping. It had traces of breaking, rumpling,
beating, blunting which show that it could be used
for chopping hard materials, for example, bones.
It was found in the cultural layer near the wall of
the hill-fort.
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Galina F. Korobkova, Pavel V. Mandryka and Pavel V. Volkov. Stone and Ceramic Tools from Ust-Shilka-2…
Fig. 1. Stone tools from Ust-Shilka-2 hill-fort: 1 – anvil; 2 – universal tool (hammer-sharpener-smoother); 3-9 –
hammers; 10 – pestle; 11-16, 18, 19 – sharpening stones; 17 – smother; 20 – tool for correcting surfaces
Tools for treating metallic artifacts
An anvil, found in the third dwelling, is a
massive, round, flat stone with sharpened edges
and narrowed ends. Traces of blows and metallic
brilliant are found in the centres of both flats.
It was used for forging implements from soft
metal. The lateral edges of the stone were used
and possibly the narrowed ends were used too.
Therefore it is a universal anvil, on which both
big and small implements were forged. Sizes of
subject are 27.0×16.0×8.0 cm (p. 1:1).
The universal tool from the first dwellings
was made from bricks lengthened stone of a
rectangular section shape, which had been formed
by the pointed technique. Moreover, some sides
had been polished. One end of tool is straight,
slightly convex, with traces of breakage left from
forging implements from soft metal. Its lateral
side had been used for this purpose as well. The
other end of the tool is slanted and polished. The
surface is polished and well smoothed, and saves
metallic brilliant. The character of sign of wear
down is typical for smoothers and straighteners,
which were used for rolling sheets of metal and
smoothing them after forging. The same work
signs are noted on the tools end. Moreover, narrow
grooves and scratches with metallic brilliant and
smooth surface, which were formed because of
grinding of sharp metallic implements, such as
needles or awls, are noticed on one wide side.
The tool is 5.0×29.0×2.5 cm (p. 1:2). Therefore,
the tool was used as a hammer for forging, as a
smoother and straightener for rolling sheets of
metal, and an abrasive for sharpening the working
ends of metallic needles and awls.
The stone hammer with a cylindrical shape for
cold forging soft metal (bronze) has two straight
working ends. Small signs of chopping around
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Galina F. Korobkova, Pavel V. Mandryka and Pavel V. Volkov. Stone and Ceramic Tools from Ust-Shilka-2…
Fig. 2. Scrapers for treating hides: 1-18 – stone, another – ceramics
the working square, traces of pointed pressing and
signs of heavy rubbing and the rinsing of micro
relief show that it was used (p. 1:6). The size of
the tool, found in the third dwelling, is 8.5×4.3×3.5
The second stone hammer with a cylindrical
shape and the same signs of wear on the ends of
tool was also used for forging metallic implements.
It was found in the layer behind the walls of the
hill-fort. Its size is 9.5×4.2×3.5 cm (p. 1:9).
The third hammer is conditionally considered
not to show signs of use, it was noted in the
cultural layer of the hill-fort. It was made from
a lengthened ellipsoid flat stone. The artifact
was formed by chopping on all edges. Its size is
5.3×9.4×2.0 cm (p. 1:5).
The fourth hammer found in the first dwelling,
was made of a split-lengthened ellipsoid stone.
Signs of pointed blows and some beating are seen
on both working ends. Its size is 3.0×15.0×3.4 cm
(p. 1:4).
The fifth stone hammer has the shape of a
rectangular parallelepiped. It has the same traces
of use described above. It was used for forging
of metallic artifacts, it was found near the wall of
the second dwelling. Its size is 5.2×7.2×3.5 cm
(p. 1:7).
A collection of stone tools, which were used
for mounting, sharpening and directing metallic
implements. They are different abrasives and
smoothers. In one case for these aims one flat
of stone with leaf-shape was used. Sizes of this
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tool which was found in cultural layer outside
settlement’s walls are 10.0×5.0×1.3 cm (p. 1:20).
The second object from this set is a smoother.
It is a stone with a slanted round shape and has
a handle. Working flat is arranged on lower end,
straight, smooth and well-polished with metallic
brilliance. Its traces of wear show that it was used
for rolling sheets of soft metal or straightening the
surface of metallic implements after forging. Its
size is 4.0×7.5×2.5 (p. 1:17). It was found near
the disc-shape sharpening stone in the second
A whole set of stones was used as abrasives
for sharpening metal implements.
One sharpening stone (hone) with the
shape of a flat rectangular plate restored from 15
fragments, lay on the northern “shoulder” of the
second dwelling place among burnt bones. Both
ends had been formed by chopping. The four
sides of the tool had been used for sharpening
and directing blades of metallic implements used
for cutting. They are highly rubbed, polished,
and have lot of slim scratches, which are parallel
lengthwise. Its size is 4.6×17.0×1.0 cm (p. 1:14).
The second sharpening stone (abrasive) with
dick-shape had been made from sandstone and
was also noted near the eastern wall of the second
dwelling. One even, well-rubbed surface was used
for polishing and straightening wide straight flats
of metallic implements, according to signs of work.
The ends have traces of beating, which possibly
were formed because of forging soft metal. Its size
is 18.0×22.0×3.5 cm (p. 1:11).
The third large sharpening stone from
the third dwelling was made from a piece of
flat sandstone. One edge is round, formed by
chopping. The working surfaces of both sides
were used as an abrasive for sharpening surfaces
of metal implements. They have the same traces
as does the above tool. For these aims straight rib
of lateral side of tool had been used. Its size is
12.0×14.5×3.5 cm (p.1:12).
Two sharpening stones (the fourth and fifth)
were fixed in structure for economical and cult
purposes. One of them was made from a slab
of sandstone and has an irregular square shape.
Two wide sides had been used for working. The
first one was abrasive for forming the surfaces of
metal implements, the second side was a hone for
sharpening and directing the blades of knives, sharp
ends of awls and needles. Its size is 6.7×7.5×1.5
cm (p.1:15). The second stone is of brick-shaped
fragments of sandstone, by which we can suppose
that the shape of the tool was that of a brick, flat
and ellipsoid and with a width of 5 cm. It has the
same traces of wear as do the hones.
The sharpening stones which were found
in the cultural layer have different shapes. The
first one was made from sandstone and has the
shape of parallelepiped with slightly flattened
and corrected surfaces. There are ditches on two
sides of the ends of the artifact, where the straight
ends of the metallic blades of implements were
flattened, for example, blunt ends of knives. This
specialized abrasive was used a long time. Its size
is 5.6×6.3×2.5 cm (p. 1:19). The second stone (the
hone) also was made from a slab of sandstone
with an irregular rectangular shape. Both lateral
flats were used for sharpening and directing
blades of metal implements. Its measurements are
14.5×8.0×2.2 cm (p.1:13). The third stone is hone
too; it is a rectangular brick made from sandstone.
All its sides were used a long time as a hone for
sharpening and directing blades of metal daggers
and knives. Its size is 4.2×11.4×2.0 cm (p. 1:16).
The last stone from the cultural layer is an ellipsoid
triangular flat shape made from porous sandstone.
Profound furrows and ditches with a depth to
0.2 cm are present on both surfaces of tool; they
had been formed because of sharpening ends of
pointes of metallic implements. Its measurements
are 6.0×7.0×1.3 cm (p. 1:18).
Trassological examination of stone tools
for treatment metal showed their different use.
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Forging metal implements was done with the help
of hammers and anvils. Confirmation of this was
found in traces on the blade of the bronze knife
from the first dwelling. The surfaces of points
had been straightened after forging by smoothers
and straighteners; a sheet of metal was rolled by
them too. Sharpening instruments were made
of sandstone pieces found near the hill-fort, and
have suitable flats and sides for it and can act as
abrasives. Accidentally picked up stones were used;
and in only one case was the shape of the sharpener
formed specially (p. 1:18). It was necessary in
order to make a treatment special details of metallic
implements in particular the blunt ends of knives.
Among abrasives hones are distinguished; they
were used for sharpening and directing blades
of cutting tools, and some of them were used for
sharpening working ends of awls, needles.
The presence of a large quantity of instruments
for different treatments of metal implements shows
their wide use in the economic and productive
activity of the hill-fort’s inhabitants. Since there
are no traces of bronze casting in the hill-fort,
It is probable that it had been arranged outside.
But the metal treatment had been done within the
hill-fort, and different artifacts (hammers, anvils,
smoothing objects, abrasives and hones) which
are connected with the treatment of metal and tool
production prove this.
Tools for treatments of hides
Scrapers on stones slab (18 specimens). All of
them are flat and round, and were made from layers
of stones formed by chopping. Notches, traces of
blunting and rubbing are seen on the working edges.
On broken scrapes, the edges are also round, arcshape and covered by transversal scratches. The
artifacts were found near the first economical pit,
near the second dwelling and also outside. The sizes
of the whole implements are from 4.5×4.5×0.9 cm
to 8.0×8.3×0.4 cm (p. 2:1-18).
The blades of scrapers are many-sided; one
direction of movements is noted according to
character of working sides. Two scrapers had
treated dry hides; well-flatted edges prove this.
Other scrapers had been used for soft (slightly
dried) hides. The degree of wear is various. By
the different corners of wear at the working edges
we can suppose that different people had worked
with these scrapers. The hides had been treated
“by hanging” on spread surfaces, for example,
on knees, on earth. Scrapers were used without
handles. All surfaces are worn. The sides of some
tools have traces of windiness (deflection), which
can show that the scrapers were made from slab
picked up at random.
Scrapers on ceramic pieces (19 specimens).
Their material was fragments of untreated ceramic
vessels. There are traces of working on one of
the raised edges of the fragments. The working
surfaces are very worn down and ribbed; grains
of sand of admixture are naked and raised. Lined
traces are perpendicular to edges. The tools were
arranged on places of the hill-fort and in the
cultural layer (there were 6 scrapers in the third
dwelling, 1 in the second one and 1 scraper on
the floor of the economic and cult structure). It is
possible, that there had been leather workshop in
the third dwelling. It is important, that no one of
scrapers had been made from fragments of vessels
broken on the hill-fort though they are close to
them typologically. It talks that all scrapers had
been made from ceramic pieces which had been
picked up outside of the hill-fort, for example, on
short-term sites and on production area mastering
by hill-fort’s inhabitants.
Traces of use are not identified on four
tools, “dry” hard hides had been treated by eight
scrapers, with other ones people had worked
on “soft” and moister hides. Separate ceramic
scrapers have traces of treatment hides on hard
raised surface (may be on a log). Moreover, it
is necessary to note that according to a series of
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indirect undocumented signs we can suppose that
some of these tools had been used as abrasives for
sharpening metallic instruments in Bronze Age
cultures [1; 2].
Therefore all scrapers produced in the hill-fort
had been used for treating hides and producing fur
and leather wares. Thick hides with large square
of treatment had been treated by the scrapers. That
is, these could be the hides of large animals. It
has been confirmed that the osteological materials
found in the hill-fort included bones of horses,
big and small horn cattle, elk and other animals.
Materials had been treated with different levels
of preparation; hides had different degrees of
moisture and lying. Consequently, part of hides
could be treated at once after removing them
from the bodies of animals, and part of them had
been saved. We mustn’t discount the possibility
of accumulating hides which had been removed
from animals killed at different times of the year,
in hunting season.
The distribution of stone tools on revealed
objects of hill-fort is allows the character of
their use to be guessed. So there were four
fishing sinks, pestle, universal tool for treating
implements from non-ferrous metals, hammer for
metal and scraper on ceramic piece for treatment
hides in the first dwelling. Sixteensinks, hammer,
smoother, sharpening blade, sharpening disc,
two stone scrapers and ceramic one were found
in the second dwelling. There were big and small
hammers, anvil, a fragment of a smoothing stone
and six scrapers for treatment hides from ceramics
fragments in the third dwelling. The character of
the artifacts shows that in all dwellings housework
(cooking, treatment hides, correction and
sharpening metallic instruments, repairing fishing
nets) was done. Metallic treatment small wares
and correction blades of cutting tools were fixed
in the second and third dwellings. The character
of artifacts from the structure, which was outside
the fortified area and had no hearth, but which had
two smoothers, two stone scrapers and a ceramic
one, shows that it was also used. Treatment hides
and sharpening instruments were made there.
Therefore, the inhabitants of the hill-fort in the
period of its settling had been engaged in hunting
activity and cattle-breeding. Both branches were
the basis of their life-support system. Moreover,
work for making stone, ceramic and metallic
tools, and treating the hides of wild and domestic
animals was done in the hill-fort.
1. V.V. Kileynikov, About Some Ceramics Tools from Sites of Don Forest-steppes Logs Culture:
Problems of Studying Sites of Seversk Donets Archeology (Lugansk, 1990), p. 21-30.
2. G.F. Korbkova, “Bones Cutting Subjects and Ceramics Tools of Stone Age. Stone Age of European
Plain”, Material of conference (Sergiev Posad, 2001), p. 192-199.
3. P.V. Mandryka, “Shilka Culture in Southern Taiga of Middle Siberia”, Second Northern
Archaeological Congress. Abstracts (Khanty-Mansiisk, 2006), p. 117-118.
4. G.F. Korobkova, Narzedzia w pradziejach. Podstany badania funkcji metoda traseopogiczna
(Torun: Universitet Mikolaja Kopernica, 1999).
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Valentin G. Nemirovskiy. The Theoretical-methodological Foundations of the Post-non-classical Apporoaches…
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 77-90
УДК 301
The Theoretical-methodological Foundations of Post-non-classical
Approaches in the Contemporary Russian Sociology
Valentin G. Nemirovskiy*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
The paper deals with the theoretical-methodological foundations of post-non-classical approaches in
contemporary Russian sociology. At the end of the 20th /beginning of the 21st century, Russian sociology
began shifting to the post-non-classical stage of its development. A significant number of monographs,
textbooks and articles, published in leading scientific journals, deal with different aspects of these new
approaches in sociology. The school of post-non-classical sociology emerged in Russia at the end of the
1980s. Since then more than 25 doctoral theses have been written on this subject. The genesis of postnon-classical approaches in sociology is concerned with the formation of a new scientific worldview.
It no longer sees an individual as an exceptionally rational being, but considers him in the unity of his
conscious and unconscious, his rational and emotional manifestations. The socio-engineering function
of sociology also increases. Post-non-classical sociology pays attention to qualitative research methods
and applies methods of mathematical statistics for quantitive data analysis. New original methods of
analysis have been developed on the basis of post-non-classical sociology as well. Post-non-classical
approaches in contemporary sociology allow unknown tendencies in social development to be revealed
and efficient social forecasts to be formulated.
Keywords: theoretical sociology, post-non-classical sociology, synergetics, diatropics, the methodological principle of minimum universum.
The development of the modern theoretical
sociology in Russia is significantly influenced
not only by such recognized scientific centers
as Moscow and St. Petersburg but also by the
regional sociological schools, whose activity is a
peculiarity of the development of the sociological
conception [1] and where new scientific schools
are being formed. At the same time, the nonclassical sociology with the classical one is
widely spread in the regions [2]. Moreover, there
is a diverse range of evidence which prove that
the modern science of society, or sociology, is
Firstly, the sociological theory doesn’t
develop. In fact, you can find certain categories,
notions and terms in any modern textbook of
sociology. Meanwhile any science appears
only when it can explain and forecast processes
happening in a society. But there are some
difficulties. If we raise some questions we will
find out that the answers to them are not so
obvious as it seems: What are the reasons of the
mass unemployment? - It can be said here that
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economic forces are not so influential. What are
the reasons of the demographic crisis and the high
death rate? - It is obvious that the reasons are not
only the low standard of living and poor ecology.
Why did the population, especially young people
and teenagers, turn out to be unprotected from the
serious problem- drug addiction? - Without any
doubt, the main reasons are not intrigues of the
mafia and non-proper work of the law machinery.
The number of such questions is endless.
But the answers to these questions can not be
found in the majority of traditional textbooks of
sociology which nowadays students use to study
this science. Instead of this, there are detailed
analyses of different sociological categories and
definitions in these textbooks.
Secondly, the popularity of sociology is
skidding in the society. The results of sociological
researchers are being perceived to a greater extent
by the modern Russian society as one of the
forms of RP actions during an ordinary election
campaign. Regular publications of the results of
public-opinion polls in mass media (answers to
such questions: “Has your life improved during
the last year?”, “How strongly do you trust the
authority?”, “How are you going to spend your
summer holidays?” etc.) attract readers. In reality,
summed up answers of the interviewed people do
not correspond to their real opinions, intentions
and actions. It resembles a response of a little
known person to one of the civil questions like
“How do you do?”. For example, one of the
latest public-opinion polls showed that “94% of
the population worry about a growth of some
infectious diseases and epidemics in Russia”.
This information was made public. So what will
happen? Will people get rid of diseases? Will
they become more concerned about their hygiene
and choose healthy lifestyle? Will the publication
of these figures make the state and municipal
officials and deputies of different ranks suddenly
increase allocations to the public health service?
Or will epidemics stop? No! Everything will stay
the same.
It is quite another matter that in the modern
Russian society sociology (as well as statistics)
is often used as one of the forms of magic or
rituals of shamans. Information for publication is
collected in a strange way. After all we hope that
our life will become better. But it will only lead to
ordinary myths and the nousphere, cluttered with
mental parasites. It is clear that many sociologists
are now consultants in the managerial authority
and commercial organizations. Without any doubt,
they are of benefit. However, having experience
of such a job and communicating with such
consultants we can say that successful consultants
rely not only on the results of researches but first
of all on their knowledge, talent and intuition.
Thirdly, the modern sociological theory, as
well as its methods, can not always explain and
analyze real reasons of the processes happening
in the country. Nowadays sociologists use the
traditional system of public-opinion polls which
is not often fruitful. It is not accidental that
qualitative methods of researches (for example, a
focused group interview so called “focus groups”)
are becoming more popular among scientists.
However, they are not also fruitful.
Fourthly, sociology was virtually divided. On
one hand, it is particularly an academic science
with its representatives who give courses in
universities, sit in academies, get different grants
and publish monographs. On the other hand,
sociology is a group of business men who use
sociological methods (first of all, public-opinion
polls) in order to raise money with the help of
marketing and election researches. The results of
such research are often published in the form of
ulterior commercial and political advertising.
Obviously, there can be mentioned more
evidence of crisis of the sociological theory.
We believe that the reason of the crisis and
decomposition of sociology is a crisis of the
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conceptual apparatus as well. But the main thing is
not only to accentuate the juncture of things. The
major task is to find ways for further development
of the Russian science of society.
At the end of the XXth and at the beginning of
the XXIst century, Russian theoretical sociology
had a tendency of transition from classical
stages of development to nonclassical and postnonclassical stages of development. That is why,
a study called “Wave processes in the social
development” should be mentioned due to the fact
that it contains information about social dynamics
which is analyzed according to the synergic
approach [3]. Modern approaches of studying
the society (“nonclassical” sociology) are based
on the recent scientific view of the world and are
evolving in the context of vitalistic sociology. The
system sociogenetics [4] evolves on the basis of
the analysis of social self-organization according
to synergetics [5]. Also it is essential to mention
the elaboration of system dynamics, catastrophe
theories, synergetics in the characterization of
mathematical models of the dynamics of social
processes [6], theories of cycles and sociogenetics
[7], theories of measuring structural integrity and
disharmony of social systems [8]. The advanced
paradigm of sociological studies of spiritual life
is formed up on the basis of Russian cosmic
consciousness [9], the concepts of Christian
sociology and anthropology [10], the principles
and regulations of Integral sociology based on
“spiritual materialism” [11].
It is accepted to believe that sociology has
passed three main stages of its development
and during these stages scientists changed the
conception of sociology several times [12].
As a result, three original sociological cultures
were formed. These cultures are also called the
styles of professional thought of sociologists:
the classics, the moderne and the post-moderne.
It would be better to expand this scheme so
it would contain: 1) the protoclassics, 2) the
classics and the neoclassics, 3) the moderne, 4)
the post-moderne, 5) the universum approach.
The conception of the first four stages is wellknown, but the fifth stage should be considered
in more details. It should be mentioned here that
the scientific picture of the world is not directly
connected with the sociological paradigm, but
by means of cognitive models. These models are
methods which scientists of different professions
use to organize and explain their specific ideas
and similar outlooks. Contemporary science
employs 5 cognitive models: the scholastic model
(which interprets the nature as a text or a code),
the mechanistic model (the nature is a mechanism
or a clock), the statistic model (the nature is a
balance of averages), the system model (the nature
is an organism), the diatropic model (the nature is
a garden or a fair) [13].
These cognitive models dominated during
different periods of time and in different
countries, but in fact all these models can always
be found in the science. During the last decade the
statistic cognitive model is changing to the system
one. But the system model does not completely
correspond to the new scientific picture of the
world. The diatropic model is formed on the basis
of this picture. Moreover, the diatropic model
does not substitute preceding models; it is rather a
continuation of their development and interaction.
So G. Galilei and J .Kepler interpreted the world
as a book, I. Newton and P. Laplace - as a clock,
Ch. Darwin and J. Maxwell - as a balance of
chances, V.I. Vernadsky and E. Yanch - as an
organism. Following G. Leibniz who easily used
all five models, scientists of the near future will
probably interpret the world as a garden.
Nowadays a new picture of the world is
being formed. It is based on connection between
oriental and western ideas, on the unity of rational
perception and a flight of free imagination and
intuition. The line ideology is being replaced
by the discrete one. It is perfectly shown in
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videos: an incoherent and instantaneous picture.
Evolutionism, which explains everything by
categories of need and chance, and an automatic
perception of causality give way to selforganization. The monocentrism is being replaced
by polycentrism and the uniform motion - by the
principle of pulsation.
Today the theoretical sociology in Russia
develops due to taking the western sociological
theories as the most modern and, at the same
time, classical theories. But under such positive
conditions we should remember that not every
conception of foreign sociology can sufficiently
reflect ever-changing social reality. Now the
situation in the world is different than it was
when the materialism was rising and flourishing.
The capitalism with its bourgeois and proletarian
materialism gives way to the post-capitalism
with a new class structure and post-materialistic
ideology. At the same time, they naturally give
rise to new sociological theories (it must be said
that in the framework of a new scientific picture of
the world there is a well-known sociohumanitarian
theory elaborated by L.N. Gumilev, and this theory
is called ethnology). Sociology is not a congealed
science, it is constantly developing. As S.G.
Kirdina says “during the preceding decade there
was a rise of new sociology which had given up
former conceptions, this new sociology develops
new approaches, conceptions and paradigms on
the basis of free study of ever-changing social
reality” [14].
The nonclassical sociology in Russia is
derived from two main trends: “firstly, there is
an obvious tendency of setting new sociological
paradigms; secondly, there is a nonclassical
modernization of the great classical sociological
theories” [15]. This process is examined in the
studies of A.I. Subetto in terms of sociogenetics
[16]. This author also came to the conclusion about
the transition of sociology to the nonclassical stage
of its development. According to his opinion,
“nowadays, a category of nonclassicalism is
undergoing a great evolution of its content.
Having appeared as a symbol of revolution in
the foundations of physics, first of all – because
of the N. Bohr complementarity principle, and
then having evolved in terms of cosmological
and anthropical principles with the developing
synergetics and system genetics contributed to
the new nonclassical creationism without God
in the foundations of modern science – science
analysing the laws of “selfcreating nature” (for
instance, according to I. Prigozhin`s “physics
of arising”), the category of nonclassicalism is
increasingly getting the content of revolution in
the foundations of civilizational development,
and as a result, in the foundations of human and
social being in itself” [17].
In our present view, Russian sociology (and
overall – the world sociology) is about to make a
breakthrough to the new possibilities caused by the
formation of the new scientific view of the world.
The prediction of this breakthrough takes place
in the studies of native and foreign historians of
sociology. Sociogenetics is the foundation of the
internal line of development of the nonclassical
sociology. Precisely, sociogenetics permits one to
get an insight into the unity of organization and
development of social medium, to understand
the role of an individual in this development and
realize the correlation of his vitality and his vital
space. New matters are updated by the nonclassical
stage of development. Sociology is represented as
“the sociology of noosphere”. In his studies of the
noosphere, V.I. Vernadskii payed attention to the
noosphere epoch’s cooperative type motivated by
the necessity for the control of progress related
to the new global integrity called “humanity biosphere”.
Apart from nonclassical approaches, there
are also post-nonclassical approaches [18] in
the Russian modern social cognition. In Russian
sociology, they were notified for the first time in
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the studies of V.G. Nemirovskiy in terms of the
universum sociology [19].
Nowadays there are different notions
about the specific features of the nonclassical
sociological theories in the Russian sociological
literature and in the sociophilosophical literature.
Thus, according to the V.N. Turchenko’s opinion
[20], in contrast with the classical science, the
nonclassical science admits the need for combining
rational and conceptual ways of cognition and
experimental and intuitive ways of cognition; it
admits the appropriateness of using nominally
correct solutions being beyond the scope of
classical conditions of correctness; it admits
the objective type of uncertainty and principal
unpredictability of systems’ development being in
state of chaos and vicinity to bifurcational points;
it admits the necessity to take into consideration
the complementarity principle and the cross
impact of object and subject in the cognitive
activities; it admits the possibility of selforganizing material systems and extemporaneous
appearance of peace from chaos and vice versa
– the statistically distributed type of knowledge
about nonlinear and chaotical processes; it admits
the need for overcoming interdisciplinary barriers
and integration of scientific knowledge; it admits
the necessity to make allowances for defining,
solving and interpreting scientific, moral and
ideological factors.
Incidentally, Turchenko points out that it
doesn’t mean that the classical science is denied
by the nonclassical science. Principles of both
sciences should be used in solving specified
types of cognitive problems. In accordance to the
correspondence principle formed up by N. Bohr,
the old theory may be included into the new and
more fundamental theory as a particular or utmost
case. Though, due to our conviction, Turchenko
unappropriately combines the characteristics of
the nonclassical stage of development of sociology
and the post-nonclassical stage of development of
sociology, groundlessly interfusing the essential
features of each of them.
We consider M.Y. Reznik’s approach to
be conceptually more valuable. He uses some
sort of relations between the cognizing subject
and the object of cognizing as a foundation for
distinguishing specific features of different stages
of the development of social knowledge. It is
impossible to deny the fact that there is a linear
connection between the subject and the object
of cognition on the classical stage in the social
science which eliminates the direct examination
of inverse impact of object on the cognitive
process. The nonclassical stage is characterized
by including one more element – other subject in
the correlation of subject and object. Specifically,
scientists are interested in the social context
of cognitive activities, they take into account
limitations and errors caused by the belonging
of a researcher to different social groups and
institutions. The methods of “mild” methodology
are more often used making it possible to fix
qualitative parameters and characteristics of an
object (biographical method, questionary and
test methodics). The distinctive peculiarity of the
new post-nonclassical stage of the development
of socioscientific knowledge is a complex
interdisciplinary and problematically-referable
type of research. Thus, the social science rejects
monosubjectiveness and narrow-disciplinarity; it
confirms ontological pluralism and gnoseological
relativism [21].
A number of philosophers are supporting the
views of V.S. Stepin [22]. They similarly define
specific features of post-nonclassical approaches.
For instance, V.I. Arshinov and V.G. Budanov
consider the process of derivation of postnonclassical science as a self–organization of
interdisciplinary knowledge. According to their
opinion, the post-nonclassical science not only
designates the boundary of deterministic view
of the world referable to the potential hierarchy
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of laws of being but also organically includes
practical wisdom of tradition in its discourse. The
anthropical observer is immersed in the process
of communication in the post-nonclassicalism
involving culturally-historical dimension of event
– the act of observation in the context, delocalizing
the event not in the physical but in the historical or
conceivable time with the help of reflection on the
previous experience and hermeneutical reading
the text of nature.
The authors introduce the conception oft
post-nonclassical epistemological space which
contains synergetical subject. In addition, the
need for introducing the conception is caused
by the very circumstance that synergetics as
an interdisciplinary trend also includes the
philosophical dimension and the communication
of philosophical tradition correlating it somehow
with the advanced postmodernistic paradigm
which does not contain the subject beforehand,
but the subject appears and does not establish, it
is established in a diversity of self-transcendences
and communication practices. According to their
opinion, post-nonclassical epistemological space
is formed up by a situation of interdiscipline
in which “synergetical” subject [23] is selfactualized.
Without making a detailed discussion about
the differences between nonclassical and post-
of social science on the next post-nonclassical
stage. However, at this stage the emphasis is
placed now upon the consequences of synergetical
approach and its further development. For
example, the notion of world as a hologram in the
fractal approach.
Apart from synergetics, the N. Bohr`s
complementarity principle is the basic principle
which unites the nonclassical and postnonclassical sociology. It is based on the using
of interdependent classical concepts in terms of
so-called complementary pairs. Such an approach
of the research of human psychics in the unity of
its conscious and unconscious elements is exactly
originated from the ancient Chinese model of
Yin-Yang and the Buddhistic unambivalence
principle. Both of structurizing elements as
different states of the same thing are found out
in Mahayana Buddhism; they can be called point
(corpuscular) and linear (wave). Consciousness
is an instantaneous, point display of the ocean
of unconscious. Each moment of consciousness
contains the past, the present and the future; the
moment (kshana) is also an eternity as a point is
a compressed Universe. They are the essence of
the same “me”, they are just in different states of:
phenomenal and unphenomenal world [25].
Hence, there is a conclusion about the
correlation of human consciousness with a
nonclassical approaches, let us pay attention to the
next significant moment: many people consider
synergetics to be the essential part of both the
nonclassical and post-nonclassical science.
Obviously, this problem should be examined
more carefully, because synergetics has already
come firm in daily “use” of sociological and
sociophilosophical research [24]. “Compromise”
approach is considered to be identical. Synergetics
becomes the main link of scientific analysis of
social world exactly on the nonclassical stage of
the development of social knowledge. It does not
become less significant as a methodological pivot
substance and the correlation of unconsciousness
with a field. In other words, a man is a unity of
protein-nuclein form of life and field form of life.
Such conclusions were made by V.P. Kaznacheev
- the academician of the Academy of Medical
Science of the USSR, who proved that so-called
“weak ecological connections” [26] are realized
with the help of field foundations of biosystems.
The researches of American psychologist S.
Grof are based on the N. Bohr`s complementarity
principle. Consciousness used to be defined as a
product of physiological processes of brain. In the
light of new research it has become obvious that
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the traditional image of a man as a biomachine has
become obsolete. As for the modern view of a man,
it absolutely coincides with the ancient mystical
tradition: a man can function as an infinite field of
consciousness under specified circumstances. This
consciousness overcomes the bounds of body,
space, time, cause-and-effect relations. Such a
conception about a man quite coincides with the
opinion of contemporary physicists, who found
out “particle and wave paradox” while examining
the properties of light and materia.
From the positions of classical logic, it
appears to be absurd. However, according to
Grof’s opinion, there are all reasons for speaking
about ambivalent human nature. Sometimes, it
can be explained mechanistically, when a human
being functions as a physical body. But sometimes,
a quite another image appears as if a man can
function as an infinite field of consciousness
being able to exist beyond substance, time, space,
causation. Consequently, the paradox defined in
accordance with substance in physics is important
for complete explaining of the phenomenon of
human being: a man is simultaneously a material
object (biomachine) and an infinite field of
A Leningrad sociologist N.K. Serov also
speaks about field structures of personality
drawing a parallel between similar contemporary
describing processes of natural and especially
social development [28].
Another peculiarity of post-nonclassical
science is distinguished by V.S. Egorov.
According to his opinion, monomaterialism
(materialism of K. Marx and F. Engels with the
principle of determinism inherent in them, i.e.
causal dependence of the present on the past and
causal dependence of the future on the present, and
the principle of reductionism) is completed itself
as an outlook conception. Overcoming outlook
conception about materiality of the world means
complete changing not only of mathematical and
physical notions but also of the very principles of
these sciences. As a result, in the XXIst century,
humanity would face the need not only for
integration of sciences but also for integration of
different ways of cognizing the world: a myth,
a religion, a philosophy, mathematics, science,
literature, art [29].
Due to this fact, let us pay attention to the
Russian cultural philosophical tradition. It is
typical for this tradition to put an emphasis on
the spiritual and moral world of a man, and on
existential, religious and moral problematics.
The tradition defines both a man and a society as
an essential part of the nature and the cosmos; it
tries to go beyond the scope of daily existence to
the infinite world of transcendence. First of all,
terms and ancient notions like “soul” and “spirit”.
Moreover, he thinks that physical medium
of overconsciousness – superconsciousness
(which “is responsible” for creative intuition) is
some collective force field which is created in
involuntary physical communication of people
and perceived by brain at the unconscious level
Furthermore, it is necessary to point
out specific peculiarities of post-nonclassical
sociology. Specifically, it is wrong to define
synergetics as some comprehensive metatheory.
There are a lot of limitations for using it while
it is a matter of Russian anthropocentrism and
integration philosophy. They mostly predicted the
formation of the new scientific view of the world.
Nowadays, similar principles and approaches are
developed in the West in terms of cybernetics,
synergetics and other trends of system analysis.
It is necessary to say that the concepts of
Russian cosmic consciousness are also corroborated
and examined in the studies of contemporary
western scientists. For instance, it can be found in
the studies of I. Prigozhin and representatives of
his school of dissipative structures, in the studies
of F. Daison (considering himself as a follower
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of K.E. Tseolkovski) about cosmic conditions of
life existence, etc. The model of astrophysicist
and system theoretician E. Yanch is considered
to be interesting, reproducing some regulations
of Prigozhin’s theory. Yanch strove for making
regular succession in self-organization of the
universum from the moment of Great explosion
(according to the views of many contemporary
scientists, it made the beginning of our Universe)
to the moment of appearing and evolving life
on the Earth and the following developing of
Diatropics (from the Greek word diatropos
– various, diverse) takes a particular place in postnonclassical perception. It is the science about
variety, in other words, the science about common
properties of resemblance and distinction that
may be found in great aggregates of the objects.
The new scientific view of the world begets
diatropic. It is very important to emphasize, that
this picture is connected with the social paradigm
not in a direct way, but via cognitive models. The
last ones represent the methods of accumulating
and interpretation of concrete material by the
scientists of different professions and similar
world outlook. As it was previously said, there
are five cognitive models that are typical for the
contemporary science: scholastic, mechanistic,
statistic, system and diatropic model.
Diatropic cognitive model attracts attention
to common properties of varieties irrespective of
the nature of elements, which form the multitude.
According to U.V. Tchaicovski, the main notion
of diatropics is a range as well as for experimental
and observant sciences it is a fact. The fact is
not reasonable beyond the illustrating scheme
in the same way, a range is not reasonable for
diatropics without comparison with another range
but the ranges for comparison may be taken from
different areas of knowledge. Such a comparison
is an elementary procedure of diatropics, and
the range may not be an integral system - quite
often it represents a simple ordination of the
studied multitude. Based on such an operation an
archetype may be marked out, it is a generalized
image of the studied object that is a structure of a
bird, a tree, a society or a social institution (the very
generalizing archetype is the diatropic principle of
minimal universum [30] which was elaborated by
us in 1991). At the moment a new school of postnonclassical sociology - the universum sociology
is being developed on its basis [31]. It has a lot of
Contemporary sociology becomes more
and more interdisciplinary and deideologized not
by chance. The understanding of the complex,
multivariate and multilayer character of human
existence becomes deeper. For instance, thanks to
the successess of social biology, zoo psychology
and ethology, the distinction between animal’s
and human being’s social life is being elaborated
in the science. Many social needs are common
not only among people but also among animals.
The same thing may be said about elements of
abstract thinking as well. It means that a human
being’s distinguishing feature as a tribal creature
is not just a social aspect (animals, even insects,
for example, bees, ants, termites form quite
complexly organized societies), but a spiritual
aspect, which means a talent for creation, an
aspiration for supreme values.
So the society is the integral part of the
highly organized Universe that is connected with
its other parts. Social reality is the reflection of
spiritual reality, where the sources of social life
are contained in. Our society is a self-organizing
system and it is evolving in compliance with moral
rules. The rules are conveyed in the diatropic
principle of minimal universum. The last one
conveys the smallest number of peculiarities that
are necessary for the description of any developing
system. We used the diatropic principle for “the
comparison of ranges” and the ranges are taken
from different areas of the scientific knowledge.
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The archetype appears as a result of such
comparison. It is a special matrix which reflects the
rules of the development of the material objects.
In short terms, it may be described in such a way:
two elements, three levels, five conditions, seven
layers, twelve qualities. The described matrix
may be “put on” any society or its element for the
definition of its structure or dynamics.
As everybody knows, sociology is connected
with psychology to a great extent. They are
connected in the studying of motivation, mass
behavior, mechanisms of socialization and in
many others aspects. That is why it is significant
that the similar situation exists in the humanitarian
branch of science which resembles sociology.
With the preservation of different branches of
classical psychology, transpersonal approaches,
that reflect the development of the nonclassical
stage of this science, become more popular. It
is a known fact the founders of transpersonal
psychology are a Swiss scientist K.G. Jung and
the originator of the humanistic psychology
A. Maslow. Their ideas were developed in the
works of S. Grof, R. Assagioly, Ch. Toich, K.
Wilber, and L. deMause etc. In Russia the ideas
of transpersonal psychology are developed by V.
Maikov, V. Kozlov, E. Faidysh. The books of A.
Nalimov, M. Sherbakov are also well-known.
This school of psychology studies
transpersonal feelings (i.e. feelings when the sense
of self-identity exceeds the bounds of personality
and involves the humanity as a whole, the life, the
spirit and the space) and things that are connected
with them [32].
Unfortunately, the followers of nonclassical
sociology as a rule do not mention the fact
that classical psychology does not correspond
with nonclassical sociology. But it should be
emphasized that according to nonclassical
sociology the problems of “sociology of faith”,
the social unconsciousness, socio-psychological
archaeology are brought up in a new way. In fact,
the methodological approaches that are incarnated
in nonclassical sociology correspond to the
approaches of transpersonal psychology.
In recent years a number of considerable
changes have appeared in the great diversity of the
theories of “the transpersonal project”. A striking
example is the work of H. Ferrer. The author
criticizes intrasubjective empiricism that came from
empiricism science, influenced the transpersonal
theory and deluged it with inappropriate demands
of reproducibility, verifiability and falsifability.
These demands connected the transpersonal theory
with the Age of Enlightenment, which produced
the classical science. The attempts to confirm the
scientific status of transpersonal approaches as
classical ones did not correspond to the logic of
inner development of these branches of science.
Ferrer proved that “transpersonal and spiritual
phenomena represent not individual, inner
feelings but the events of participation (i.e. the
beginning of the transpersonal being which may
happen in a man, a correlation, a community, auto
identification or a place)”. The author suggests
“to transfer the whole transpersonal project from
the intrasubjective basis, fit for the subject-object
model of perception, to the basis of participation,
free from rusty Cartesian chains” [33].
As we see, such interpretations bring together
the aspect of transpersonal psychology analysis
and the modern post-nonclassical (universum)
sociology to a great extent. They concentrate the
attention to different forms of subject - subject
relations, the participations the investigator in the
studying being.
Moreover there is an obvious transfer of
transpersonal approach to the diatropic model
of perception. Particularly, there is a refusal of
the conceptions about spiritual liberation as a
comprehension of some Common Truth or a
supreme spiritual reality. Some kind of “The
ocean of Liberation” is offered. Ferrer gives the
following picture: “every spiritual bank has an
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independent status. To reach it, it is necessary to
use an appropriate boat” [34]. In other words, the
matter concerns the diatropic search of the unity
in the variety.
So, the post-nonclassical sociology, based
on the modern scientific view of the world, has
the following characteristics: the development
of interdisciplinary and complex approach to
the analysis of social reality; synthesis of sociohumanitarian and natural-science knowledge;
applying polyparadigmatic approaches; extension
of the subject of sociology and elimination of the
distinction between sociology and other sociohumanitarian sciences; applying contemporary
research areas of system analysis (synergetics,
diatropics, fractal approach etc); analysis of the
effect of natural and cosmic factors on social
dynamics. Post-nonclassical sociology pays
attention to qualitative research methods and
applies methods of mathematical statistics for
quantity data analysis. It overcomes the concept
of an individual as an exceptionally rational
being, considering an individual in the unity of
conscious and unconscious, rational and emotional
manifestations. The socio-engineering function of
sociology also increases. New original methods of
analysis have been developed on the basis of postnon classical sociology [35]. Moreover, the postnonclassical sociology is the universum sociology
which studies the society as a unity of natural
cosmic connections and dimensions.
The post-nonclassical sociology pays great
attention to qualitative methods. For a long period,
in the modern Russian sociology there was an idea
about a man as about a particularly rational human
being. The post-nonclassical sociology considers
a man in the unity of conscious and unconscious,
rational and emotional manifestations. In
particular, in the end of 1980s we introduced
an impression “value feelings” in sociology. Its
relevance and effectiveness were defended in my
Ph.D. thesis in 1990 in Vilnius [36]. The fact is
that there are orientations toward rational values
(like “clear conscience”, “wealth”, “comfort”,
“health” etc.) and also there are orientations
toward the complexes of value feelings. The first
ones exist only at the verbal level, the second
play a very important part in the motivation of
people’s social activity. We developed a special
test “Emotional direction of a person”, that helped
to question dozens of thousands of respondents
for 15 years [37].
An important direction of the post-nonclassical
(universum) sociology is the study of unconscious
levels of the mass consciousness. Different
methods are used for it: traditional methods of
mathematical statistics as, for example, factor
analysis and special methods which are taken
from physiology: project methods, associative
tests, group meditations. The method of research
which is known as self ethnography is also very
important. The application of transpersonal
approaches would bring good prospects for the
development of the society perception from the
direction of post-nonclassical sociology. W.
Braud and R. Anderson give a wide diversity of
research methods which make not only for the
analysis of feelings, values, senses, transcendence
but also for the development of most important
human qualities [38].
As a matter of fact the post-nonclassical
(universum) sociology is turning from investigating
into constructing sociology. At this step its
socioconstructing, socially transforming function
is becoming stronger. There is a transfer from the
development of “practical recommendation for
the customer” to the participation in its realization,
social accompaniment social changers. Special
trainings play a more important part in the work
of a sociologist. They combine the analysis of a
social situation and its special changing, the rise
of activity of a social subject, the support with a
social harmony. For example, we developed and
held a number of trainings of corporate culture
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development and trainings of the analyzis and
forming of the orientations of the meaning of
It is widely known that any social theory is
proved after a time and mainly with the help of
a concrete social practice. It may be truly said
that post-nonclassical soicology passed the tests
successfully [39]. D.D. Nevirko elaborated the
integral model of person socialization on the basis
of the principle of minimal universum. It takes
into account the rhythmics of the process and
the influence of external and internal factors. By
means of this model a great number of extended
empirical research were conducted. This model
has been using in the system of training of
specialists for the Ministry of Internal Affairs of
Russia for ten years [40].
The universum approach is efficient for the
social analysis of mass consciousness, because
it lets investigate value feelings, the conceptions
of the meaning of life and the attitudes towards
the death, the sin as a social phenomenon [41].
This principle reflects both stable and transitive
structure of the society. That is why it may be
effectively used for the analysis of modern Russian
society. For example, S.V. Grishaev offered
new theoretical methodological ideas about the
social structure of the society on the basis of the
universum approach. He showed special functions
of the kernel and the periphery of social groups,
proved the importance of marginal groups in the
transformation of the social structure, exposed
real processes existing in modern Russian society
It is very important to show look-ahead
capability of the universum approach in
sociology. According to Belarusian sociologist
V.I. Kudryavtseva, if this approach is applied for
social prognosis, it may be connected with the
general tendency of globalization and cosmization
of the social reality and sociological knowledge,
and also it may develop the conception of the
unity of social and space sphere. On the basis of
the universum approach she created the model of
social prognosis. This model is an informational
system of description and prognosis of social
behavior, that may be applied to the concrete
social objects with specific character of social,
historical and cultural development [43].
So, on the post-nonclassical (universum) stage
of its development, the contemporary sociology
overcomes disintegration and the loss of subject
of sociology which is peculiar to the postmodern
epoch [44]. Undoubtedly, in the nearest future
Russian sociology still will be a multiparadigmatic
science. The intense development of different
schools and theoretical branches will continue.
And we will be the witnesses of the “competition”
between them.
1. “The Regional Sociological Schools on the Boundary of the XXI Century”, Collection of Materials
of the Interregional s\Scientific and Theoretical Conference. ed. by D.D. Nevirko (Krasnoyarsk,
2. V. G. Nemirovsky and D.D. Nevirko, “The Regional Sociological Schools on the Boundary of the
XXI Century”, Sociological Research, # 9 (2002), p. 135-136.
3. Wave Processes in the Social Development (Novosibirsk, 1992).
4. S.I. Grigoriev and A.I. Subetto, The Essentials of the Nonclassical Sociology (Barnaul, 2000);
Sociology on the Threshold of the XXIst Century: the Main Trends of Research (Moscow, 1999);
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Thousandth (St. Petersburg, 1999); A.I. Subetto, Mind and Antimind (St. Petersburg, 2003).
V. V. Vasilkova, Peace and Chaos in the Development of Social Systems (St. Petersburg, 1999).
Y.M. Plotinskiy, Mathematical Modeling of Dynamics of Social Processes (Moscow, 1992).
Y.V. Yakovets, Cycles, Crises, Prognoses (Moscow, 1999).
A.A. Davydov, Methodical Textbook about Measuring Structural Disharmony of Social Systems
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Society (Moscow, 2000); A.A. Davydov, System Approach in Sociology: The Laws of Social
Systems (Moscow, 2004).
M.M. Tonenkova, Sociology of Spiritual Life of Russia: the Modern Paradigm (Nizhni Novgorod,
2000); M.M. Tonenkova, Basic Trends of Spiritual and Creative Development of Russian Society
in the Third Thousandth (Nizhniy Novgorod, 2000).
O.D. Kurakina, Russian Cosmic Consciousness as a Sociocultural Phenomenon (Moscow, 1993).
L.P. Kuksa, Integral Sociology. A Study in Six Volumes, vol. 1(Novosibirsk, 2004).
Yu.G. Volkov and I.V. Mostovaya, Sociology (Moscow, 1998), p. 55-62.
Yu. V. Tchaikovsky, Elements of the Evolutional Diatropic (Moscow, 1990), p. 9-17; “Youth in
the diverse world”, Sociological Research. # 1 (Moscow, 1988).
S.G. Kirdina, “Import of Concepts, Obsolete Approaches or New Original Theories?”, On the State
of Fundamental Researches in Russian Sociology, # 8 (2001), p. 40.
The Nonclassical Sociology in Modern Russia: the Gathering of Methodological Potentiality and
Technological Possibilities (Moscow-Barnaul, 2003), p. 5.
A.I. Subetto, Sociogenetics: System Genetics, Social Intelligence, Educational Genetics and World
Development (St. Petersburg-Moscow, 1994).
A.I. Subetto, “The Nonclassical Sociology: the Essence, the Matters of Appearing and Developing”,
Sociology on the Threshold of the XXIst Century (Moscow, 1999), p. 18–19.
V.G. Nemirovskiy, D.D. Nevirko and S.V. Grishaev, Modern Sociology: Classical and PostNonclassical Approaches to the Analysis of Sociological Reality (Moscow, 2003).
V.G. Nemirovskiy, Essentials of Theoretical Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 1991); ---. An Introduction
to Theoretical Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 1994); ---. “Modern Sociology and Russian Cultural
Traditions”, Sociological Research, # 3 (Moscow, 1994).
V.N. Turchenko, “A Problem of Classicalism and Nonclassicalism of Sociology”, in The
Nonclassical Sociology in Modern Russia: the Gathering of Methodological Potentiality and
Technological Possibilities (Novosibirsk, 2004), p. 24-25.
M.Y. Reznik, “The Ways of System Reorganization and Integration of Social Knowledge (Features
about Future of Native Social Science)”, in A Personality. A Culture. A Society, vol. II., pub. 2
(Moscow, 2000), p. 72-73.
V.S. Stepin, Philosophical Anthropology and a Philosophy of Science (Moscow, 1992); V.S.
Stepin, Theoretical Knowledge (Moscow, 1999).
V.I. Arshinov and V.G. Budanov, “Cognitive Foundations of Synergetics”, http://www.synergetic.
V.V. Vasilkova, I.P. Yakovlev, I. Barygin, etc., Wave Processes in the Social Development
(Novosibirsk, 1992); V.V. Vasilkova, Peace and Chaos in the Development of Social Systems
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(St. Petersburg, 1999); V.V. Melnik, A Philosophy of Bifurcational Management (Tyumen, 2001);
Novokreshenov A.V. Self–organization of Territorial Community and Local Self – governing
(Novosibirsk, 2002).
T.P. Grigorieva, “The Image of the World in Culture: the Meeting of the West and the East”, in A
Culture, a Man and the View of the World (Moscow, 1987), p. 262-299.
V.P. Kaznacheev V.P. and E.A. Spirin, “The Phenomenon of a Man: the Complex of Socionatural
Characteristics”, in A Man in the System of Sciences (Moscow, 1989), p. 121-133.
N.K.Serov, The Personality and the Time (Leningrad, 1989), p. 131, 164-165.
V.P. Kaznacheev, The Study of V.I. Vernadskii about Biosphere and Noosphere (Novosibirsk,
1989); V.F. Venda, The Waves of Progress (Moscow, 1989), p. 38; “Nonlinear World of Postnonclassical Science (According to the Materials of Round-table Discussion.” in Synergetic
Paradigm. Cognitive-communicative Strategies of Modern Science Perception (Moscow, 2004),
p. 564.
V. S. Egorov, “Post-nonclassical Science and Modern Outlook”, in Synergetic Paradigm. A Man
and a Society in Unstable Conditions (Moscow, 2003), p. 73-74.
V.G. Nemirovskiy, An Introduction to Theoretical Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 1999), p. 24-30.
V.G. Nemirovskiy, An Introduction to Theoretical Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 1991); V.G.
Nemirovskiy, The Essentials of Theoretical Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 1994); V.G. Nemirovskiy,
“Modern Sociology and Russian Cultural Traditions”, Sociological Research, # 3 (Moscow,
1994); V.G. Nemirovskiy and D.D. Nevirco, Theoretical Sociology. Nontraditional Approaches
(Krasnoyarsk, 1998); V.G. Nemirovskiy, U.V. Gritskov and A.V. Pavlov, The Images of Social
Reality (Krasnoyarsk, 1999); V.G. Nemirovskiy, Universum Diagnostics of Russian Society
(Krasnoyarsk, 2001); V.G. Nemirovskiy, Fundamental Values in the Mass Consciousness: Value
Feelings, the Meaning of Life and the Attitude towards Death, Sin as a Social Phenomenon
(Krasnoyarsk, 2002); V.G. Nemirovskiy, Modern Sociology (Krasnoyarsk, 2002).
V. Maikov and V. Kozlov, Transpersonal Psychology. Sources, History, Current State (Moscow,
X. Ferrer, A New View to Transpersonal Theory: Human Spirituality from a Participation
Standpoint (Moscow, 2004), p. 200.
X. Ferrer, A New View to Transpersonal Theory. Human Spirituality from a Participation
Standpoint (Moscow, 2004), p. 223.
V.G. Nemirovskiy, D.D. Nevirko and S.V. Grishaev, Classical and Post-nonclassical Approaches
Towards the Analysis of the Social Reality (Moscow, 2003), p. 5.
V.G. Nemirovskiy, “The Conceptions of the Meaning of Life in the Mass Consciousness of the
Student Youth: Methodology and the Experience of Sociological Research”, Doctoral thesis
(Vilnius, 1990).
V.G. Nemirovskiy, Fundamental Values in the Mass Consciousness. Value Feelings, the Meaning
of Life and the Attitude towards Death, Sin as a Social Phenomenon (Krasnoyarsk, 2004); V.G.
Nemirovskiy, General Sociology (Rostov-on-the Don, 2004).
W. Braud and R. Anderson, Transpersonal Research Methods for the Social Sciences (Thousand
Oaks, CA: Sage 1998).
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39. V.G. Nemirovskiy, “Regional Sociological Schools on the Threshold of the XXI Century.”
Sociological Research, # 3 (Moscow, 2002), p. 135-136.
40. D.D. Nevirko, The Features of the Person’s Socialization in Authoritarian Institutes of Russia
in the 90s (Krasnoyarsk, 1999); D.D. Nevirko, V.A. Sharypova and V.E. Shinkevich, Sociology
(Krasnoyarsk, 2001).
41. S.I. Grigorev and V.G. Nemirovskiy, In Search of the Meaning of Life and Social Justice: The
Students of Russia on the Threshold of the XXI Century (Barnaul-Krasnoyarsk, 1995). V.G.
Nemirovskiy, Fundamental Values in the Mass Consciousness: Value Feelings, the Meaning of
Life and the Attitude towards Death, Sin as a Social Phenomenon (Krasnoyarsk, 2004).
42. S.V. Grishaev, Social Structure and Labour-market: Development and Interaction (The Experience
of Sociological Investigation in Siberia Regions in the 90s) (Krasnoyarsk, 2000).
43. V.I. Kudryavceva, The Basics of Cosmo Dynamics (Minsk, 2001); V.I. Kudryavceva,
Methodological Principles of Social Forecasting:The Universum Approach, Ph.D. thesis (Minsk,
44. V.G. Nemirovskiy, “The Universum Paradigm of Modern Russian Sociology as Perspective of
Development”, Sociology: The Science Theoretical Journal, # 1 (Minsk, 2004), p. 39-49.
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Dmitri D. Nevirko. Some Aspects of the Universum Theory of Man’s Socialization
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 91-103
УДК 301
Some Aspects of the Universum Theory
of Man’s Socialization
Dmitri D. Nevirko*
Siberian Law Institute
Rokossovski st., 20, Krasnoyarsk, 660131 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
The problem of man’s socialization is a problem of tremendous importance at the present time. Although there is considerable research on its different aspects, there is no research based on the postnonclassical approach which analyzes this phenomenon. This article sets forth the universum conception of a man and the bases of human socialization theory on the principal of the minimal universum.
The universum itself is the development matrix of any material system.
The process of socialization is here considered to be the active self-identification of a personality with
society in the unity of their natural, social and inner links and displays.
Keywords: human socialization, methodological principle of minimum universum, self-identification
of personality, post-non-classical sociology.
The traditional sociology pays great
attention to the problem of personality. As it is
known there are dozens of definitions of the concept «personality» which greatly differ from
one another. Even in the 1930s the American
psychologist G.Allport numbered about fifty
definitions of «personality» in different sciences.
(natural), psychological and spiritual essence.
And it’s impossible to solve this problem only by
the existing classical scientific approaches. That’s
why scientists try to study the problem of a person
with the help of post-classical approaches and
particularly with universum one.2
In accordance with its subject of research,
Nowadays they are much more in number. But the
vast majority of sociologists are unanimous in one
and the same thing: in general, «personality» can
be defined as a combination of social or person’s
features, which reveal themselves in social
However, we can’t understand, study, and
characterize a person using only the concept
«personality». This concept is lack of physical
universum sociology considers the problem
of a person much broader and in a unity of not
only social but natural and spiritual features,
connections and elements.
A man is a being embodied the highest level
of life development on the Earth and a subject of
social-historical activity. As the subject and the
product of labour activity in the society a man is a
system where physical, psychological, genetically
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
Nemirovsky V. Sociology: classical and non-classical approaches to the analysis of social reality. / Nemirovsky V.G., Nevirko D.D., Grishayev S.V. – M., 2003.
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caused and while living de-veloped, natural and
social form the indissoluble unity.
Some typologies of a person are singled out
in psychology. The most important of them are
the following: «a person: ontogenesis»; «a person:
orientation»; «a person: biotype» and «a person:
complex ap-proach».1
At the end of the 20-th century new
approaches to a person were formed. They were
not restricted by the ideas of his/her biological
es-sence. A person in this approaches is regarded
as an integrity having multy-demension structure.
The unanimous essence are revealed in the form
of closely connected elements: cosmological,
spiritual-moral, so-cial, psychological, biological
and ecological. 2
The most important methodological approach
to the analysis of development of personality in
the universum paradigm is the principle of the
minimum universum expressing the less number
of characteris-tics which are necessary for the
description of the developing material system.3
Briefly, its essence can be expressed the following
way: two elements, three levels, five stages, and
seven layers.
Let’s examine the way this combination had
Any developing system should have at least
two polar elements. Contradictions between these
elements are the basis of the develop-ment of the
system. It shows the famous dialectical law of
unity and struggle of opposites. Any dialectical
opposites are usually studied in the form of binary
opposites, e.g. object – subject, man – woman,
pro-ductive forces – relations of production and
so on.
Any developing system in the process of its
change forms mini-mum three hierarchical levels,
three conditions where the law of nega-tion of
negation is realized. The latter is expressed in the
dialectics through the triad « thesis – antithesis –
synthesis». Similar triads are known to mankind:
hard – liquid – gaseous, body – soul – spirit, youth
– maturity – old age and so on.
The hierarchical levels through which any
material system passes during its development
may be defined as substantial-energetic, functional
– organizing and informative. Such model
coordinates with the ideas existing in the history
of human culture.
Any developing system passes through
minimum five stages: birth, formation, change,
fading, disappearance. This approach has ancient roots (ancient Greece, ancient India, Japan,
China). These ideas were mostly expressed in the
conception «five phases of movement» – «U-sin»
Thus, any material system has minimum
two polar elements and in the process of its
development it forms three hierarchical levels,
passing five stages in each of them and it also
includes seven layers. Taking into account the
spiral character of the development it’s possi-ble
to say that owing to the contradictions between
polar elements the development is carried out at
every level from birth till disappearance. After
that the process enters a new level.
The logical process of consecutive
development of minimum universum conditions
of developing system is presented in Fig. 1: 1 –
disassembled protosystem; 2 – apportionment of
polar elements; 3 – formation of three hierarchical
levels; 4 – mutually superposition of elements
and levels; 5 – passing through five stages; 6 –
formation of seven levels; 7 – minimum universum:
two elements, three levels, five conditions, seven
Dictionary of practical psychologist by Golovin S.. – Mn., 1997.
Society – state – man. A book for reading / Grigoryev S. – Barnaul, 1999.
Nemirovsky V., Nevirko D. Theoretical Sociology: non traditional ap-proaches. − Krasnoyarsk, 1998.
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Fig. 1. Scheme of logical process of consecutive development of minimum universum conditions
in developing system
Thus, expressing the most common laws
of the development of the matter, minimum
universum principle presents itself matrix on the
basis of which the process of development of any
system is carried out. This matrix may be put on
any society or any of its elements for the definition
of their structure and dynamics.1
Let’s consider some universum paradigma
categories which are the basis in the man’s
socialization process.
Society is inalienable part of highly organized
Universe connected with other elements. Social
reality is the reflection of spiritual reality in which
the sources of many events in social life lie.
Society is a selfor-ganized system which evolves
in accordance with common material regulations
expressed in the principle of minimum universum.
Society appears in the form of a great number of
social objects correlating with their environment.
The latter represents a number of variants of
behav-ior in the frame of which they have free
choice. Making one’s choice, subjects influence
environment as well as other social elements.
In accordance with the minimum universum
principle and based on the K. Jung and S. Grof
works and modern national psychologists and
esoteric M. Chsherbakov, E. Tsvetkov, A.
Sviyash and others we can imagine the process of
personality socialization in a new way.
Firstly, it’s necessary to single out two
main elements in the structure of personality:
consciousness and unconsciousness. According to
Nemirovsky V., Nevirko D. Theoretical Sociology: non traditional approaches. − Krasnoyarsk, 1998.
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Fig. 2. The structure of consciousness
the minimum universum principle consciousness
includes seven main layers (Fig. 2). Their names
are different depending on the ap-proach which is
realized by this or that authors as well as on the
spe-cific character of esoteric science. One of the
most acceptable scien-tific terminologies is the
model created on the basis of the cluster the-ory
of integration.1
The upper layer may be named as
motivational or adaptive one – it is those part
of consciousness which is responsible for
behaviour, motivation and social adaptation.
The deep layers – archetypical and transpersonal
– contain inborn (innate) archetypes and they are
inac-cessible for the consciousness in common
The layers of consciousness connected with
prenatal and perina-tal information are between
the upper and deep layers. Particularly, basic
perinatal matrix in the S. Grof model may be
regarded as layers in perinatal structure.
All layers except upper adaptive one are
inaccessible for direct awareness by research.
Methods for studying public opinion are directed
exactly to the adaptive layer. Other deeper layers
are beyond the sociological methods.
As for information contained in subsurface
layers we may inter-act with it only in our dreams
or in changeable conditions of con-sciousness.
As for deeper layers we may interact with its
information only in specific conditions of deep
meditation, clinic death or occur-ring before
The deepest layer – the level of universal
unity – is the unified integral structure. It’s
important to note that the access to the deep layers
of consciousness in common conditions is absent,
they influence the personality structure, surface
adaptive layer and its social behaviour. The
division of consciousness layers into surface and
deep ones and the presence of energetic barrier
between them are connected with peculiarities
of brain’s evolution: energetic barriers divides
Having been mentioned above the dependence
of personality structure on the anatomic brain’s
structure allow to describe not only energetic
barriers between structures, but to single out the
elements which are connected with right and left
hemispheres. As V. Nemirovsky says, brain are
characterized by peculiar specialization: if left
hemisphere carries out processing of information,
choice of activity means and formulation of exact
tasks in the frame of existing model then the tasks
of right hemisphere are search for information,
working out of new goals and models of activity.
Chsherbakov M. Seven Trips into the Structure of Consciousness. − M., 1998.
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Moreover the work of left hemisphere relies on
rational logical thinking but the right one – on
senses and intuition. Psychologists name it as
functional asymmetry rationalism, pragmatism,
optimism, aspiration to self realization in the
frame of existing social system – appear to be
peculiarities of left hemisphere consciousness.
As for right hemisphere consciousness it
is characterized by irrationalism, inclination to
superstitions, search for alternative valuable
guiding lines as well as pessimism.1
Taking into account B. Dodonov’s idea of
emotion’s function not only of estimation but of a
value V. Nemirovsky worked out the conception
of emotional orientation of personality, which later
had become one of the most important elements
of universum sociology.
According to his conception the orientation
of a personality is bipolar: from the one hand its
objects are verbally expressed values, from the
other hand – they are complexes of emotional
feelings experiences. Such emotional experiences
may be of different degree of intensity – from weak
hesitation of mood till all consuming ecstasy. The
stronger emotions are the happier a person feels
himself. Such emotions even appearing not so
often, give a person feeling of pungency of life,
joy being (existence). V. Nemirovsky called it life
emotional experiences full of meanings. Specific
character of such emotional experiences depends
on what need is in its basis.
In order to determine the essence of the
socialization of personality we make use of M.
Chsherbakov’s idea that consciousness is closely
connected with (self) identification,2 which
is regarded by classical psychologists as «the
process through which a subject has qualities
and attributes of another person, and transforms
himself, completely or partially, into this image.
The construction and isolation of personality is
realized through selfidentification»3.
In other words, personality, identifying
himself/herself with some (large or small) social
group or community, adopts its goals and values
forming appropriate qualities which are approved
by the people around and realizes himself/
herself as a member of a group or community.
In psychoanalysis we point out primary (self)
identification, which is considered the first method
of constructing a subject with the help of another
image; projecting/ descriptive (self) identification
prescribes that another person possesses some
traits or even common likeness with the subject;
(self) identification with the aggressor when the
subject attributes himself/ herself to the act of
aggression, imitating a physical or moral image
of the aggressor or borrowing some symbols of
The inner base and prerequisite of (self)
identification of personality and social community
is the mechanism of identification, which also
includes the prerequisite for the forming of
personal consciousness. Karl Marx believed
that «to some extent a man is like goods. As he
is born without a mirror in his hands and not a
philosopher: «I am me», firstly the man looks at
another man as if he looks into the mirror. When
he treats a man Pavel as someone like he himself,
a man Peter begins to treat himself as a man»4.
From this statement we see (self)
identification includes two different elements.
First of all it assumes the identification with
another person (treating Pavel as someone like he
himself). At the same time it is realized through
imitating another person (a man Peter begins to
treat himself as a man).
Nemirovsky V. The basis of theoretical Socialization. − Krasnoyarsk, 1994.
Chsherbakov M. Seven Trips into the Structure of Consciousness. − M., 1998.
Laplansh J., Pontalis J. Dictionary on Psychoanalysis. – M., 1996.
Bazhov N. Dialectics of Production and Consumption of Spiritual Values. − Sverdlovsk, 1979.
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Here (self) identification begins with the
subject imitating the object (himself to another
one). It does not neglect another model of
(self) identification: from the primary subject’s
imitation of the object (himself to another) and
the following subject’s approach to the object
(another to himself).
(Self) identification of personality in society
is carried out in various directions which reflect
main spheres of expression man’s na-ture: socioprofessional, family/ clan, national/ territorial,
religious/ ideological, sexual, evolutional and
Proceeding from this definition and using
the principle of minimum universum, let us
point out the layers of social (self) identification
connected with the structure of consciousness.
They are socioprofessional, family/ clan,
national/ territorial, religious/ ideological, sexual,
evolutional and spiritual (Fig.3).
The socioprofessional layer implies person’s
belonging to various social groups, depending on
status, welfare level, education, profession and
other aspects of socioprofessional sphere.
The family-clan layer is characterized by its
correlation with a primary social unit – a family,
clan, tribe.
The national-territorial layer characterizes
person’s identification with various national and
The religious-ideological layer defines the
attitude to a religious or ideological group and its
system of values.
The evolutional layer defines correlation
with archetypes and «evolutional memory».
The sexual layer of identification means
belonging to one or another sex. This is one of
the deepest layers. It should be mentioned that
the definite aspect of the sexual layer of (self)
identification is connected with family/clan layer.
The spiritual layer is connected with the
system of values, coming from the personal
spiritual experience and with the system of values
offered by a church, community or social group.
Nowadays the studies of (self) identification
is one of the most current problems of our
contemporary society, because of the crisis
condition of the main sphere of its vital activity.
According to the universum paradigm the
phenomenon of (self) identification directly
reflects the existence of egregor (nonmaterial
formation which appears from some person’s
psychic peculiarities of mankind above large
communities such as tribes, states, parties and
religious groups) which cooperate with a man
for all his life. As a result during the crisis of
identification some egregors appear and another
disappear, and a man accepts them.1 This approach
helps to develop the effective social technologies
territorial communities.
Fig. 3. The layers of social (self) identification
Nemirovsky V. The basis of theoretical Socialization. − Krasnoyarsk, 1994.
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which can overcome the crisis of identification
and provide one’s appropriate socialization.
As D. Rediar writes: «… an individual is
only an abstract structure, a formula, which must
be filled with life, collective elements». The first
stage of the man development (life process or a
person) is born in the structure of the conscious
«ego» again – the soul functions as a real
organism. But before it was only a recollection of
the monad as an ancient prototype and archetype.
process is «appearance of life» – that is a clan
energy of physiological nature. When psycho/
mental development begins and conscious «ego»
confirms – «the light penetrates into this abstract
structure. The «light» is regarded here as the
essence of civilization, the synthesis of the things
that were created by the truly talented individuals
of the humanity. With the help of this «light»
a soul is created as a complete psycho mental
individual organism. But the most people have a
potential soul with no life. Only when a monad (a
life process or a person) is born in the structure of
conscious ego again, the soul functions as a real
As we have already mentioned, in the
universum paradigm socialization regarded
as (self) identification of person with social
environment in the unity of its natural, social and
spiritual connections.
The main thing of the mechanism lies in the
process of materialization of an object through
idea in public relations by a person and vice versa.
Just here public relations penetrate into the inner
structure of a person and – become an essential
part of it. But the research of this mechanism is
not easy, it requires supplementary theoretical
instruments of analysis, which we’ll try to review
No doubt, that the active approach, which
we use to study a person, do not contradict to the
principle of public relations analysis, it gives to it
a concrete expression. Therefore in the 80-th of
the XX century the efforts to contrast these two
principles were failed. As for the present day
the connection between a person’s activity and
public relations means an activity of historical
subject which exists only in the definite concrete
historical system of public relations and expresses
their side. The public relations are a kind of
activity exchange in the historical common forms;
in this way the activity serves as their content. In
their part the historical common forms contain
the prevalent base which defines methods, ways
and means of the activity. Thus, public relations
can be considered as a form and content of social
activity at once. At the same time the activity is
an indispensable condition of preservation and
recreation of public relations. It is their source
In order to show the mechanism changing
the social sphere (public relations) into the
inner structure of a person – we use the active
The peculiarity of it is that the essence of
a man is viewed through his/her vital activity.
In such a context the most important is that a
person’s activity influences his/her coming-to-be
(formation). Consequently, a person finds his/her
particularly expression in activity and by activity.
and generator.
Those authors are right who think that the
research of a person requires only the dialectic
principle of inseparably linked social activity
and public relations. Taking into consideration
the individual peculiarities of a person this
approach can reveal his major sides. They can
define a connection and a direct dependence on
assimilated and realized public relations and also
his main structural elements, taking place in the
process of his activity.
Rediar D. Person`s Astrology. − M., 1991.
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Acts (behaviour)
influence on a personality and the mechanism
of the activity concretizing the motives of social
development on a personal level.
The personal relations are divided into two
kinds: interpersonal relations or intercourse as «the
influence of people by people and the relations
which can be called subjective» (Karl Marx).
The latter includes a person who cooperates with
people and the whole community with the help
of social institutes and other results of human
activity. The boundary between these two kinds of
personal relations are conditional and inconstant.
The relations of the concrete people turn out to be
that particular social substance, in the movement
of which the production and reproduction of public
relations are realized on the personal level.
The structure of PFPR shows the mechanism
of a «swap» of public relations in the inner
personal structure, where it is the process of
correlation of public relations and a person
through his/her active, purposeful activity. It can
be presented with the help of the following row of
the elements:
DC –
Using this dialectic principle of inseparably
linked social activity and public relations we
find the distinctive feature of the next approach
analyzing the essence of a person and his
The following principle is concretized and
expressed in the notion: «the Personal Form
of Public Relations» (PFPR). PFPR represents
personality’s assimilated public relations and his/
her activity which produces and reproduces them.1
Other words, PFPR – are the relations where a
person is an active, autonomous personality in
the production process of material and spiritual
conditions of his life. As a result PFPR includes
the personality’s activity as the content of public
relations where he/she is their subject. Hence,
in PFPR we have the dialectic correlation of
public relations and person’s activity. Within
the process of such correlation a personality
materializing object through the idea of his/her
real powers creates them, taking away the object
of social conditions of his/her being. It means that
PFPR hides both the social mechanism of social
motivational field
Here PR – a system of all the public relations
in the given society which considered as the
general determinants of his behavior.
DC – conditions of a person’s activity in
the whole, which contain more or less favorable
opportunities of his vital activity. These relations
are expressed in the forms of a person’s intercourse
and subjective relations. In practice the examples
of this component are: person’s social position in
society, his social status and others.
The NEEDS regarded as an energetic
base of his activity and therefore form the most
important component of a person’s structure and
his activity.
We can add to the sociological research
the empiric classifications. So, we distinguish
the following parameters: 1) a character of need
depending on a person’s orientation on one
or another kind; 2) a form of activity (leading
need); 3) a degree of satisfaction; 4) means of
Grishanin D., Lebedev B. To a question of a personal form of public relations // Personality and Society, Issue 5. − Kaliningrad, 1961.
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their satisfaction; 5) time of their realization and
One of the essential elements of sociological
structure is consciousness including subjective/
psychological and ideological sides of person’s
activity. The major qualities of the consciousness
are feelings, emotions, interests, opinions and
knowledge, ideological purposes, values which
as the case can stimulate a person’s behaviour.
In that way in the sphere of PFPR we find aims
and interests of a person on the one hand and the
different elements of motivational field: aims,
values on the other hand.
The result of a person’s activity lies in
the created PR which sometimes serve as a
condition and means of DC of personal activity.
In such a way the cycle continues again: to see an
opportunity of changes in public relations; feel it
as one’s own need; realize it as an interest and an
aim, reach as an result – that is the mechanism of
PFPR (Fig. 4).
As for the stages in the process of
socialization, originally this problem was being
learnt by the psychoanalytic theories. In the system
of psychoanalysis socialization is considered as a
process chronologi-cally coinciding the period of
infancy. So, Z. Freud singles out four stages of
socialization; each of them connected with the
definite ero-genic zone: oral, anal, phallic and
the stage of puberty. E. Erikson as a supporter of
freudism, distinguishes eight stages of personality
forma-tion: infancy, early childhood, playing age,
school age, juvenile age, youth, middle age and
maturity. Especially E.Ericsson differentiates the
early childhood period of socialization.
The distinctive feature of Russian social
psychology is social experience within labor
activity. According to this the stages are: prelabor, labor, post-labor.
However, we think that the first stage of
socialization (pre-labor) has some differences and
peculiarities, it may be divided into three other
stages: 1) the stage of primary socialization: from
a birth to a school admission; 2) the stage of school
education: from a school admission to leaving a
school; 3) the stage of professional education. No
doubt, that this division is relative, the boundaries
of the stages are individual for each person.
In our opinion the process of socialization is
divided into 5 stages:
• primary socialization;
• school education;
• professional education;
• social maturity;
• final stage of life cycle.1
The formation of social person’s qualities,
development of his life potential in society are
realized in his production/economic, spiritual/
cultural, social powers as an ability to produce
and improve his/her economic/social/ political,
spiritual/cultural life. The given process takes place
within the bounds of different social institutes.
These institutes are the historical common forms
of joint person’s activity.
In Fig. 5 and 6 we’ll see the scheme and
model of person’s socialization, where the
basic principle is the principle of the minimum
universum, like a matrix realizing the process of
development of any system.
In conclusion we must take on account that
the peculiarity of the universum approach is the
integrity of person’s socialization process.
Thus according to the main definitions of
the universum paradigm and the active approach,
socialization of personality can defined as an
active (self) identification of a person with social
environment in the unity of its natural, social,
Nevirko D. Peculiarities of person`s socialization in authority institutions in Russia of 90-th. − Krasnoyarsk, 1999.
– 99 –
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Subjective s tructure of pe rsona lity
Direct Conditions
Conditions of a personal activity
(general and objective relations)
Fig. 4. The Mechanisms of PFPR. The Dynamic structure of personality
Rel ations
Public Relations
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Ingenuous Conditions
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Fig. 5. Thje scheme of person`s socialization on the base of the minimum universum principle
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Fig. 6. The model of man`s socialization on the base of the minimum universum principle
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spiritual connections and elements which show
the logical process of the development of:
• two
• three levels: physical body, astral body (soul,
emotional sphere) and mental body (spirit,
– 103 –
five stages: primary socialization, school
education, professional education, social
maturity, final stage if life cycle;
seven layers of (self) identification: socio/
professional, family/clan, national/territorial,
religious/ideological, evolutional, sexual,
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Michael G. Tarasov. The Yenisei Cossacks in Mongolia During the Civil War Period
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 104-114
УДК 355.0218(T2-47)(T2-575)(T5-91714)
The Yenisei Cossacks in Mongolia During the Civil War Period
Michael G. Tarasov*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Th is article examines the Yenisei Cossacks’ participation in the Civil War in Siberia and Mongolia
during 1920-1921. The reasons for their mass emigration to Mongolia in the beginning of ‘20s and their
participation in Baron R. Ungern-Sternberg’s unit are considered for the first time. The military operations performed with their support in Mongolia and the Uriankhayskiy region are also described.
Keywords: the Yenisei Cossacks, the Civil War, Mongolia, Siberia, the Uriankhayskiy region, Baron
Ungern, General Bakich. (the shortened variants: Cossacks, Ungern, Bakich, Mongolia, Siberia, Uriankhay).
The Yenisei Cossacks, one of the oldest
military formations in Siberia, took the most
active part in the Civil War in the east of Russia.
The first Cossacks appeared at the Yenisei
River at the beginning of the 17th century. At
the beginning of the 20th century, although they
had lived in the area for centuries, the Yenisei
Cossacks were relatively few in number. In 1917
there were only about 14,000 Yenisei Cossacks
of both genders [3: 49]. Also, the Yenisei
Cossacks’ status was not high. After the Yenisei
Cossacks’ regiment was abolished in 1871 and up
to the beginning of the 20th century, there was
only the Yenisei Cossacks’ hundred, which was
transformed into the Yenisei Cossacks’ division
of three hundred during the war time. In 1910
regulation for the Krasnoyarsk Cossacks’ division
was approved [9: 329]. During the First World
War the Yenisei Cossacks’ regiment was formed
[17: 662]. After the revolution, in February 1917,
the Yenisei Cossacks made an attempt to raise
their status. On 25 May (3 June) 1917 the First
Yenisei Cossacks’ convention established the
Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion [14: 21 - 22]. The
union council of Cossacks’ troops admitted the
Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion as a full member, and
a delegate from the Yenisei Cossacks entered its
body [6: 97]. But, the official Russian government
did not accept the convention decree. Only in
1919 did the government of А. Colchak raise the
Yenisei Cossacks into the rank of a battalion on a
common basis with all the Cossacks troops [17:
Though relatively few and having no battalion
status, the Yenisei Cossacks, nevertheless, took an
active part in the Civil War. One hundred of the
Yenisei Cossacks, under the Captain Korshunov’s
command, made up the convoy of P. Krasnov
during his troops’ attack at Petrograd in October
1917 [17: 43]. In 1918 the Yenisei Cossacks,
assigned to army 1 of the eastern front line under
the command of General А. Pepeliaev, took
E-mail address:
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part in the occupation of the city Perm, the most
important industrial centre of the Northern Urals
[4, p. 688]. In 1918 – 1919 the main forces of
the Yenisei Cossacks were cast into the struggle
with the Red partisans, acting in the south of the
Yeniseisk guberniya and in the Uriankhayskiy
region (Tuva). After Admiral Kolchak’s army
defeat in the end of 1919, the Yenisei Cossacks,
having drawn off with the main White forces to
Transbaikalia, were actively fighting the Red
Army in the Far East in 1920 – 1922. They were
one of the last White guardsmen to leave Russia
[18, p. 477 - 548].
One of the greatest and most important
episodes of the Civil War for the Yenisei Cossacks
was the actions of the bands of R. UngernSternberg and А. Bakich in Mongolia. These
events, by their essence, were one of the last real
attempts by the Yenisei Cossacks to continue an
organized antisoviet struggle and to change the
situation in Siberia to their advantage.
Researching the combat activity of the
Yenisei Cossacks, who were part of the white
bands in Mongolia, gives an opportunity not
only to restore an important episode of Civil War
history, but also to clarify the role of the Yenisei
Cossacks in these events, which had over and
above a very serious foreign-policy significence.
Moreover, researching the Yenisei Cossacks’ role
in these events allows a better understanding of
the reasons for the emergence of the bands of R.
Ungern-Sternberg and А. Bakich and shows the
backgrounds that defined the character of Russian
military forces’ actions in Mongolia during the
Civil War period.
In order to achieve all this, it is first necessary
to analyze the reasons for the Yenisei Cossacks’
mass departure from Siberia to Mongolia; to study
the circumstances of the Cossacks’ unit entering
the military forces, under the command of R.
Ungern-Sternberg and А. Bakich; to examine
the Yenisei Cossacks’ actions during the military
confrontation of the Whites and the Reds in
Mongolia and nearby territories; to define the
reasons of their actions.
The article covers the period from the end
of 1920 – the time, when a unit of the Yenisei
Cossacks was formed under the command of I.
Kazantsev in Mongolia, up to the end of 1921,
when General Bakich’s unit, containing the
last white Yenisei Cossacks in the region, was
This article coveres events in Mongolia and
the Uriankhayskiy region. At the time of the Civil
War, Mongolia was «de jure» a part of China. In
spite of this, the Chinese government could not
always control the situation there. Having its own
autonomy and, at the same time, being a part
of China, Mongolia was influenced by Russia.
From the end of 19th century Russia had disputed
China’s right to Uriankhay, while at the beginning
of the century Russia had established almost full
control of the region. Moreover, the Mongolian
government tried to claim the Uriankhayskiy
region. The unclear legal status of Mongolia and
Uriankhay, the difficult domestic policy situation
between China and Russia, and the contradictory
interests of the local regional elite had determined
the complicated situation in which the Yenisei
Cossacks found out themselves abroad.
The Yenisei Cossacks’ activity within the
White military forces in Mongolia has received
little attention. Currently there are no scholarly
works devoted to this theme.
The article by N. Yefseev «The Defeat of
General Bakich» was published in 1923 and it is
one of the first works by Soviet historians about
Russian White military forces in Mongolia. The
author of the article describes the liquidation of
Bakich’s unit, to which the Yenisei Cossacks
belonged, in the proper ideological tone [8].
Later, in Soviet historiography, the
participation of the Yenisei Cossacks in the Civil
War on Mongolian territory was considered more
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often in the context of battle actions in separate
regions of RSFSR. Here, we should mention
some of the most interesting research - the works
by K. Seifulin «The History of Foreign Military
Intervention and the Civil War in Tuva», by
V. Ochur «The Great October and Tuva» and
others. [13, 15].
In modern Russian historiography the
Yenisei Cossacks’ participation in the White
military forces in Mongolia has not yet become
a subject of special research. Nevertheless, many
authors have touched on the theme. For example,
the Yenisei Cossacks participation in operations
in the Far East are discussed in detail in the
book by V. Shuldyakov «The Yenisei Cossacks’
Battalion Destruction» [17, 18]. Great attention
is given to the Yenisei Cossacks’ participation
in the Civil War in the southern territory of the
Yeniseisk guberniya, the Uriankhayskiy region
and Mongolia in the work by V. Datsishen «Sayan
knot» and others [7]. Moreover, it is also necessary
to mention such academic-belletristic works as
«The Sovereign of the Desert» by L. Yuzefovich
[19] and «The Black Griffon’s Feather» by К.
Shoygu [16], whose authors used a wide range of
material about the history of Central Siberia and
Mongolia in the Civil War period, including data
about the Yenisei Cossacks.
Currently there are no works written by
foreign historians about the Yenisei Cossacks in
the White units in Mongolia during the Civil War
period. The reminiscences of former officers of
the Asian horse cavalry division published by V.
Shayditskiy, A. Makeev and some others in 1930
– 1960 are simple memoirs without any historical
analysis [2].
After the destruction of the Siberian Army
under the command of А. Kolchak, the main part
of the Yenisei Cossacks, the Yenisei Cossacks’
brigade, which consisted of the Yenisei Cossacks’
regiments 1 and 2, the Yenisei Cossacks artillery
battery and the alternative hundred, left together
with the White military forces, drawing off to
Transbaikalia [17: 664]. Though, drawing off
the Yeniseisk guberniya and the Uriankhayskiy
region, a significant number of the Yenisei
Cossacks concentrated in Western Mongolia from
1920 – to the beginning of 1921. They camped in
Ulyasutay Town, not far from the Tuva border.
Several reasons made the Yenisei Cossacks leave
for Mongolia.
Firstly, the Yenisei Cossacks believed that
the Reds would be soon be forced out of Siberia,
as they had been in 1918. Hoping for such an
end, the Cossacks did not want to go far from
their homes. In Mongolia, they could get current
information about their native places, making it
possible to take part in the Reds’ expulsion at a
well-chosen moment and promptly return to their
homes. Uriankhay and Mongolia, after it had
been occupied by the Reds, closely fit this target.
Situated near the Yenisei Cossacks’ homes and
having well-run lines of communication with the
Yeniseisk guberniya, these regions were wellknown to the Cossacks. From the beginning of 17th
century the Yenisei Cossacks had traditionally
served on the border of Mongolia and China.
From the end of 19th century they had visited
the Uriankhayskiy region during their service
[7: 62, 116]. Moreover, economic contacts with
the population of the Uriankhayskiy region and
Mongolia had also been developing. Apparently,
this familiarit with Uriankhay and Mongolia
contributed to the Yenisei Cossacks’ retreating
to these territories after the defeat of Kolchak’s
army in Siberia. We may also suppose that the
Yenisei Cossacks did not forget the promise of А.
Kolchak to give them the Uriankhayskiy region as
their battalion territory [17: 336].
Secondly, the Yenisei Cossacks, in retreating
to Mongolia, could have simply failed to be on
time to leave for Transbaikalia with the main
military forces of the Siberian army. And to stay in
the Yeniseisk guberniya territory was dangerous.
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This was due not only to the approach of the Red
Army, but also to the extremely hostile attitude
towards the Yenisei Cossacks from the regional
peasant population [13: 19]. Even before the
beginning of the Civil War, the representatives
of the first Yenisei Cossacks’ convention in May,
1917, had stated that both the peasants and the
foreign population of the Yeniseisk guberniya
had a hostile attitude towards the Cossacks [14:
7, 11]. During the Civil War period, the main part
of the Yenisei Cossacks - 10 hundreds out of 12,
was in the Yeniseisk guberniya and was engaged
in suppressing peasants’ rebellions, which only
exacerbated the Cossacks’ relations with local
peasants. Moreover, the Yenisei Cossacks did
not live in a compact group, but were spread
throughout the Yeniseisk guberniya, which was a
great disadvantage during conflicts with peasants
and foreigners. One should also consider the
small size of the Cossacks’ population compared
to the total guberniya population, - about 0, 8%
[6: 94, 96]. The fact that there were many women
and children, apparently members of Cossacks’
families, within Bakich’s unit, also implicitly
reveals the hostility of the native non-Cossack
population as of a reason for the Cossacks’ mass
Having left for Mongolia, the Yenisei
Cossacks formed a unit, the leader of which
became the Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion captain
I. Kazantsev. According to some sources,
Ensign Zanin’s hundred became the backbone of
Kazantsev’s unit. [17: 664]. At the end of 1920
– beginning of 1921, under the command of
I. Kazantsev up to 150 Yenisei Cossacks gathered.
I. Kazantsev was elected president of the battalion
administration by circle 5 of the Yenisei Cossacks’
battalion, which took place in the period of 15 –
21 of February, 1919 in Minusink. In May, 1920
Bolsheviks put him into the Irkutskaya guberniya
prison, from which he ran away from in October
of that year [3: 49; 8: 244]. Possessing high official
status and great physical force and resoluteness, I.
Kazantsev could successfully take upon himself
the role of unit commandment [17: 162].
Far from home, in alien surroundings, the
Yenisei Cossacks were ready and willing to
continue their struggle.
The situation in Mongolia at that time was
complicated. Having received a wide autonomy
within the frames of the Chinese state in 1911,
Mongolia was under a zone influence of Russia.
It allowed the Mongolian government to carry out
an independent policy. However, in 1919 China
took advantage of the internal war in Russia
and occupied Mongolia. The head of Mongolia,
Bogdo-gegen, was actually under house arrest.
A year later the situation changed. After the
defeat of the Far-Eastern (White) Army of Ataman
G. Semenov by the military forces of People’sRevolutionary Army of the Far-Eastern Republic
in Transbaikalia in October 1920, Baron R.
Ungern-Sternberg left Russia. He understood that
he could not stand against the Reds by himself,
and he went to Mongolia with his Asian horse
cavalry division [9: 237, 240]. On 3 February
1921 R. Ungern-Sternberg expelled the Chinese
from Urga Town. He became the governor of
Mongolia and made it a base for his military
operations against Soviet Russia. The Mongolian
elite, the lords and Bogdo-gegen, were grateful to
R. Ungern-Sternberg for freeing them from the
Chinese and, afraid of their return, supported all
his undertakings.
Under such circumstances, Baron R. UngernSternberg, the Russian officer, the constant enemy
of the Soviet system, the person who had taken
under his control the main part of Mongolia, could
be considered by the Yenisei Cossacks as their
absolute leader. Already in spring 1921, when
Baron Ungern began to take the control of all the
Russian military forces in Mongolia at that time,
the detachment of I. Kazantsev became part of the
Asian horse cavalry division, while also remaining
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as a separate military unit [18: 336]. Apparently,
the Baron’s promise to fulfill Kolchak’s decision
had played a role in I. Kazantsev’s decision to
submit to R. Ungern-Sternberg, the decision to
create the Uriankhay Cossacks’ battalion from
the Yenisei Cossacks, and the assignation of
the Uriankhayskiy region to the Cossacks for
colonization. According to some accounts, the
Yenisei Cossacks of I. Kazantsev’s unit took the
promise at face value and even began to calculate
the size of their future land shares [17: 336].
Moreover, Ungern appointed I. Kazantsev himself
to be a battalion ataman, notwithstanding the fact
that officially the Yenisei Cossacks already had
an ataman – A. Tyalshinskiy, elected in Big Circle
5 of the Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion [3: 49]. We
may also suppose that, at that time, the victory of
the Reds in Siberia was not taken by the Yenisei
Cossacks as final, and that they hoped for events
similar to those of 1918, when for several weeks
almost all of Siberia was free of Bolsheviks. They
understood the necessity of continued fighting
against the Reds, and with the support of other
Atthe end of April, Ungern met with the
heads of separate units under the Baron’s operative
command in Van-Khure Village. B. Rezukhin, N.
Kazagrandy, А. Shubin, I. Kazantsev and others
were present. At the meeting the plan of future
combat operations against Soviet Russia was
discussed. Actually, two plans suggested by B.
Rezukhin and N. Kazagrandy, commanders of the
biggest battle units, were discussed. B. Rezukhin
suggested a plan in which all the small units led
by B. Rezukhin, N. Kazagrandy, A. Shubin, I.
Kazantsev were to join his brigade, which would
have contained up to 700 men. Being the third
brigade head of the Asian division, B. Rezukhin
was going to cross at the western side of the
Selenga River and move to Baikal. At the same
time, Ungern himself was to attack Troitskosavsk
and Kyakhta along the Orkhon valley and, after
their capture, he was to attack Verkhneudinsk.
N. Kazagrandy offered another plan.
According to it, all the smaller units, B. Rezukhin’s
brigade and Ungern’s main military forces would
have acted by themselves but according to a single
plan and would have coordinated their actions
with each other. Kaygorodov had to fight from
Kobdo to Biysk, Kazagrandy and Shubin had to go
to the southern part of the Irkutskaya guberniya,
and Kazantsev had to go through Uriankhay, in
order to organize the Yenisei Cossacks for the
struggle against the Soviet regime. Apparently,
the later plan counted on a mass volunteers’
inrush into the White units from local territories,
through which it had been planned to attack.
In the other case, spreading forces would have
deprived the attacking side of all hope of success.
There were real chances of support from the local
population. In the beginning of 1921, Y. Yanson,
the Central Siberia foreign affairs commissar
reported to B. Shumyatskiy: «The moods in
Mongolia and Uriankhay are not to our advantage
[…]. The presence of our military forces in the
Uriankhayskiy region is not justified for the
White liquidation.» [1, Fond 1, Bordereau 1, File
125. List 7]. After some hesitations, R. UngernSternberg accepted the plan of N. Kazagrandy.
The result of it was the appearance of «Order 15»
[18: 172].
The official issuing date of «Order 15» was
21 May, 1921. By this Order, Ungern proclaimed
the beginning of a crusade against Soviet Russia,
aiming to overthrow Bolshevism and, in paragraph
4, in particular, defined the direction of the main
blows: «… а) Western – the Manzhouli station;
b) the Mondensk direction, along Yablonoi
Mountains; c) along the Selenga river; d) the
Irkutsk direction; e) out from the Uriankhayskiy
region down the Yenisei river; е) down the Irtish
river. […] The commanders of separate sectors
had to be ruled by these directions and to follow
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the directives of colonel N. Kazagrandy in Irkutsk
direction, orders of Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion
ataman I. Kazantsev in the Uriankhay direction,
and orders of Cossack captain Kaygorodov in the
Irtish direction» [19: 231].
In May 1921, preparing his unit attack,
I. Kazantsev arrived in Uriankhay, at Khemchik,
allegedly being invited by Khemchik noyon
Buyan-Budyirgy. At the meeting with the heads
of two Khemchik khoshuns, I. Kazantsev reached
an agreement with the Touvinians that they would
find 400 armed soldiers Touvinians for Kazantsev’s
unit. But, the day after the negotiations begun, I.
Kazantsev had to run away, having left behind
all the documents and his personal effects. The
revolting arats rounded upon him right on the
place of negotiations with the noyons [7: 202].
But nevertheless, the prearrangements for the
military advance were continued. The Mongolian
military department sent to Touvinian governors
the orders, where Uriankhay noyons were obliged
to render every kind of assistance to Kazantsev’s
unit. Moreover, according to this order, it was
decided to send an officer, lama Chamzy-Kamby,
to the Uriankhayskiy region, to Khemchik «in
order to gather arms and soldiers in Uriankhay
khoshuns and sumo for joining Russian White
military forces and concurrently mopping up our
lands of the enemy» [15: 97].
On 18 May, 1921 Kazantsev’s unit entered
the Uriankhayskiy region in two columns. Having
entered the Uriankhay territory, the eastern column,
under the command of Lieutenant Popolzukhin,
camped at the estuary of the Tarlashkyn River.
The second column, under the leadership of
I. Kazantsev himself, headed for Khemchik.
Shortly before that, Kazantsev had received a
letter from noyon Daa-khoshun Buyan-Budyirgy,
in which he promised to give Kazantsev 400 wellarmed Touvinians. Being completely sure of the
Touvinian elite’s support, Kazantsev sent a secret
letter to Popolzukhin, when he was still half way
to Khemchik. In the letter he wrote: «Instructions:
take under your command the mobilized Uriankhay
population, and form out of them two hundreds for
Soyot regiment 2. In order to drill them military,
appoint to them your cavalry instructors, knowing
the language, if possible». By the same letter I.
Kazantsev suggested measures for capturing I.
Safyanov, the most active adherent of the Soviet
Regime in Tuva [16: 59].
However, the well-planned operation of the
Yenisei Cossacks’s unit suffered a defeat. On
23 May 1921 Popolzukhin’s unit was already
smashed by the Red partisan unit of S. Kochetov
at the Tarlashkyn River. The main part of the
unit was destroyed and most Cossacks, including
unit commander Popolzukhin, were captured by
the Reds. Simultaneously, two Red squadrons of
regiment 352, under the leadership of regiment
commandant Lizenkov, occupied Samagaltay
khure, where there was the White camp. [1. F. Р-49. 2 Fl. 10. L. 112]. At the same day, on 23rd
May, at Khemchik, in the Chadan region of, 200
of the armed Touvinians attacked the Kazantsev's
camp. Having lost many soldiers, the White
unit had to leave for Mongolia [7: 203]. Having
examined captured Lieutenant Popolzukhin, the
Reds found out, that «…at the beginning of the
operation in the region of Khemchik -Samagaltay
there was one common enemy unit of 450 men
under the command of ataman I. Kazantsev,
reporting to Ungern. The unit was divided into
three groups and performed Soyots’ impressment,
which gave them in result up to 700 men. The first
group under the command of Lieutenant Kryakhno
was placed along the Chadan river (apparently, I.
Kazantsev, the commander of the unit, was within
the group – М. Т.), the second and the third
groups made camp in the region of Yercin-Gol,
besides, the second group had been destroyed
in battle (the group of Popolzukhin himself is
meant – М. Т.), and the third group, under the
command of warrant officer Vedernikov, was
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Michael G. Tarasov. The Yenisei Cossacks in Mongolia During the Civil War Period
gone in an unknown direction» [5: 269]. While
estimating the White military forces in Mongolia,
the Reds somewhat exaggerated their quantity, in
particular, Kazantsev’s unit, which they thought
about 700 cavalry men [11: 244].
The following reasons led to Kazantsev’s
unit defeat in Uriankhay. Firstly, the Uriankhay
population’s impressment failed to give not only
battle-worthy personnel assets but, on the contrary,
it weakened the unit in that the impressed Soyots
tried to desert as quickly as possible, they also felt
hostility towards their commandment. Secondly,
while being on Ungern’s side, Mongolian lords
wanted to gain control over Tuva, which had
been always considered be a part of Mongolia.
They managed to get their plans approval by
the Uriankhay elite, but not by the Uriankhay
population, whose attitude towards Mongolians
was extremely antagonistic. This can explain the
fact that ordinary Touvinians-arats took the most
active part in the struggle against Kazantsev’s units.
Thirdly, Kazantsev’s unit had a critically limited
supply of arms. Here, for example, is information
from the Minusinsk district executive committee
to the Yeniseisk regional committee about one of
Kazantsev’s units: «…the second band […] is of
three hundred men, only one hundred being armed
among them, and among the other two hundreds
there are several women-refugees» [1. F. 1. B. 1.
lords [13: 98]. In the letter to the Khemchik
Noyons, the khan threatened to punish those
Noyons, «who have not full filled their promises,
and over disobedient arats as well» [16: 101].
Active diplomatic pressure by the Mongolian
government on Uriankhay Noyons continued up
to the middle of the summer of 1921 – when the
pro-Soviet government of Sukhe-Bator came to
power in Mongolia. This event not only deprived
the White units of the Mongolian government’s
support, but it meant the failure of all their plans
of armed struggle against the Soviet Regime. The
Red government victory in Mongolia made their
chances for physical survival insignificant.
Striving for the final defeat of the White
military forces in Mongolia, the Red partisans held
a conference on 3 August, 1921. In the conference
it was decided to unite all the partisan units of
Uriankhay under the command of S. Kochetov.
Moreover, in August, 1921, regiment 440 of the
Red Army was deployed from Minusinsk to Tuva
[7: 205]. At the end of August – the beginning
of September the Soviet commandment began
a military attack on the White positions in all
directions. Red troops were brought into Mongolia
from Altai and Uriankhay. On 6 September, 1921,
cavalry division 13, consisting of 1350 soldiers, 32
machine-guns and 4 main guns, occupied SharaSume Town. Selected special designation unit 22
Fl. 133. L. 121]. Apparently, this unit was actually
a group of refugees not capable of fighting
seriously. The Mongolian governors’ reaction
to Kazantsev’s unit defeat was interesting. The
Mongolian khan Tsorukhtu sent a letter to ambynnoyon Sodnam-Balchir with a request to provide
him the information about «what kind of Russians
have destroyed the White unit of Mongolians and
Russians, their quantity, where they are now, and
who from khoshuns and how many Uriankhay
men have been involved in that incident». More
over, the letter instructed that these Uriankhay
men were to be «judged strictly» by Mongolian
of soviet army 5 under the command of К. Baikalov
(Nekunde) left Kosh-Agach for Kobdo. The main
body of the unit was Irkutsk communists and
Komsomols; it numbered 450 Red soldiers, 300
of them were cavalry men with 20 machine-guns.
An integrated partisan unit, consisting of 425 men
under the command of S. Kochetov, went from the
Uriankhayskiy region to Ulangom [10: 18-20].
Nevertheless, the Russian and foreign
soldiers’ unit of esaul А. Kaygorodov managed to
block the unit of K. Baikalov in Sarul-Gun khure
in the region of the Tolbo-nur Lake, not far from
Kobdo. The unit of General А. Bakich, consisting
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of the remnants of the Orenburgian corps and also
including a large number of refugees, women,
children and civilians, arrived at Sarul-Gun to
join Kaygorodov [15: 316]. I. Kazantsev and his
unit, consisting of, according to different sources
of information, from 150 to 300 men, alsoarrived
there, after having failed to attack Uriankhay
[11: 253; 15: 336]. Some researchers think that,
at the beginning of August 1921, after having
failed to attack the territory of Soviet Russia and
having lost Urga, Baron Ungern himself planned
to retreat to Western Mongolia and unite with the
military forces of А. Bakich, А. Kaygorodov and I.
Kazantsev, but the mutiny, which had just begun in
the Asian division, disrupted his plans [11: 252].
An integrated unit of А. Kaygorodov, А.
Bakich and I. Kazantsev managed to defeat the
Red Mongolian unit of Khasbator, which consisted
of 400 sabers, and was close to taking control of
all of Western Mongolia. But the siege of SarulGun monkery ended in failure. The fighting spirit
of the besieged, their superior armament did not
allow the Whites to capture the monkery. The
Reds declined the ultimatum of А. Bakich, who
had become the head of the integrated unit, and
fought off several combat assaults of the khure
[11: 253].
The Soviet Government urgently sent an
integrated unit of Chonovians and two regular
On 25 October 1921, in the region of
Khonur-Ulen, 100 kilometers north-west from
Kobdo, Bakich’s unit was defeated by the Red
troops of rifle regiment 185 and cavalry regiment
59 and was staved to Kobdo, from there it left
for Ulangom [1. F. Р-49. B. 2 ac. Fl. 10. L. 7].
As this took place, some Bakich’s people left the
unit and surrendered to the Reds. Most of these
captives, Yenisei Cossacks among them, died of
cold or hunger or were simply shot by the guards
[18: 337].
In despair, А. Bakich and I. Kazantsev tried
to find a way into the Uriankhayskiy region.
There were no paths of retreat to China; Mongolia
was fully under the Reds’ control. More over, А.
Bakich could not count for internment, as far as
in May – June, 1921, after the defeat of the White
Army, the unit under his command retreated to
China from Russia and, having refused to disarm,
smashed Chinese troops and went to Altai
district of Sintszyan. It is thought that А. Bakich
intended to free the district of Chinese troops,
to join the region to Outer Mongolia and make
it a base for military operations against Soviet
Russia [17: 327-321]. Moreover, the presence of
Ungern, who had fought against the governmental
Chinese troops in the unit meant that the Chinese
government would not necessarily act humanely
towards Russian soldiers and officers.
regiments to help – regiment 185 of Perm rifle
division 21 and cavalry regiment 59 [1. F. Р-49.
B. 2 ac. Fl. 10. L. 7]. Having known about the
approach of major Red military forces, the Whites
relieved the khure siege that had lasted for 42 days.
After that, the unit of Kaygorodov left А. Bakich
and managed to reach the Altai Mountains. At
that time, a mutiny occured in I. Kazantsev’s unit,
caused by its continuous failures. The major part
of the unit left their commander and moved to the
Reds. The fate of these soldiers is unknown. After
that, the remnant Kazantsev’s Cossacks decisively
joined the unit of А. Bakich [11: 253].
The impossibility of staying in Mongolia, the
unwillingness or incapability of leaving for China
forced А. Bakich and I. Kazantsev to capture a
major populated point in Uriankhay territory, to
make a base in it and to try to survive a severe
Esaul А. Kaygorodov demonstrated a
capability of battling through the territory of
Soviet Russia and starting an armed struggle
against the Reds. His unit, earlier coordinated by
А. Bakich, after the defeat at Sarul-Gun, managed
to rush through on the territory of Russia, to the
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Altai Mountains, where А. Kaygorodov began
active partisan operations [18: 339-340].
The unit’s target became a large Russian
village Atamanovka, situated in Uriankhay, not
far from Belotsarsk. On 21 December, 1921
Bakich – Kazantsev’s unit, numbering more than
1000 men of Orenburgian, Siberian and Yenisei
Cossacks, White Guards and White patriots,
attacked Atamanovka. Apparently, it became
disastrous for the Whites that, while crossing a
polynya in the Elegest River, they could not save
the machine guns and main guns fromgetting
wet and rendered them useless. Nevertheless, the
Whites began to attack the village and the Red
garrison barely managed to fight them. During the
second attack, the Red partisan unit of S. Kochetov
struck behind Bakich and Kazantsev. The Whites
were completely defeated. Up to 200 men were
slaughtered or wounded; up to 300 were captured
by the Reds. Five machine guns, one main gun
and the whole column of vehicles were seized by
the Reds. In the battle the unit’s commander and
the Yenisei Cossacks’ captain I. Kazantsev was
killed [18: 338].
А. Bakich and the remnants of his unit had to
go back to Mongolia, to Ulangom. But there was
no longer any possibility to continue the struggle.
On 30 December, 1921 А. Bakich capitulated
with all his unit of 700 men to the Mongolian
revolutionary government military forces under
the command of Khatan-Bator-Van [11: 253].
This event put an end to the Yenisei Cossacks’
participation in organized opposition to the Soviet
Regime in Mongolia. According to operations
reports, sent to the headquarters of army 5, there
was a significant number of women and children
among the captives. There were 23 women and
children out of 131 people of a captives’ gang that
arrived in Minusinsk at the end of March, 1922. If
we take into account the apparently much higher
mortality rate among these groups of captives,
especially in winter time, we may suppose that in
I. Kazantsev’s and А. Bakich’s units, women and
children reached up to one fifth of the total number
of people. So, here it may be more appropriate to
speak about refugee groups, rather than about
battle units [F. 1. B. 1. Fl. 108. L. 19].
In conclusion, giving a general evaluation
of the Yenisei Cossacks’ actions as a part of the
White military forces in Mongolia, it is necessary
to underline the following principal moments.
The reasons for the mass departure of the
Yenisei Cossacks to Mongolia in the beginning of
1920 – 1921 lay in the Yenisei Cossacks’ attempt
to find safety for themselves and their families
from the Soviet persecution. The relatively small
number of Cossacks and their family members
(about 0,8 %) of the population of the Yeniseisk
guberniya, and also their dispersed settlements
among peasants and foreigners hostile to them
were also a reason for their departure abroad.
The impossibility of the majority of the Yenisei
Cossacks to leave for Transbaikalia, and also their
attempt to be near the territory of their former
settlements determined their major concentration
in Mongolia. This fact is also proved by the content
of the Yenisei Cossacks’ unit in Mongolia. There
was a very high rate of refugees in the unit (up to
two thirds): women, children and unarmed men.
Apparently, the refugees also originally planned
to return to their homes after the political situation
changed. A good knowledge of the regions from
military service and business, contributed to the
Yenisei Cossacks’ departure to the Uriankhayskiy
region and then to Mongolia.
The Yenisei Cossacks’ battalion joined the
unit under the command of I. Kazantsev, a part
of the Asian horse cavalry division of R. UngernSternberg. The latter joined the unit of А. Bakich
and was determined to become a part of any
major anti-Bolshevic politico-military force that
gave them an opportunity not only to continue
the struggle against the Reds, but also to save
the Yenisei Cossacks, their families and other
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Michael G. Tarasov. The Yenisei Cossacks in Mongolia During the Civil War Period
refugees in Mongolia, from Soviet Russia’s peril
and from danger from the Mongolians.
The Yenise Cossacks battalion under the
command of I. Kazantsev was involved in the
armed opposition of the White units of R. UngernSternberg and А. Bakich against the Chinese
government, and the continuing battles with
Soviet troops. Having joined the White units in
Mongolia, the Yenisei Cossacks took a most active
part in the struggle against the Reds. This could
be explained by the fact that, first of all, the zone
of military actions was very close to the places
of the Cossacks’ former settlements. The attack,
undertaken by Baron Ungern in Soviet Russia,
was a failure and it deprived the Cossacks of the
possibility of returning to their homes. The White
units’ military confrontation against the Chinese
government, while in Mongolia, made impossible
to retreat to China. The victory of the pro-Soviet
government of Sukhe-Bator made remaining
in Mongolia extremely dangerous for both the
Yenisei Cossacks and all the White units.
Under such circumstances, the only way out
for the Yenisei Cossacks was an attempt to fight
in Russia, in order to start a new round of military
struggle against the Soviet Regime. The situation
in Siberia and in Soviet Russia did not give them
this opportunity.
On the whole, the situation in which the
Yenisei Cossacks found themselves in Mongolia
in 1920 – 1921 and their actions during that period
were caused by a whole row of circumstances
of both objective and subjective character.
The Cossacks met irresolvable problems and
consequent circumstances were characteristic
of that time and place for all the White military
1. Archive Agency of the Krasnoyarsk Region Administration (ААKRA). Funds: 1 (Yeniseisk
Guberniya Committee of Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks), Р-49 (Yeniseisk Guberniya
Executive Committee of Working, Peasant and the Red Army Deputies’ Soviet).
2. The White Emigration in China and Mongolia, compiled by S.Volkov (Moscow: CJSC
Tsentrpoligraph, 2005).
3. Y. Buyanov, The Yenisei Cossacks’ Battalion Society (The Yenisei Cossacks’ Battalion). Cossacks
at the Yenisei River (Krasnoyarsk, 2003), p. 47-52.
4. The Great Siberian Ice March, compiled by S.Volkov (Moscow: CJSC Tsentrpoligraph, 2004).
5. Soviet Russia Policy in Far East (1920 – 1922). Collection of documents (Novosibirsk, 1996).
6. V. Datsishen, ‘Krasnoyarsk Cossacks at the End of XIX – at the Beginning of XX Centuries. About
the Problem of Identity Preservation and Social Class Circularity’, Siberian sub-ethnos: culture,
traditions, mentality, N. 2, Book 1 (Krasnoyarsk, 2006), pp. 92-100.
7. V. Datsishen and G. Ondar, «Sayan knot»: the Usinsko-Uriankhayskiy region: Russian-Touvinian
relations in 1911-1921 (Kyzyl, 2003).
8. N. Yevseev, ‘The Defeat of General Bakich’, The Red Army of Siberia, № 5/6 (Novonikolayevsk,
1923), pp. 123-155.
9. Cossacks’ Battalions. Up to April, 1912: Reference Book of the Imperial headquarters, compiled
by V.Khazin (St. Petersburg, 1912).
10. I. Molokov, The Defeat of Bakich (Omsk, 1979).
11. P. Novikov, The Civil War in Eastern Siberia (Moscow: CJSC Tsentrpoligraph, 2005).
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12. Ph. Ossendovsiy, And Animals, and People, and Gods (Moscow: Piligrim, 1994).
13. V. Ochur, ‘The Great October and Tuva’ (Kyzyl, 1967).
14. ‘Resolution of the Yenisei Cossacks’ Meeting 1 held in Krasnoyarsk, on 25 May’, Siberian Village,
1917, № 13, pp. 2-23.
15. K. Seifulin, The History of Foreign Military Intervention and the Civil War in Tuva (1918 – 1921)
(Kyzyl, 1956).
16. K. Shoygu, The Black Griffon’s Feather (Kyzyl, 1998).
17. V. Shuldyakov, The Yenisei Cossacks’ Battalion Destruction. 1917 – 1920, Book I (Moscow:
CJSC Tsentrpoligraph, 2004).
18. V. Shuldyakov, The Yenisei Cossacks’ Battalion Destruction». 1920 – 1922, Book II (Moscow:
CJSC Tsentrpoligraph, 2004).
19. L. Yuzefovich, The Sovereign of the Desert (Fate phenomena of Baron R. Ungern-Sternberg)
(Moscow: Alice Luck, 1993).
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Taras Zagibalov. Basic Units for Chinese Opinionated Information Retrieval
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 115-123
УДК 495.1
Basic Units for Chinese Opinionated
Information Retrieval
Taras Zagibalov*
University of Sussex
Falmer Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
This paper presents the results of experiments in which the authors tested different types of features for
retrieval of Chinese opinionated texts. We assume that the task of retrieval of opinionated texts (OIR)
can be regarded as a subtask of general IR, but with some distinct features. The experiments showed
that the best results were obtained from combinating character-based processing, dictionary look up
(maximum matching) and a negation check.
Keywords: Chinese world, Cross-Language Opinion Extraction system, opinion extraction, opinion
summarization, opinion tracking.
1. Introduction
The extraction of opinionated information
has recently become an important research topic.
Business and governmental institutions often need
to have information about how their products
or actions are perceived by people. Individuals
may be interested in other people’s opinions on
different items ranging from political events to
consumer products.
At the same time globalization has made the
whole world smaller, and a notion of the world
as a ’global village’ does not surprise people
nowadays. Indeed, we buy products which are
also being sold overseas, we are dependent on
political and economic processes which have
a global dimension, and we want to know what
people feel about certain events, personalities or
products worldwide.
In this context we assume information in
Chinese to be of particular interest. The Chinese
world (the mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong,
Singapore and numerous Chinese communities
all over the world) is getting more and more
influential over the world economy and politics.
China itself is not just a country that happens to
have the world’s biggest population, but is also
a fast-growing market and, as some observers
indicate, a possible candidate for the role of a new
world super power.
We therefore believe that a system capable
of providing access to opinionated information
in other languages (especially in Chinese) might
be of great use for individuals as well as for
institutions involved in international trade or
international relations.
The experiments presented in this paper were
done in the context of Opinionated Information
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Retrieval which is planned to be a module in a
Cross-Language Opinion Extraction system
(CLOE). The main goal of this system is to
provide access to opinionated information on
any topic ad-hoc in a language different to the
language of a query.
To implement the idea the CLOE system
which is the context for the experiments described
in the paper will consist of four main modules:
1. Query translation
2. Opinionated Information Retrieval
3. Opinionated Information Extraction
4. Results presentation
The OIR module will process complex queries
consisting of a word sequence indicating a topic
and sentiment information. An example of such
a query is: “Asus laptop + OPINIONS”, another,
more detailed query, might be “Asus laptop
+ POSITIVEOPINIONS”. Thus the proposed
module will process ad-hoc queries, which means
it is more closely related to IR than to traditional
text classification1. This paper will discuss only
the OIR component of the CLOE system.
2. Related Work
2.1. The problem of a basic unit definition
for Chinese NLP
One of the central problems in Chinese NLP
is what the basic unit of processing should be.
The problem is caused by a distinctive feature of
the Chinese language-absence of explicit word
boundaries, while it is widely assumed that a word
is of extreme importance for any NLP task. This
problem is also crucial for the present study as the
basic unit definition affects the kinds of features
to be used.
Chinese is an ideographic language, and
Chinese characters (or hieroglyphs, or hanzi in
Chinese) are the main units of written language.
The characters are perceived by native speakers
as basic units of their language which entitles the
character to be a sociological word. However, the
character can not be equal to the word as there
are units in the language more than one character
long, which are not decomposable and cannot be
regarded as compounds consisting of independent
words (characters).
But most of the word-level units in the
Chinese language are compounds consisting of
meaningful components and quite often these units
are constructed according to the syntactic models
of the language and are structurally ”transparent”
for native speakers. These units semantically and
structurally are very close to phrases, which makes
it very hard to attribute this kind of compound to
either a word or a phrase class. For example: chi
fan “eat + food”can be one word ’to eat’, or can
be a phrase as both parts of it can be separated
by attributes (as well as by any other words or
phrases): ‘chi hao fan’ “eat good food”.
Another problem is that there are quite a
lot of compounds which can be constructed by
productive models and thus can not be exhaustively
covered by any dictionary2.
Unlike most European languages,the process
of word production is very active in the Chinese
language. The constituents of such“newly-born”
compounds can be short forms of two or threecharacter long words. Example: han zai “drought”
can be reduced to han and become a part of chun
han “drought in spring” or han qu “drought
affected area” (examples are taken from the work
by Peng (2002))
All these phenomena of the Chinese language
makes it is nearly impossible to exhaustively
define what a word is in the Chinese language. It
It well corresponds to the difference between IR and classification as it is stated by Jackson and Moulinier (Jackson and
Moulinier, 2002). The main difference between IR and classification is that an IR system is supposed to process almost any
query of a user (ad-hoc), while a classification task is usually more rigid, with the objective of obtaining and classifying
information for more long-living tasks, such as archiving.
This kind of words is often regarded as grammar words.
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results in absence of a widely accepted definition
of wordhood in Chinese (Xue, 2003).
2.2. The basic units used in the experiments
Sproat et al. (1996) showed that the rate
of agreement between two human judges doing
manual word segmentation of Chinese texts is
less than 80%. Peng et al. (2002) reported that
at around 70% word segmentation accuracy an
over-segmentation phenomenon begins to occur
which leads to a reduction in information retrieval
These observations inspired us to use a
mixed approached,based both on words (tokens
consisting of more then one character) and
characters as basic units. It is also important to
note, that we use notion of words in sense of
Vocabulary Word as it was stated by Li (2000).
It means that we use only tokens that are listed
in a dictionary, and do not look for all words
(including grammar words).
2.3. Opinion extraction
Processing of subjective texts and opinions
has received a lot of interest recently. This research
uses one of three paradigms: classification,
information retrieval (IR) or information extraction
(IE).Sentiment classification using machine
learning was studied by Pang et al. (2002). The
authors showed that machine learning methods
(NaiveBayes, maximum entropy classification,
and support vector machines) do not perform as
well on sentiment classification as on traditional
topic-based categorization. The authors also
showed that bigrams are not effective at capturing
context in sentiment extraction, while attempt
to model the potentially important contextual
effect of negation had some positive influence on
Turney (2002) proposed an unsupervised
learning algorithm for classifying a review where
the sentiment direction of a phrase is calculated
as the mutual information between the given
phrase and the word ‘excellent’ minus the mutual
information between the given phrase and the
word ‘poor’.
Kim and Hovy (2004) used sentiment
dictionary based approach. In the work the authors
present a system capable of defining not only
sentiment polarity,but also the holder of opinion.
Das and Chen (2006) designed an algorithm
which comprises different classifier algorithms
coupled together by a voting scheme for extracting
small investor sentiment from stock message
boards. Among the others they use a classifier
algorithm based on a word count of positive and
negative connotation words.
Some papers report studies of different
aspects of opinionated texts classification. For
example, Aueand Gamon (2005) and Read (2005)
paid special attention to the problem of domain
dependency in sentiment classification. Pang and
Lee (2004) reported better accuracy comparing to
traditional classification when only subjectivity
extracts (subjective portions of the document, not
the whole text) were processed by the polarity
Some authors have tried to use more
linguistic information (thus more context) to
improve classification accuracy. Mullen and
Collier (Mullen and Collier, 2004) used several
classes of features based upon the proximity of
the topic with phrases which have been assigned
favour ability values in order to take advantage
of situations in which the topic of the text may be
explicitly identified. Whitelaw et al. (2005) used
appraisal groups, a set of attribute values in several
task-independent semantic taxonomies based
on Appraisal Theory (for example,very good or
not terribly funny). Subasic and Huettner (2001)
proposed the fuzzy-affect lexicon,from which a
fuzzy thesaurus and affect category groups are
generated for analysing the affect content in free
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Several sentiment information retrieval
models were proposed in the framework of
probabilistic language models by Eguchi and
Lavrenko (2006). The setting for the study was
a situation when a user’s query specifies not only
terms expressing a certaintopic and also specifies
a sentiment polarity of interest in some manner.
Dave et al. (Dave et al., 2003) described a tool for
sifting through and synthesizing product reviews,
automating the sort of work done by aggregation
sites or clipping services. A number of studies
(Riloff et al., 2005; Wiebe and Riloff, 2005; Choi
et al., 2005; Riloff et al., 2006) use an information
extraction paradigm for sentiment extraction and
automatic feature selection for this task.
Recently Ku et al. (Ku et al., 2006a; Ku et al.,
2005a; Ku et al., 2006c; Ku et al., 2006b; Ku et
al., 2005b) published several works on sentiment
extraction from Chinese texts (opinion extraction,
opinion summarization and opinion tracking).
3. Experiments
In this paper we present the results of
experiments in which we tested different kinds
of features (based on our definition of the basic
unit, see 2.2) for retrieval of Chinese opinionated
As stated earlier (see 1), we assume that the
task of retrieval of opinionated texts (OIR) can be
regarded as a subtask of general IR with a query
consisting of two parts: (1) words indicating topic
and (2) a semantic class indicating sentiment
(OPINIONS).The latter part of the query cannot
be specified in terms that can be instantly used in
the process of retrieval.
The sentiment part of the query can
be further detailed into subcategories such
of which can be split according to sentiment
whatever level of categorisation we use, the
query is still too abstract and cannot be used in
practice. It therefore needs to be put into words
and most probably expanded.
To test the proposed approach we designed
two experiments.
The purpose of the first experiment was to find
the most effective kind of features for sentiment
polarity discrimination (detection) which can be
used for OIR1.
Nieet al. (2000) found that for Chinese IR the
most effective kinds of features were a combination
of dictionary look up (longest-match algorithm)
together with unigrams (single characters). The
approach was tested in the context of OIR in the
first experiment.
The second experiment was designed to test
the found set of features with OIR query of the
first level (retrieves opinionated information)
and in OIR query of the second level (retrieves
opinionated information with sentiment direction
detection). Interims of IR the experimental system
for the second test can be formulated as the system
capable of retrieving texts with the following two
kinds of queries: 1. OPINIONS and 2. POSITIVE
For the “wording” and expansion of
the sentiment part of the query in the second
experiment we use the NTU sentiment dictionary
(NTUSD) (by Ku et al. (2006b))2 as well as a list
of sentiment scores of Chinese characters obtained
from processing of the same dictionary. Dictionary
look up used the longest-match algorithm. The
dictionary has 2809 items in the ”positive” part
and 8273 items in the”negative” one. The same
For simplicity we used only binary polarity in both experiments. Thus terms “sentiment polarity”and “sentiment direction”
are used interchangeably in this work.
Ku et al. (2006b) automatically generated the dictionary by enlarging an initial manually created seed vocabulary by consulting two thesauri, including tong2yi4ci2ci2lin2 and the Academia Sinica Bilingual Ontological Wordnet.
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dictionary was also used as a corpus for calculating
the sentiment scores of Chinese characters. The use
of the dictionary as a training corpus for obtaining
the sentiment scores of characters is justified by
two reasons: 1) it is domain-independent and
2) it contains only relevant(sentiment-related)
information. The above mentioned parts of the
dictionary used as the corpus comprised 24308
characters in ”negative” part and7898 characters
in ”positive”. The dictionary does not provide any
linguistic information on its entries, which results
in possible ambiguity.
3.1. Experiment 1
A corpus of E-Bay1 customers’ reviews of
products and services was used as a test corpus.
The total number of reviews is 128, of which 37
are negative (average length 64 characters) and 91
are positive.
We computed two scores for each item (a
review)- one for positive sentiment value, another
for negative sentiment value. The decision about
an item’s sentiment polarity was made every time
by finding the biggest score of the two.
For every phrase (a chunk of characters
between punctuation marks) a score was calculated
Scphrase = SUM(Scdictionary) +SUM(Sccharacter)
where Scdictionary is a dictionary based score
calculated using following formula:
Scdictionary = Ld/Ls * 100
where Ld - length of a dictionary item, Ls length of a phrase. The constant value 100 is
used to weight the score, obtained by a series of
preliminary tests as a value that most significantly
improved the accuracy.
The sentiment scores for characters were
obtained by the formula:
Sci = Fi/F(i+j)
where Sci is the sentiment score for a character
for a given class (i), Fi - the character’s relative
frequency in a class (i), F(i+j) - the character’s
relative frequency in both classes (i) and (j) taken
as one unit.
The relative frequency of character ‘c’ is
calculated as
Fc = Pnc / PN(1...n)
where PNc is a number of the character’s
occurrences in the corpus, and PN(1...n) is the
number of all characters in the same corpus.
Preliminary tests showed that inverting all the
characters for which Sci < 1 improves accuracy.
The inverting is calculated by formula:
Scinverted = Sci − 1
The sentiment score (rather than the
probability) was chosen as a more compatible
measure with the score obtained by dictionary
look up.
In addition to the features specified
(characters and dictionary items) we also used
a simple negation check, very similar to the
technique described by Das and Chen (Das and
Chen, 2001) and Pang etal (Pang et al., 2002). The
system checked two most widely used negations
in Chinese: bu and mei. Every phrase was
compared with the following pattern:negation+
0-2 characters+ phrase. The scores of all the
unigrams in the phrase that matched the pattern
were multiplied by -1.
Finally, the score was calculated for an item
as the sum of the phrases’ scores modified by the
negation check:
Scitem =SUM(Scphrase * NegCheck)
For sentiment polarity detection the item
scores for each of the two polarities were compared
to each other: the polarity with bigger score was
assigned to the item.
SentimentPolarity = argmax(Sci|Scj)
where Sci is an item score for one polarity and Scj
is an item score for another one.
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The main evaluation measure was accuracy
of sentiment identification expressed in percent.
the performance gain is not very high, the
computational cost of this feature is very low.
3.1.1 Results of Experiment 1
To find out which kinds of features perform
best for sentiment polarity detection the system
was run several times with different settings.
Running without character scores (with
dictionary longest-match only) gave following
results: almost 65% of negative and near 64% for
positive reviews were detected correctly, which
is 64% accuracy for the whole corpus. We shall
consider this result as a baseline.
Characters with sentiment scores alone
performed much better on positive reviews (84%
accuracy)rather than on negative (65%), but
overall performance was still better – 70%. Both
methods combined gave a significant increaseon
negative reviews (73%) and no improvement on
positive (84%), 77% overall.
The last run was with the dictionary look up,
the characters and the negation check. The results
were:77% for negative and 89% for positive, 80%
corpus wide,with t-Test score against the baseline
3.36 (see Table 1).
Judging from the results it is possible to
suggest that both the word-based dictionary
look up method and character-based method
contributed to the final result. It also corresponds
to the results obtained by Nie et al. (2000) for
Chinese information retrieval,where the same
combination of features (characters and words)
also performed best.
The negation check increased the
performance by 3% overall, up to 80%. Although
3.2. Experiment 2
The second experiment included two parts:
processing of the OPINION part of the query to
retrieve texts that contain opinionated information;
and processing a more detailed form of this queryPOSITIVE/NEGATIVE OPINION to retrieve
texts with specified sentiment direction. We used
the features that showed the best performances
described in section 3.1 to implement and expand
the queries. The expansion of the sentiment part
of the query was done by means of the dictionary
items and the characters with the sentiment
The test corpus for this experiment consisted
of 282 items, where every item is a paragraph. We
used paragraphs as basic items in this experiment
because of two reasons: 1. opinionated texts
(reviews) are usually quite short (in our corpus all
of them are one paragraph), while texts of other
genres are usually much longer and 2. for IR tasks
it is more usual to retrieve units longer then a
sentence. The test corpus has following structure:
128 items are opinionated, of which 91 are positive
and 37 are negative (all the items are the reviews
used in the first experiment, see 3.1). 154 items
are not opinionated, of which 97 are paragraphs
taken from a book on Chinese linguistics and 57
items are from articles taken form a Chinese online encyclopaedia Baidu Baike .
For processing of the first query we used the
following technique: every item was assigned
a score (a sum of the characters’ scores and
Table 1. Results of Experiment 1 (accuracy in percent)
Dictionary (baseline)
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dictionary scores described in 3.1). The score was
divided by the number of characters in the item to
obtain the average score:
averScitem = Scitem/Litem
where Scitem is the item score, and Litem is the
length of an item (number of characters in it). A
positive and a negative average score is computed
for each item.
3.2.1. Results of Experiment 2
To determine whether an item is opinionated
(OPINION query), the maximum of the two
scores was compared to a threshold value. The
best performance was achieved with the threshold
value of 1.6- more than 85% of accuracy with the
baseline 55%.
OPINIONS) was processed by comparing the
negative and positive scores for each retrieved
item (see Table 2).
It is worth noting that we observed significant
increase in accuracy of sentiment direction
detection in the opinionated texts retrieved by
the first query: positive 89.9% against 76.9%
(obtained in Experiment1); negative 95.6% against
89.1% (see 3.1.1). The same relation between
subjectivity detection and polarity classification
accuracy was described by Pang and Lee (2004)
and Eriksson (2006).
4. Conclusion and Future Work
These preliminary experiments showed
that using single characters and dictionary items
modified by the negation check can produce
reasonable results: about 78% F-measure for
sentiment detection (see 3.1.1) and almost 70%
F-measure for sentiment polarity identification
(see 3.2.1) in a domain independent opinionated
information retrieval task.
However, since the test corpus is very small the
results obtained need further validation on bigger
corpora. The use of the dictionary as a training
corpus helped to avoid domain-dependency,
however, using a dictionary as a training corpus
makes it impossible to obtain grammar information
by means of analysis of punctuation marks and
function word frequencies.
More intensive use of context information
is regarded as a promising tool for improving
the accuracy. The dictionary-based processing
may benefit from the use of word relations
information: most probably some words have
sentiment information being used together only.
For example, a noun dongxi (‘a thing’) does not
seem to have any sentiment information on its
own, although it is tagged to be ‘negative’ in the
Also we think that some manual filtering
of the dictionary and adding more linguistic
information to its entries may also improve the
output. It might be promising to test the influence
on performance of the different classes of words in
the dictionary,for example, to use only adjectives
or adjectives and nouns together (excluding
Another technique to be tested is computing
the positive and negative scores for the characters
used only in one class, but absent in another. In
the present system the characters are assigned
only one score (for the class they present). It
might improve the accuracy if such single class
bound character shave appropriate negative score
for the class they are absent.
Table 2. Results of Experiment 2 (in percent)
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Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy. The Visual Content in Representative Paintings of Andrei Pozdeev
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 124-148
УДК 700+140(T2-757)
The Visual Content in Representative Paintings
of Andrei Pozdeev
Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Andrei Pozdeev is one of the greatest Russian artists of the 20th century. The master’s creative heritage
is amazingly cohesive. Nevertheless, it can be easily divided into several independent groups which are
not dependent on factors of chronology or genre, but on attributively crucial characteristics.
Keywords: compositions, illustrations, engravings, watercolours, pictorial paintings.
decades of his fruitful life,
the great Russian artist of
the 20th century, Andrei
Gennadyevich Pozdeev
(1926-1998) created many
remarkable compositions,
of illustrations, engravings, watercolours and
pictorial paintings. The master’s creative heritage
is amazingly cohesive. Nevertheless, it is quite
freely differentiated into several independent
spheres, volumes or groups, within the boundaries
of which, the compositions community is not
dependant on chronology or factors of genre, but
on attributively crucial characteristics.
The first of such groups unites the paintings
in which the image predominates over expression,
and the singular dominates over the integral.
Andrei Pozdeev preferred to work in several
pictorial genres: portrait, landscape, domestic
scene, still-life, and nude. In each of them, he
created compositions which can be included in
the relative borders of the given group, as far as
they are aimed at a sensuous display of this or that
rather specific, essential fragment of reality, and to
the presentation of a transient moment in reality.
For example, in the painting Old Krasnoyarsk
(1973) shows the artist’s mood is obvious as
he shows the remnants of old city streets being
busily filled with new constructions, and in the
landscape By the Great Wall of China (1970), the
artist was eager to capture a merry exuberance
of a certain autumn moment in the taiga near the
Stolby nature reserve (Picture 1).
The portrait Actress Avgusta Klenchina
(1976), which also belongs to the first group
of paintings renders the instant of the actress’s
triumph in a splendidly-performed part. The stilllife China and Faience (1973) which depicts
porcelain still hot from the kiln, and just newly
and colorfully painted (Picture 2).
E-mail address:
© Siberian Federal University. All rights reserved
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Picture 1. Andrei Pozdeev. Paintings Old Krasnoyarsk, 1973 (а); By the Great Wall of China, 1970 (b)
Picture 2. Andrei Pozdeev. Paintings Actress Avgusta Klenchina, 1976 (а); China and Faience, 1973 (b)
Many compositions of the first group from
the initial period of the artist’s oeuvre, have been
preserved. Yet this does not mean that Andrei
Pozdeev failed to create such paintings in his
later years. Vice versa, the master created them
throughout his whole life. However, it is a shame
that just a few of these remarkable compositions
have survived and come down to us. At times, the
artist either destroyed them himself, or gave them
away to numerous acquaintances.
The other group of Andrei Pozdeev’s
paintings that generalize achievements having been
received as a result of pictorial compositions from
the previous group. These compositions do not go
beyond the genre’s limits, though they are typeworks in their entirety, i.e. such specific pictorial
creatures, in which the measure of the common
dominates over the measure of the singular, and
the expression prevails over the image, while the
eternal prevails over the continually changing.
For example, while comparing two compositions,
painted in different years, both picturing bouquets
of blossoming sunflowers, it is easy to notice that the
composition Sunflowers from the 1970s, belongs to
the first group of artist’s works, in that it shows the
figurative underlining of the outer aspect of these
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huge flowers and their living peculiarities, while the
painting Sunflowers, from 1982, evidently belongs
to the second group, because it is entirely oriented
to the sensuous essence display of the sunflowers
as an extraordinary sensitive earth locator of the
sun’s blessings of energy (Picture 3).
Comparison of Pozdeev’s nudes shows,
that they can also be differentiated. Thus, the
composition Nude (1973) belongs to the first
group, because it pictorially underlines the plastic
peculiarities of girl’s body. On the other hand, the
painting Model (1988 joins the second group of
Pozdeev’s works, in that it is concerned with the
mysterious and lunar inaccessibility of the female
(Picture 4).
The paintings of the third group present both
greater penetration into the essence of concretely
rendered real event and a visual transformation
of its essence, widening the limits of its reality.
For example, Andrei Pozdeev’s reflections about
the spiritual purity of the girls who have risked
taking off their clothes before the male painter,
Picture 3. Andrei Pozdeev. Sunflowers, 1970’s (а); Sunflowers, 1982 (b)
Picture 4. Andrei Pozdeev. Paintings Nude, 1973 (а); Model, 1988 (b)
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led to the transformation of the form and content
of the painting In the artist’s studio (1969) into
the sensually shown essence of the composition
Flying from the 1980’s (Picture 5).
As early as the war years, the master’s
reflections about the fate of earthly creatures
appeared. The fates of these creatures, whose
lives are forcibly cut short for reasons of sport
or pride, led to transforming the still-life Killed
Birds (1969) into a painting as full of epic pathos
as War (1981) (Picture 6).
Pozdeev’s thoughts about cut flowers brought
to him in exuberance by his acquaintances from
their summer cottages, or which he himself bought
for numerous flower still-lives, led him to the
creation from not-being to being. In the extremely
expressive painting Flowers and People (1981),
a person who cuts off flowers’ heads, acts as an
Picture 5. Andrei Pozdeev. Paintings In the Artist’s Studio, 1969 (а); Flying , 1980-е (b)
Picture 6. Andrei Pozdeev. Killed Birds, 1969 (а); War, 1981 (b)
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Studio (1973) (Picture 8), which is of the indoor
scene genre.
The effect of typification
has been
dramatically increased through the integration of
different genres into the compositions, included
into the given group. The similarities in such
compositions is general, and the reality shown
is at the level of evoking visual actuality. Such
artistic images reach the integral-iconic status.
The fourth group is composed of masterpiececompositions. Such etalon creative works are
based on image-iconic formations that developed
into image-symbolic formations. They do not
show reality but instead, the abysmal depths of
executioner, depriving himself of his own head
(Picture 7).
Another group of Pozdeev’s paintings breaks
through genre limitation. He integrated several
genres within each creative work. They are like
metamorphoses. The elements of the still-life are
parts of a portrait, while elements of landscapes
or nudes can be suddenly presented as details
of an indoor scene. For example, starting with a
naval series, the painting Ship (1980), has also
summarizes both the content of the landscape
painting Along the Yenisei River (1963), the
essence of the still-life Basket of Lilacs (1969),
and even the compositional foundation of The
b c d
Picture 7. Andrei Pozdeev. Flowers and People, 1981 (а); Gladioli, 1992 (b); Roses, 1991 (c); Bouquet, 1987 (d)
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b c d
Picture 8. Andrei Pozdeev. Ship, 1980 (а); Along the Yenisei River, 1963 (b); Basket of Lilac, 1969 (c); The Studio,
1973 (d)
existence. These compositions are not important
by themselves. However, they as are necessary as
air because they serve as bridges, possessing a rare
ability to join a finite person with the infinite. Such
magnificent creative works as The Feast (1981),
Agony in the Garden (1982), Talk about the Truth
(1983), Adam and Eve (1985), World’s Creation
(1986), The Chalice (1987), Passion (1987),
Christmas (1989), The Lord’s Supper (1990),
Silence (1991), and also pictorial paintings of the
series A Man’s Life (1989) (Picture 9) indisputably
belong to Pozdeev’s etalon masterpieces.
The painting The Chalice (1989) belongs to
the artist’s etalon masterpieces, which show Andrei
Pozdeev to be a painter who creates not from
himself, but through himself, as an intermediary
between the divine forces and people. He can be
seen as a prophet, sensually showing what heavenborn is (Picture 10).
Trying to define the peculiarity of such
favourites, Immanuel Kant called those people who
possess charisma, “God’s speaking-trumpets.”
During the many months Pozdeev was attempting
to finish The Chalice, he destroyed seven already
completed paintings, each three metres in height
and outwardly close to the final composition.
Apparently, the destroyed compositions were far
in their nuances from that divinely adumbrated
prefiguration of The Chalice.
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Picture 9. Andrei Pozdeev. The Feast , 1981 (а); The Agony in the Garden, 1982 (b); Talk about the Truth, 1983
(c); World’s Creation, 1986 (d); Passion, 1987 (e); Silence, 1991 (f)
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Picture 10. Andrei Pozdeev. The Chalice, 1989
The painting The Chalice is the most
original mandala because it visualizes the way
an ecumenical spiritual wisdom condenses into a
gracious elixir, appealing to helping a human soul
restore the religious relation of the finite with the
infinite, which was destroyed during the Fall of
Adam and Eve. The composition demonstrates
ecumenical ways which reintegrate the Macrocosm
into the condition that existed before the division
of the one whole human creature into the male and
female hypostases. This division resulted in the
excision of a finite man from the infinite Absolute,
of human souls from the ecumenical Spirit.
As a mandala, The Chalice is created
according to the row emanation principle of flat
horizontal layers that simultaneously converge
from the periphery towards the centre. That is why
the painting is not so freely pictorial but simply
graphically linear. The image of The Chalice
is structured from a row of geometrically equal
circles, crosses, squares and triangles, shown
both in their separate symbolic meaning, and in
symbolic correlation with each other. In such a
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case, numeric monad symbolism (1), symbolism
of duads (2), triads (3), tetrads (4), pentads (5),
hexads (6), heptads (7), octads (8) and enneads (9)
play a fundamental role in the painting.
The artistic image of The Chalice is open
with a format tetrad (Picture 11).
The cosmically boundless infinite monad
is opened through the square prism into many
geometric forms and elements and goes to their
common origin. All this happens before the
spectator, who enters into a dialogue with the
The painting’s initial tetrad immediately
sets the tone for everything that is going on in the
sphere of The Chalice. From ancient times the
square corresponds with such ideas as equality,
order, sincerity, rectitude, justice, and wisdom
in the mythology, religion, and philosophy of
different nations. In this case it is initially invoked
to define the order of the event, depicted by the
composition, its rectitude, wisdom and justice.
More over, the tetrad precisely symbolizes the key
that opens the spiritual and material perfection of
the macrocosmic.
The first square of the painting, which opens
The Chalice, inverses into an eight-sided octad.
This octad symbolically represents the Gate
through which the Spirit of God emanates to a
human soul (Picture 12).
Moreover, The Chalice octad adumbrates
the formation process of the Universal Mind, the
organizing and controlling origin of the Universe.
It is not by chance that there are circles at four of
the octad’s sides, close to the tetrad’s angles. In
each circle is inscribed a triangle, containing ten
black spheres (Picture 13).
These four circles, with triangles inscribed
in them, are symbolically shown in The Chalice
artistic image as the initial Elements of Fire, Air,
Earth and Water - the Elements that form the
Universe. These figures’ proximity of these initial
Universe Elements to the angles of the painting’s
initial square is explained by the fact that according
to ancient ideas, the tetrad was responsible for the
creation of the present existence from four initial
elements of multiplicity. In addition, an antique
alchemic picture shows that the four initial
elements have often been depicted as women who
stand on spheres with triangles inscribed in them
(Picture 14).
In the alchemic picture, the triangles placed
in the spheres of such elements as Earth and Water
Picture 11. The artistic image tetrad of The Chalice
Picture 12. Artistic image octad of The Chalice
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Picture 13. The elements of Water, Earth, Fire and Air are geometrically presented as circles and triangles inscribed
in them in the structure of The Chalice
Picture 14. Alchemic notion of the Elements of Earth, Water, Air and Fire
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direct their main corners down, while the triangles
of Fire and Air elements direct their main corners
up. Concerning the painting The Chalice, all four
triangles inscribed in the spheres of initial elements
are directing, as if compass needles, their main
corners towards the common geometrical centre
of the composition. This symbolically indicates
that the Universe as a single knot that organizes
all the numerous processes in the Universe.
The intact sketch of the painting The Chalice
shows that Andrei Pozdeev did not easily compose
the final version. In the sketch of The Chalice in
the left corners of the composition there are two
triangles, inscribed within circles in accordance
with alchemic tradition, and their main corners
are directed up or down. The other two triangles,
depicted in the spheres on the right, are oriented
towards the centre of the painting, as in the final
version (Picture 15).
Three round figures are placed near each of
the four geometrically presented elements in The
Chalice. These probably, show the twelve Zodiac
signs, corresponding to different elements. It is
well known, that the Zodiac signs such as Aries,
Leo and Sagittarius represent Fire. Gemini, Libra,
and Aquarius represent Air. Cancer, Scorpio, and
Pisces are symbolically connected with Water,
while Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn are connected
with Earth.
The black spheres inscribed in each
symbolically elemental triangle are apparently
a geometrical presentation of the nine planets of
the solar system and the Sun – Mercury, Venus,
Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and
Pluto -during one of four seasons of the year and
with a certain Zodiac influence. Moreover, Zodiac
signs represent a certain planet and have an
influence over the behaviour of the cosmic system
and people’s lives: Aries is associated with Mars,
Taurus is associated with Venus, Gemini with
Mercury, Leo with the Sun, Virgo with Mercury,
Libra with Venus, Scorpio with Mars, Sagittarius
with Jupiter, Capricorn with Saturn, Aquarius
with either Uranus or Saturn, and Pisces with
either Jupiter or Neptune.
A Greek cross “crux quadrata” appears in
the structure of The Chalice, after the octad and
the figures connected with it, symbolizing four
а b
Picture 15. Composition peculiarities comparison of The Chalice sketch by Andrei Pozdeev in the 1980’s (а), with
the final version of the composition The Chalice (b)
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elements, twelve Zodiac signs and ten planets. Its
branches are fixed by the points of intersection of
the tetrad sides with the octad ribs (Picture 16).
The cross in The Chalice composition
presents a symbolic manifestation of the Single
emanation development into the universe, from
the cross’s centre to the four cardinal points
– North, South, East and West. Moreover, the
cross gives a symbolical opportunity to fuse the
vertical line (the sign of male spiritual energy)
with the horizontal line (the symbol of female
spiritual potency) in the painting structure. This
is probably why The Chalice cross, merging the
vertical and horizontal lines, is green in colour. It
expresses that only through the torment of death
can isolated existence of a male and a female soul
integrate into new human life and unify the finite
and the infinite.
The cross inevitably outlines both the
periphery and the centre of the composition. The
triangles symbolic of the four elements point
from the corners to the common axial point of
the painting and some “planetary belt” in The
Chalice. The “planetary belt” is structured from a
row circular orbits of different diameters and lines,
that radiate from the centre and proportionally cut
these orbits into forty parts. The intercrossing of
the circular orbits and the radial lines makes in
total forty small spherical forms. They are placed
on the painting cross branches per ten circles up,
down, left and right accordingly (Picture 17).
Every decade of the circles depicted along
the painting perimeter presents itself as a planetary
constellation. Together, these forty spheres
present a unique planet parade, spread under the
aegis of Zodiac signs along the cross branches;
and denoting the four seasons – spring, summer,
autumn and winter.
On the other hand, each group of ten circles
is nothing else but an aspect expression of the
geometrically presented form of a perfect creature
– the primeval Adam Qadmon, who was created
androgynous before the creation of Adam and
Eve, i.e. before the partition of the single human
creature into a man and a woman and before the
fall. In the mystical traditions of Judaism, Cabbala,
occultism and Freemasonry, Adam Qadmon is that
primeval man about whom it is said in chapter 1,
verse 27 of Genesis in the Holy Scriptures, “So
God created man in his own image, in the image
of God created he him”. The creation of Adam
and Eve is not in the image of God as the Singular,
Picture 16. The cross of The Chalice
Picture 17. The “Planetary Belt” of The Chalice
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but as something multiple. It is said in chapter 2
verses 7 and 22, of Genesis, “And the Lord God
formed man of dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became
a living soul… And the rib, which the Lord God
had taken from man, made he a woman, and
brought her unto the man.”
A comparison of the ten circles, presented in
the ancient picture, geometrically denoting Adam
Qadmon, and the ten circles at each cross branch
of The Chalice, shows their identical organization
(Picture 18).
In the painting The Chalice the structure of
ten circles shows the correspondence between
the nine planets of the Solar system and the Sun
(Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn,
Uranium, Neptune, Pluto) and the ten divine
emanations of the good qualities of the Universe
(Glory, Wisdom, Discernment, Compassion,
Severity, Radiance, Infinity, Acknowledgment,
Foundation, Kingdom) into the ten parts of Adam
Qadmon’s body. Such correspondence first of all
confirms the resemblance between the planetary
structure of the Universal macrocosmic and
the macrocosmic of primeval man. Secondly,
it demonstrates the geometrical elements of
Adam Qadmon as the initial structure of human
perfection, which was lost at the Fall. But, through
the communion of the divinely spiritual and the
united male and female, human spiritual energy
can be regenerated.
Pozdeev spread forty circles along The
Chalice’s cross branches, which present geometric
matrix common to the primeval man. Moreover,
Adam Qadmon is here shown as a Messiah,
crucified on the cross, i.e. presented as the Single,
а b
Picture 18. Picture of the circles disposition in the ancient sketch geometrically noting Adam Qadmon (а); picture
of ten circles disposition in the subspace of the cross right branch The Chalice (b)
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separated into a multitude of disconnected parts,
spread out along the cardinal points – North,
South, East and West (Picture 19).
The aim of the sacrifice of primeval man
is the reintegration given in the painting The
Chalice. It is the start of the process of a return
to the unity of all which is currently united into
independent and self-sufficient elements under
the Single emanation.
In The Chalice, the intersection of the cross
branches forms a quadrature of a circle, i.e. it
shows a square, inscribed in the circle. If the cross,
with the crucified Adam Qadmon geometrical
matrix, is shown in The Chalice, as the last act
of the Single emanation into the multitude, so the
quadrature of the circle is the act of the multitude
emanation into the Single in the structure of the
composition (Picture 20).
On the whole, the relationship of the circle
and the square is a demonstration of the visual
equivalence of Earth and Heaven, Man and the
Universe, Space and Time. The Unity of these
geometrical figures symbolizes the community
of image and expression. The quadrature of the
circle in the artistic image of The Chalice plays a
role as the ideal environment within which space
the planetary matrix of Adam Qadmon is able to
visually become an anthropomorphic patrix.
However, just an evangel space of the
circle quadrature is not enough to be a sign of
reintegration and the successful cosmic alchemic
process of the primeval Adam matrix reversion
into an artistically presented patrix. For the
sensuous appearance of divine evangel directional
essence addressed to a man who strives for a return
to the unity of the finite and the infinite, there is a
need for a geometrical figural construction. This
construction must be able to transform the precreation schematized quality of Adam Qadmon
into a post-creation of an ideal man, not burdened
by the Fall. Such a construction does exist in the
painting The Chalice. It is the figure that appears
in the space of the circle quadrature formed by two
triangles, oriented up and down along the vertical
line, and merged together at their main corners in
one point (Picture 21).
From ancient times, in most cultures,
the figure has schematically presented the
Macrocosm in its triune fullness. The top triangle,
directing its corner down, traditionally models
Picture 19. Sketch of primeval man Adam Qadmon, crucified on the cross and presented as a geometrical matrix
by forty circles
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Picture 20. Quadrature of a circle. Highlighting in the
structure of The Chalice
Picture 21. Extraction of the macrocosm triune model
in the structure of The Chalice
here a Pre-creation World, presented as the
Chalice of the Above-Heaven Sacral Waters.
The bottom triangle, directing its corner up,
models the Chalice of the Under-Heaven PostCreation World. The intersection point of the
Pre-creation World Chalice and the Post-creation
one presents the Macrocosm Knot - the point of
Transfiguration from the High Place into the Low
Place, the Heavenly into the Earthly, the celestial
into the human, the absolute into the relative, the
infinite into the sensually finite forms. In addition,
the sacral Macrocosm Knot coincides with The
Chalice mandala mystic centre, which symbolizes
the highest Universal principal, speculatively
presents paradise as an initial paradisal man
condition, like that which adumbrates an initial
system actualization of Cosmos values.
On the whole, the pulsation of depictive and
expressive, observable and visual, sensually shown
and speculatively comprehended elements, is the
most characteristic peculiarity of The Chalice.
This peculiarity contributes considerably to an
activation of carnal, emotional, and spiritual bases
in the viewer who communicates with the painting.
The geometrically interpreted three-part model of
the Macrocosmic is not isolated in The Chalice,
but is presented in reintegrated correlation with
the primeval Adam planetary matrix elements.
The composition shows the exodus of three
white circles of that part of the Adam Qadmon
geometrical matrix, which is placed in the surface
of the cross top branch. There is emanation in the
form of some partially transparent, radial vessels
in the space of the full-brimmed Chalice of the
pre-creation Waters (Picture 22).
It is interesting that the top of the Pre-creation
Waters Chalice is presented in The Chalice in the
form of a mandorla – an almond-shaped figure,
formed of two intersected circles’ segments. The
mandorla represents the Sky and the Earth, Precreation and Post-creation spheres. From ancient
times, the mandorla has symbolized the unit of
the upper and the lower worlds, the spirit and
the material, and their interpenetration. That is
why, precisely within the limits of the mandorla,
the energetic transformation takes place and is
available for spectators’consideration. The Adam
Qadmon matrix elements transform into a single
snow-white sphere – a balm, which is being
prepared by the Holy Spirit for the human soul’s
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Picture 22. Sketch of the emanation process of geometrically structural elements of primeval man Adam Qadmon
into the pre-creation waters chalice of the three-part macrocosmic model
healing. This sphere of white colour is depicted as
being plunged into the depths of the Pre-creation
Waters Chalice.
The process is a result of reintegrating the
primeval Adam matrix into a sensually given
patrix is represented in The Chalice by an
androgynous creature. This creature is eager to
cover the three-part model of the Macrocosmic,
especially its arch-sacral part – the Centre Knot
(Picture 23) - by its outspread cuspidate wings.
The given figure is Androgyny, a perfect man
who personifies the equilibrium of oppositional
principals: male and female, active and passive,
animus and anima. Androgyny, as sensual essence
of Adam Qadmon, is presented as an embodiment
of the reversion of the multitude into the Singular
fold, an ideal symbolic expression of the religious
connection between the absolute and the relative,
the infinite and the finite.
Androgyny, as shown by Pozdeev, is a
symbolic integration of magically religious
powers, connected with both genders. Androgyny,
compared to hermaphroditism, includes in itself
not only flesh and sexual features, but also male
and female spiritual qualities. From ancient times
in different mystical traditions, Androgyny has
been geometrically presented in the form of a
chalice or a circle. Some ancient sketches have
also survived, which show Androgyny as a winged
knight, defeating the diabolic powers and striving
to separate male and female spiritual integrity.
In comparing medieval sketches, which depict
Androgyny as a sort of androgynous creature, with
the creature in the central part of The Chalice, one
finds similar graphic linear positions.
In 1985, long before painting The Chalice,
Andrei Pozdeev created a composition in which
hero possessed many qualities of Androgyny. The
master called this painting The Muse, and it shows
a winged two-part anthropomorphic creature,
whose two faces are united by the nimbuses
of two circles almost merged with each other
(Picture 24).
In The Chalice, Androgyny has combined
in it, through the merging of sky-blue auras, two
equal angel-like creatures with black bodies and
white wings – a symbolic embodiment of male
and female essences.
The Muse’s intent is the same as that
of Androgyny’s; to stimulate man’s creative
inspiration, which supports the relationship
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а b
Picture 23. Sketch of androgyny in The Chalice (а); sketch of androgyny in a medieval picture (b)
Picture 24. Andrei Pozdeev. Muse, 1985
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between the human and the Divine, synthesising
the finite human soul with the Holy Spirit.
The Chalice artistic image presents
Androgyny, holding before itself a white lotus
flower with a thin, long stalk. A fully open lotus
is traditionally considered to be a symbol of
androgyny (a male bud in a female flower). The
lotus symbolizes three stages of spiritual growth:
ignorance, the effort to overcome it, and the
necessity of understanding connection between
the finite and the absolute through male and
female essences.
The graphic heritage of Andrei Pozdeev
contains a linoleum engraving from 1984, in
which the painter possessing several androgynous
qualities is shown with a lotus in his hands
(Picture 25).
The composition testifies that the master
made a great spiritual and creative effort several
years before The Chalice to stimulate in himself
Androgyny. Without Pozdeev’s experience,
Androgyny as the hero of The Chalice, would have
been deprived of his most interesting qualities.
It is quite characteristic of Andrei Pozdeev,
that he created numerous “spousal portraits” in
his final working period. These portraits present
the painter’s spiritual integrity with the soul of his
beloved wife (Picture 26).
In the bottom part of The Chalice there is
a black phial with a white point in its middle,
its form being similar to that of the three-part
Macrocosmic model. It is a crown of the Universal
Spirit, a balm for human souls (Picture 27).
The chalice is the image of the Holy Grail,
a sacral vessel, standing on the mystical Round
Table and containing the elixir of life, the potion
that makes possible the merging between finite
man and infinite God. In the painting, the elixir
of life, created by the efforts of the Universe for
the humanity, is presented as an oblational pearl,
which is called to stop the corruption of human
flesh. Its goal is to revive in people’s souls the
striving for the Spirit and to regain the celestial
bliss missed by humans after the fall.
The speculative communication with
the Holy Grail provides a reintegration of the
spectator into the primeval-androgynous condition
of Adam Qadmon, existing in the initial infinity
and free from gender’s polarity. However, not all
spectators are worthy of this reintegration. This
Picture 25. Andrei Pozdeev. Self-Portrait with a Lotus.
Engraving, 1984
Picture 26. Andrei Pozdeev. Reading, 1979
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Picture 27. Fragment of The Chalice with a phial on a round table
person must be like the Round Table knights, who
combined in themselves bodily, emotional and
spiritual qualities, chastity, loyalty and holiness.
In the extracanonical Testament of Thomas, Jesus
Christ, addressing his apostles, says,
“When you make one creature out of two,
and when you make what is being inside, the same
[as] what is outside, and what is outside you make
the same, as in inside! And if you make the male
and the female to be one, so that, the male is no
more male, and the female is no more female, so
then you enter the Kingdom of God”1.
In The Chalice there are astrology and
Masonry, alchemical and tantric signs, symbols
and emblems, but this does not mean that magical
content of Cabbala or Theosophy, Christianity or
Gentoo is split into separate pieces. The essence
of The Chalice tenderly leads the viewer to the
Macrocosmic. This artistic bridge contributes to
the revival of the true integration of Man and the
Macrocosmic, but not one that is confessionally
isolated or religious in its essence. This integration
is that which existed at the beginning of the
Creation, when Man was not male or female. In
the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians,
it is said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek; there
is neither bond nor free; there is neither male nor
female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (3: 28).
The Lord’s Supper, which Andrei Pozdeev
painted in 1990, is structured from several
expressive layers, which gradually reveal their
essence in a step-by-step process (Picture 28).
Pozdeev’s method of depiction appears
to be the only correct method. The painting’s
content is presented neither too abstractly, nor too
realistically. Such an artistic interpretation of the
religious event avoids exterior demonstrativeness
and adheres to that mixing of form and content,
which allows the spectator to pass on quite
easily from the observed to the less obvious.
The viewer can ascend freely from indexical and
iconic sign-oriented notions to symbols. He is
able to speculatively contemplate several levels
of the essence. The colourful and substantial
elements of the painting have different meanings.
Such polysemanticity should be considered a
regular phenomenon, as far as symbolic mutation
represents an attributive feature of the artistic
language of the master. Signs, meanings and
symbols are born not outside the process of
viewer’s communication with the artist’s creation,
but they are fundamental to their interrelation.
Initially the painting discloses the essence of
The Lord’s Supper. It vividly presents one of the
main events in the last days of Jesus Christ in his
earthly guise. Therefore, the composition shows
the most important moment of the secret meeting
of the Teacher with his twelve closest followers.
The Messiah institutes the sacramental mystery,
or oblation, as a gracious means of uniting the
faithful with Christ – the oblation of His Body and
Ref.: Robert M. Grant, “The Secret sayings of Jesus”. – New York, 1960. – P. 143.
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Picture 28. Andrei Pozdeev. The Lord’s Supper, 1990
Blood as the true Holy Lamb, taking upon himself
the sins of the world.
The sacral act is presented in a square
chamber, cut off from the rest of the world by the
hoop of the sacral circular line. The Son of the God
is depicted sitting in the centre, his head wreathed
by a sky-blue aureole. Near the Saviour, observing
the mirror symmetry are six future apostles –
three on the each side of Messiah. On the other
side of the table are six more followers of Christ,
in whose company the figure of Judas Iscariot is
underlined. While the heads of the Teacher and
His eleven apostles are white, the arch-traitor is
depicted with a black-coloured head.
Here we should note that in The Lord’s
Supper, one of the dominating themes is the
symbolic motive of a grain or a seed.
The grain form is appropriate for the head of
Jesus Christ because the Son of God is the grain
of bread, sent by the Highest Power to humanity
to fulfill the mission of the promised Saviour and
world Re-newer. It is not by chance that in the
New Testament Jesus Christ is called the Apostle.
“Consider the Apostle and High Priest of our
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profession, Christ Jesus, who was faithful to Him
that appointed him” (Eph. 3:1, 2). In addressing
his followers, the Teacher affirmed, “I am the
living bread which came down from heaven: if any
man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the
bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I will
give for the life of the world” (In. 6:51).
The bread, broken by Christ, has the form
of a grain; it is carefully laid out on the charger
standing in the centre of the table. The bread grains
are a symbol of the transformation of such seeds
into the true Flesh of God. This transformation is
performed during the sacramental mystery, at the
moment when Christ presents Himself as a sort of
a Sower, calling the faithful to enter the Kingdom
of Heaven. “The Kingdom of Heaven is like to
a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and
sowed in his field, which indeed is the least of
all seeds, but when it is grown, it is the greatest
among herbs and becometh a tree, so that the birds
of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof”
(Mat. 13:31, 32).
Also the charger has the form of the grain,
where the oblation is place. The black colour of
the dish symbolizes the earth as a grateful soil,
which contributes to the luxuriant growth of the
new belief.
The heads of all Christ followers present
at the secret supper have the grain form. It is a
sign of their future apostolic role, symbolizing
their forthcoming mission as ambassadors and
messengers of God’s word. “And he ordained
twelve, that they should be with him, and that he
might send them forth to preach” (Mrk. 3:14).
Thus, the white colour of the head-grains of
eleven followers symbolizes the gratefulness
of the environment, where the seeds of God’s
Flesh have fallen. “The Sower went out of the
house. And when he sowed, some seeds fell into
good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an
hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear!” (Mat. 13:8,
9). The fact that the seeds of God’s Flesh have
fallen into the grateful ground is also represented
by the green colour of life, present in the image of
all eleven figures of Christ followers. The black
colour of Judas Iscariot’s head symbolizes the
rotten seed. It also symbolizes the ingratitude of
the soil, where one of the seeds of the Saviour
has fallen. “The Sower went forth to sow, some
fell upon stony places, where they had not much
earth, and forthwith they sprung up, because they
had no deepness of earth. And when the sun was
up, they were scorched, and because they had no
root, they withered away” (Mat. 13:3-6).
The pictorial painting makes vivid not
only the essence of the sacramental act itself,
but also those deep perturbations which are the
result of the seed’s productive consumption by
the composition’s heroes, the seeds given by the
Saviour. It especially concerns the figures of five
Christ followers, placed on both sides of Judas
Iscariot. Each of them is presented in the process
of the transformation that is taking place under
the influence of the seeds of God’s Flesh. It is
demonstrating the tormenting struggle of the good
colours (green and white) against black, bleeding
through by stains of different configurations.
Finally, the table at which they have gathered
together for the last meeting with the Teacher, has
a grain form, which represents the beginning of
the Catholic integrity of the Christian Church.
Presenting the story’s essence, Pozdeev’s
The Lord’s Supper, provides an opportunity to
comprehend the meaning of the white crosses,
placed in the corners of the painting. On the
one hand, these are the signs of four canonical
Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke
and John, whose texts narrate the Last Supper’s
events. On the other hand, the crosses, oriented to
all the cardinal points, symbolize those apostolic
paths, which the loyal followers of Christ have
followed to christen people. The crosses are a
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stable religious symbol of the unity between the
finite and the infinite.
Pozdeev’s painting presents the sacramental
mystery in the form of a scene of the Last
Judgment at the moment of the second Advent of
Jesus Christ, who has come for the judgment of
the sinners. “I am not come to call the righteous,
but sinners to repentance” (Mat. 9:13). In this case
the event is shown as a court consisting of God’s
Son and the righteous saints. “For the Father
judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment
unto the Son… And hath given him authority to
execute judgment also, because he is the Son of
man” (Jhn. 5:22, 27).
The charger with grains spread on it, standing
before the Messiah, testifies that the process of the
court proceedings has already begun. The Lord is
holding court as a Sower separates the good grains
from the rotten ones; he is selecting the righteous
from the sinners, “as a shepherd divideth his sheep
from the goats” (Mat. 25:32).
Judas Iscariot is presented as a convicted
sinner, who has betrayed the Teacher for thirty
pieces of silver (Picture 29).
Judas Iscariot, his head darkened from his sin
and his arms spread sideward, is made of white
and black forms, and is shown as a scale, which
the Lord’s judgment uses for weighing righteous
and sinful human acts. The edge of the table,
crossing the sinner’s neck, takes on the symbolic
role of a huge noose, while the table itself is
shown as a gigantic half-section timber, on which
the head of the convicted is placed. With the
help of such signs the court commission’s heavy
sentence is visualized, the sinner is condemned.
“Judas, having sinned, went and hanged himself”
(Mat. 27:5).
a composition depicting the Last
Judgment, Pozdeev placed four crosses in the
corners of the painting, adumbrating the call of
the sinners from all over the world to the Lord’s
Judgment. “And they shall gather together his
elect from four winds, from one end of heaven to
the other” (Mat. 24:31). These crosses are also a
symbol of the beginning of the Lord’s Judgment,
which is supposed to be spread from the centre
into all directions. They are a sign, that the Last
Judgment is the burden of not only the sinner
Judas, but of every man existing in sin: “For
we must all appear before the judgment seat of
Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10).
Picture 29. Andrei Pozdeev. The Lord’s Supper. Fragment
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The Last Supper shows the polarity and
consonance of heaven and earth. On the one hand,
the table is singular. On the other hand, it has sides,
which are contrary, i.e. placed opposite each other.
The opposition of the sides defines the opposition
of the personages in the group presented at the
sides of the table. Six Christ followers, three on the
left and three on the right of the Saviour surround
Christ, while He himself represents Heaven, ruled
by the divine mind, pure symmetry, rationality of
form and colour structures and universal peace.
Six other righteous apostles placed on the other
side of the table, stand for the representatives
of Earth, ruled by emotional irrationality and
unstable senses.
The righteous of the Heaven and Earth are
divided by the table, yet united by a chain, which
is not immediately observable. Circular links are
structured with the help of all the depicted figures;
including the image of Jesus Christ surrounded
with a nimbus (Picture 30).
There is a chain in The Last Supper, which
is accessible not to the viewer’s eyes, but to
his mental vision. It reminds us of another
masterpiece, The Last Supper, by the Leonardo da
Vinci (Picture 31). Recent research on this great
creation, of which Andrei Pozdeev was certainly
aware, have shown that there is a virtual five-link
chain in the structure of the mural composition1
(Picture 32).
But, if we compare the compositional chain
presented in the painting of Andrei Pozdeev with
the chain in Leonardo da Vinci’s composition, we
observe not so much their resemblance to each
other, but their difference.
In da Vinci’s composition The Last Supper,
the chain is a sign of the religious connection
between the apostles and God. It is a symbol of
Picture 30. Andrei Pozdeev. The Lord’s Supper. Visualization of the “chain” painting compositional formula
Ref. in detail: V. I. Zhukovskiy The Harmony Formula, Krasnoyarsk, 1999. P. 78-93.
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Picture 31. Leonardo da Vinci. The Lord’s Supper, 1494-1498
Picture 32. Leonardo da Vinci. The Lord’s Supper. Visualization of the “chain” compositional formula
the endurance of Christian beliefs and a portent of
the admittance and mastery of Christ’s followers
during the commandment of the oblation
sacrament. Here, the chain is presented ast strong
and singular: its integrity does not need any
additional conjunctive links.
The chain in Pozdeev’s The Last Supper is
different. Nine out of the eleven rings in this chain
are linked, while two of them are broken. Thus
the chain emphasizes the fact that the righteous of
Heavan and Earth are not capable of uniting. To
and notional centre of the mural composition,
and it completes the chain. In the composition
of Andrei Pozdeev, the chain’s integrity depends
wholly upon the figure of the sinner Judas, in that
his very presence pretends to be the role of its
conjunctive link.
It is interesting to note that while the herosinner’s significance for the integral meaning
of Andrei Pozdeev’s creation increases, most
pictorial elements of his composition undergo a
symbolic metamorphosis, making the essence
make the chain integral a twelfth link is needed.
In the composition of Leonardo da Vinci,
Jesus Christ’s figure is placed in the geometrical
of The Last Supper stray from the traditional
Christian interpretation of the event. Indeed,
according to the texts of the canonical Evangels,
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Judas Iscariot, after betraying Christ, disappeared-which meant that a new righteous man was
needed in replacement. “And they gave forth their
lots, and the lot fell upon Matthew, and he was
numbered with the eleven apostles” (Acts 1:26).
But, in Pozdeev’s painting the event differs.
The compositional structure of the painting
unequivocally underlines the significance of the
sinner Judas, who, having recognized his sin and
repented it, managed to rise above it. It is not by
chance that it is said in the Holy Scriptures, “Then
Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that
he was condemned, repented himself, and brought
again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests
and elders, saying: I have sinned in that I have
betrayed the innocent blood” (Mat. 27:3, 4).
If we complete the broken links of the
compositional chain, the point of the links cross
each other in the middle of the figure Judas.
Moreover, in spite of the fact that Judas’ black
cup of sin outweighs his white cup of good deeds
on the scale, it is only through these geometrical
elements that the vivid chain can obtain its
Andrei Posdeev’s The Last Supper is
truly religious, if we understand religion as the
connection of man with the fullness of existence.
The painting makes visible a sacral meeting of
people with the Almighty. The essence of this
creation is the following: only a man who has
gone beyond his sin and atoned for it by his
sufferings is worthy of becoming a connecting
link between infinite God and finite people. It is
not by chance that the figure of the sinner Judas is
presented in the form of the crucifix; it recognizes
the hero’s sacrifice and the forgiveness of his sins.
Responding to the content of the composition, the
famous prayer before the oblation is as follows:
“Today, at the Lord’s Supper, Son of God, receive
me, the oblationer.”
Andrey Pozdeev, with an introductory article by E.Yu. Hudonogova (Krasnoyarsk, 2004).
E. Asorina, ‘Andrey Pozdeev - the philosophy of life in colors’, Jfel (2006), p. 15.
A. Astrahantzev, ‘The sunny artist’, City News, 31 December 1999, p. 3.
V. Bezmaylenko, ‘The colors of life’, The New Enisey, 29 September 2006, p. 7.
I. Belyakov, ‘The museum of the kind man’, The Krasnoyarsk’s Worker, 28 September 2000.
The drawings of Andrey Pozdeev: water-colours, drawings, etchings of the 60-80-s of the XX century
(Krasnoyarsk, 2005).
7. A. Deriglazova and V. Petrov-Stromskyi, ‘The Knight of Art’, The Art, 1-15 March 2001, pp. 9-10.
8. D.P. Kadochnikov, ‘Pozdeev’s Readings. The fragments of history’, Impulse (2002).
9. M. Korotyuk, “The Stern Style” of kind Pozdeev’. Interesting, 10 November 2002.
10.A.A. Kuznetzova, Andrey Pozdeev speaks: The volume of quotations (Zelenogorsk, 1997).
11.‘We lived with the Clairvoyant: chosen articles for the memory of Krasnoyarsk artist A.G. Pozdeev’,
Krasnoyarsk News, September 2006, p. 4.
12.O. Nikitina, ‘Unknown Andrey Pozdeev’, The Russian Paper, 26 September 2006, p. 11.
13.A.G. Pozdeev and N.G. Tkachenko, ‘Philosopher of color’, The Russian Gallery, 1 (1999), p. 108110.
14.E.I. Rusakov, ‘Water-colour, the sister of poetry’, Krasnoyarsk’s Worker, 2 March 2001, p. 7.
15.E.I. Rusakov, ‘The lessons of Pozdeev: The conversation with doctor of philosophy, professor V.I.
Zhukovsryi’, The Krasnoyarsk’s Worker, 12 September 2001, p. 5.
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Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy and Daniel V. Pivovarov. The Nature of Visual Thinking
Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 1 (2008) 149-158
УДК 700.7+140
The Nature of Visual Thinking
Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy and Daniel V. Pivovarov*
Siberian Federal University,
Svobodny av., 79, Krasnoyarsk, 660041 Russia 1
Received 1.09.2007, received in revised form 1.12.2007, accepted 15.01.2008
Visual thinking is a type of non-verbal thinking, and it has been extensively studied by psychologists
in recent years. Psycologists believe that the main function of visual thinking is its ability to coordinate
different meanings of images into a complete, visible picture. Visual thinking also helps us to ontologize
the results of abstract verbal thinking so that an abstract essence becomes intellectually visible. Using
it to examine and analyze various works can yield new insights and a more complete understanding in
fields ranging from scientific to artistic.
Keywords: visual thinking, practical intellect, scientific thinking, artistic perceptions, structure of human cognition.
There is a traditional philosophical view,
according to which human thinking exists only
on the basis of linguistic material in forms of
words and their combinations. This verbalistic
approach is widely spread in philosophy till our
days, it has a force of a prejudice in spite of the
fact of existence of a developed branch of modern
psychol-ogy named “visual thinking”. Many years
ago Leo Vygotsky suggested a more broad notion
of thinking, he described it as a mental process
of operating upon representatives of external
objects, i.e. upon signs and symbols of any nature.
In his work “Thinking and Oration” (M., 1934)
Vygotsky tried to prove that “verbal thinking
does not cover neither all forms of thought, nor all
forms of speech. There is a large part of thinking,
which does not have direct attitude towards verbal
thinking. Instrumental and technical thinking
together with a whole realm of the so called
practical intellect in general may be included into
this realm of non verbal thinking” (p. 95). A nonverbal kind of thinking is as real, as a verbal one.
If many years ago practical intellect was
psychologically described as a preliminary and
primitive stage of thinking’s development only,
then today it is shown, that this kind of intellect
has all properties of effective thinking in its literal
form.Verbal and non-verbal thinkings do not exist
separately but constitute two different cuts of any
subjective reality – a cut still not verbalized and
a cut verbalized already. A non-verbalized level
of thinking can be verbalized in future. In the
beginning of the 60s M. Gazaniga and R. Sperry,
American psycho-physiologists, investigated
a functional asymmetry of a human head brain
from a point of view of differences among verbal
and non-verbal thinking. If to cut a bunion body,
which unites two brain hemispheres, then two
independent spheres of conscience emerge in the
same brain. Intellectual processes by means of the
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left hemisphere are usually happen in a directly
verbal form. The same processes but determined
by the right hemisphere’s activity are resulted
often in rational images of ontologized spatial
structures. Products of two brain hemispheres
are combined by means of a bunion body into a
whole knowledge of an object’s class and sensual
features of objects of this class.
Visual thinking is one of kinds of non-verbal
thinking, it is studied by psychologists much
better than other kinds of the last. Audial, tactil
and snuff thinking are objects of a very active
interest within psychology in recent years. Some
years ago there still was a strong habit to subdivide
culture into two principal parts. The first part
was called “intellectual culture of a scientist”
and it was necessary associated with thinking as
itself. The second subdivision of human culture
was associated with professions to reflect upon
values. Humanitarians, artists, composers of
sound melodies and aromatic spirits were treated
as possessors of sensual perceptions, feelings and
impressions primarily. For instance, still now it
is easy to notice in textbooks such usual general
oppositions as scientific thinking and artistic
perceptions, as if a scientist is primarily a rational
creature but an artist has nothing to do with a sphere
of essences and he is able to build professionally
only sets of sensual images; it is a wrong opinion.
Good artists, writers, composers of symphonies
of sounds or spirits are able to penetrate deeply
into invisible structures of different kinds of
reality not less than scientists; a symphony is like
a theory of a serious object. To compose spirits
accord-ingly, for example, to a peculiar class of
women is to cognize rationally some essential and
hidden character of these women. It is wiser to
find difference among episte-mological properties
of a classical natural scientist and a typical artist
namely in peculiarities of their rationalities, but
not through a prism of an opposition rationalsensual.
If the scientific rationality is based on
operating upon words and mathematical symbols,
which represent external objects (but this definition
is not the whole truth), then rationality of an artist
or engineer is based on iconical representatives of
external or inner objects, i.e. on graphs, diagrams,
spatial sign structures. For example, it is known
that engineer’s thinking usually consists of 6080% of visual thinking and only 20-40% of it
one can describe as verbal thinking. Within Ch.
Pierce’s classification of signs, an iconical kind
of signs is seen as an effective instrument of valid
thinking. Psychologists see the main function of
visual thinking in its ability to coordinate different
meanings of images into the whole visible picture.
Rudolf Arnheim, an American aesthetician and
psychologist, writes that one can not pass any
information to another person directly before the
object of this information is not represented in a
structurally clear form.
Visual thinking helps us to ontologize results
of abstract-verbal thinking; by means of it an
abstract essence becomes intellectually visible.
It is necessary to stress, that visual thinking is a
contentive product of synthesis of previous sensual
experiences and abstract-verbal thinking; by means
of it an abstract essence becomes intellectually
visible. Visual thinking is a constructive product
of synthesis of previous sensual experiences and
abstractverbal activity. So a sensual component of
an image of visual thinking is not just the same
as some direct sense-data. This component is
radically changed within a visual-rational image;
it reflects those objective structure, which are not
given in a direct perception. An image of visual
thinking is able to foresee future events, to draw
future worlds in forms of designer’s projects.
Thus, within structure of human cognition,
an image of visual thinking is a medium among
abstract-logical thinking and a future practical
activity. This image does compose the main
content of an aim of practice. Often it is possible
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to crystallize in it the principle content of this
or that achieved knowledge. Probably, it is an
image of visual thinking, but not pure conceptual
construction, which is a basic building element
of scientific pictures of the world. When we are
asking to imagine a modern picture of the world,
which exists in science, we at once can remember
associations of incandescent stars’ balls and cool
planets around them, atom’s model of Reserford,
pictures of electron’s and ion’s xchange among
atoms and molecules, of chromo-some’s chains
of Watson and Krieck’s model and so on. But
usually we (if we are not narrow specialists in
Physics, Chemistry, Biology) do not remember
mathematical and conceptional sides of those
scientific theories, within which the mentioned
visual-rational images were born.
So, an image of visual thinking of a proper
level of generality helps to transport main
conclusions of different theories throughout
science at whole and outside, it helps to popularize
general scientific results in society. By means of it
an invisible structure of atoms or genes becomes
mentally visible for scientists and ordinary people.
Visual thinking is a cognitive bridge between
verbal thinking and external practical activity,
between words and business. That is why it in
very important to teach culture of visual thinking
to begin from early childhood, to graft this culture
in pupils, students, scientists, engineers. It is a pity
that our pedagogical system was (and still is) based
on an illegible philosophical idea of cognitive
process. According to this idea, formulated by
sensualists (see V. Lenin’s ‘Philosophical copybooks’), a cognitive process has the following
structure: from direct sensual contemplation of
an object through abstract thinking to practice.
Of course Lenin could not foresee that this
sensualistic formula would be blindly copied in
the Soviet pedagogical practice.
For example, future Russian engineers are
good prepared at polytechnical universities from
the point of view of abstract science; a general
level of researches in Physics, Mathematics, etc. in
Russia still is one of the highest in the world. But
these future engineers are not taught to traverse
from an abstract level to a real creative practice
through a stage of a good and conscious visual
thinking. Teachers naively believe that necessary
skills and habits of technical creativity must
emerge automatically, without a preliminary hard
education. As far as we know, there is another
pedagogical practice in western education, which
was strongly influenced by British visual culture,
philosophical and scientific courses of musical
and artistic education are usual at British and
American schools, polytechnical colleges and
universities. It is true, these courses are not merely
an idle dissipation of money. Besides a widening
of an outlook of pupils and students, they are
forming cognitial abilities to design new artificial
objects. One of us has been to see the high school
in Evanston–along with other achievements a
general culture of visual thinking is carefully and
systematically cultivated there.
Thus, visual thinking is a human activity,
which results with new images, new visual
forms. These forms make visible the meanings
of abstract concepts. While mediating verbal
thinking and practice, images of visual thinking
are comparatively free in correspondence to
objects of perception. They have an ability to
reflect in themselves practically any categorial
relations of reality – spatial, temporal, attributive, causal, teleological, existential and so on.
But they reflect these relations not by means of
word’s expression, but through expression of them
in spatial-temporal structures, in transformations
and dynamics of sensual images. Epistemological
function of visual thinking includes (beside the
mentioned above property to be a bridge between
verbal and practical activity) an ability to find
information about structure-spatial and temporal
characteristics of possible worlds by means of
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Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy and Daniel V. Pivovarov. The Nature of Visual Thinking
imaginative transformations of schematic pictures
of objects and modes of acting upon these objects.
Ontological function of visual thinking is an ability
to ontologize products of verbal thinking, to give
them existential properties, a feeling of reality.
This happens because of a sensual component
of synthetic images of visual thinking. Of course
such images may be not only true but false also,
nevertheless there is a stamp of reality on them
We mentioned some more functions
of this kind of thinking before – prognostic,
methodological and communicative. The last,
communicative function is very impor-tant.
When a verbal communication among people is
not sufficient or even impossible, visual thinking
gives an opportunity to transport information
among subjects, for instance, in a graphical form.
Especially it is effective in arts, engineer projects,
de-sign. The existence of visual thinking falsifies
some radical consequences of Sepire-Worf`’s
theory of linguistic relativity – for instance, its
thesis, that grammar itself forms human thoughts
as a program of an individ’s mental activity
and as a means of analysis and synthesis of our
impressions. It seems that vsual thinking is a
necessary condition of finishing of a theory’s
construction. Due to its images of visible essences
a scientist can interpret empirical data of partly
or completely invisible objective and subjective
processes. Pictures of theoretically investigated
objects are built upon a conceptual system and
accordingly to this system. By means of such
pictures a scien-tist is able to correspond his theory
to external reality, to check it or to materialize his
ideas in artificial objects. From the point-of-view
of a conceptional content of a theory, a theory is a
knowledge of its abstract objects directly, but not
a direct knowledge of external objective reality as
itself. Epistemological functions of visual thinking help to transform theoretical knowledge about
abstract objects into a kind of practical knowledge
of non-theoretical objects.
An example with three models of a helical
structure of nuclear acid DNA, constructed by
Watson and Crick, is very typical to show the
importance of visual thinking in theoretical
sciences. Today we can see directly by means
of an electron microscope a piece of DNA’s
molecule, its two threads, which helically
entwine each other. But in the beginning of the
50-th this was impossible to do. There were facts
about a chemical composition of nuclear acids,
diffraction of x-rays (a rentgenogram of DNA’s
fibres) and about some correlations among guanin
and tzitozin, adenin and tymin, etc. There was a
strong need in a good theory in order to make an
objective structure of DNA visible and to explain
empirical facts. In such cases a theory plays a role
of an intellectual instrument by means of which
some general and abstract idea can be transformed
into visible and verificative conclusions. J.D.
Watson and F.H. Crick decided to use L. K.
Pauling’s method to build molecular models.
When they described a set of abstract objects of
their genetic theory and tied conceptional correlations, a need in visualization of the theory have
appeared. Watson writes in his book ‘A Double
Helic’ (M., 1963): “While entering my laboratory
I began to cling pieces of copper wire to models
of atoms of carbon. So I made out of them more
large atom of phosphor. Though it was only one
and a half dozen of these atoms, they often fall
out of inconvenient clamps, which were thought
to hold them on a proper distance towards each
other. In order to make even simplest atoms of
phosphor our mechanic had to work at least three
days <…> The last hours of this day I spent to cut
purin and pyrimidin foundations from a thick leaf
of pasteboard.” (Pp. 64, 67, 120, 131).
All these strange material objects have been
seen as representative of invisible microworld.
Two first models were not successful, but the
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third one turned to be a great discovery in 1953.
The decisive experiment in 1957 in Californian
technological institute proved Watson and
Crick’s model. The sketched, by means of visual
thinking, picture of DNA was just the same as a
photo of a real DNA. It is very wonderful what
precisely predictable visual thinking in science
can be! Of course this is an ideal example. In
other cases of theoretical cognition a role of visual
thinking may be not so decisive and important.
But still epistemology must pay attention to it.
There is no place to discuss psychological and
physiological details of mechanisms of visual
thinking, as well as philosophical arguments and
counter arguments. Here we want to say simply
that if the principle of unity among sensual and
rational sides of a cognitive process is true, then
visual thinking (as a kind of synthetic non-verbal
thinking) does exist with a logical necessity.
Several American philosophers study successfully
its nature and properties and among them some
philosophers from Northwestern University. We
also have published three monographs about
visual thinking.
A general theory of visual thinking is to be
extrapolated on arts. A. Baumgarten, the father
of Aesthetics, classically defined this branch
of philosophy as a theory of sensual cognition.
This definition is right in general if to understand
cognition in its categorical meaning. Some
philosophers described aesthetical cognition as
the lowest level of human cognition, but some of
them, on the contrary (Shelling, for example), have
seen in Aesthetics the top of human knowledge.
Cognition is cognition, it is a process of penetrating
into roots, essences, nature of things. If to explain
an aesthetical attitude towards a world not only as
plain sensations and presentations (as sense-data),
but as visual thinking, then an aesthetical image
may be briefly defined as Visi-ble Essence.
Simply speaking, a world around us may be
divided on two parts. One part is directly visible, it
is a surface of phenomenons. We can see it, touch
it, smell it, etc. But the second part is invisible.
Philosophers use to call it ‘essence’ of
objects of our perceptions. If ‘essence’ is not
known it seems to be dangerous and hostile
towards a man. So it is necessary to understand
‘essence’, to express it via sensual images. We
suppose that aesthetical attitude is nothing else
but an expression of rationally cognized essences
in structures of transformed perceptions and
presentations, i.e. in forms of images of visual
think-ing. Aesthetical attitude is universal, one
can find it in every kind of human activity and
knowledge – in everyday life, spheres of arts,
science, technique. For instance, a mathematical
graphic curve aesthetically expresses a definite
equation, though such an expression happens to
be some mode of aesthetical quality – beautiful
or un-seemly, elevated or low, tragic or comical.
Aesthetical attitude is a human ability to express
essences ideally, i.e. via ontologized and
sensual representatives of these essences. That
is why, while aesthetically expressing some
deep essences, men subjec-tively make them
known and not so dangerous; such a kind of
visual thinking is accompanied with a feeling of
pleasure, admiration, relief, reliability and so on
positive emotions.
An artistic attitude towards a world is a
special kind of aesthetical survival. Artistic
objects are produced artificially with a purpose
not simply to express essences in visual forms,
but to express, openly and intentively, human
personal attitudes toward important essences and
to derive useful educative lessons. Arts do keep
positive social life activity and lift an individual
on a social meaningful point of view by means
of soft and noncompulsive methods. Therefore it
is not surprising that arts are always in a focus of
ideological and political attention everywhere. All
different theories of arts arise out of two closely
tied philosophical ideas, we believe. The first
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idea is the idea of essence, which is artificially
expressed by means of sensual and ontologized
images. The second idea is the idea of importance
or unimportance for human life of the sensually
revealed essence. Tied together and differently
interpreted these two ideas determine the historical
logic of development of arts’ conceptions and
general artistic methods.
Followers of Plato and Hegel do understand
essence as something very different from a sphere
of sensual phenomenons, which manifests itself
towards a perceiving man indirectly; nevertheless a
man is able to cognize essence. This philosophical
po-sition determines a set of peculiar theories of
arts and notions of realism in arts. Within them,
realism is a true description of essence (not
natural phenomenons of life) in terms of revised
and transformed presentations. Essence is truly
reflected in art works when ordinary presentations
are changed due to a rational scheme, which a
talented artist has found and hidden in his work.
From this point of view, surrealism and similar
artistic methods are true and realistic. Followers
of Kant or other agnostical doctrines think that
essence is out of our perceptual reflection, it can
be artificially expressed in sensual forms only
Religious arts (icons, church architecture,
etc.) are clear examples of this mode of thinking.
a struggle of inner contradictions, you receive a
special notion of a ‘good’ art also. If essence is
something else for you (‘oneness’, ‘undividible,
etc.), then you disagree with the previous point of
view; accordingly, interpretations of aesthetical
categories of harmony, taste, beauty and so on
would be alternative.
The second idea – the idea of arts’
importance for our social life – provides an-other
angle of view on nature of arts. If one believes
that a human being is a product of nature, then
to know natural essences means to know man’s
essence. So, from this point of view, it is very
important to express nature artistically for a
benefit of society. On the contrary, if somebody
thinks that a man is a mistake of nature or nature
is principally unknown, then it is not important to
express natural essences artistically, but better to
make picture of social life. Knowledge of essence
(natural or social) can teach or can’t teach people
– a basic alternative for artistic discussions also.
We would not continue further on this topic; you
see already the revealed logic of history of arts
and historical dialogues among distinguished
artists. It is very important to give freedom for all
principal artistic tendencies. Only then arts, taken
totally, are developing normally and effectively.
Suppression of any principal artistic program
leads to a disharmony in artistic creativity.
If one believes that a pure geometrical visual form
only is good to express essence, but not accidental
phenomenons’ shapes, then cubism, suprematism
and other artistic methods are corresponding
to this conception. If another artist thinks (as
nominalists), that essence or doe does not exist
at all or it is manifested, directly and fully, in
sensual phenomenons, then he believes in a kind
of a surface realism, photo-graphical arts.’ And so
on. Another base for principal differences among
conceptions of arts is a question of what definite
sensual material is good to express essence –
visual, audio, etc.? If you understand essence as
The suppressed artistic program will survive
in future with an ‘iron necessity,’ because arts must
always wondering people with new decisions,
touch their feelings, shocking them. But the
suppressed doctrine may appear in future in a very
noisy and fashionable form; even if you dislike
some artistic approaches and methods, it would
be philosophically wise not to abandon them at
all. Ideologists and politicians often do not know
this dialectics and do not want to know it because
of their special pragmatic purposes. But we are to
know it and to popularize it among people even if
you like Picasso and dislike Rubens.
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Now we want to reflect upon visual thinking
in arts via structure of an art work. We shall take
painting as an example for this purpose, though
results of this research may be extrapolated on
other kinds of arts. Images, expressed by works
of pictorial art, are not merely perceptual copies
of external objects. They are literary Visual Essences, lighted through a prism of human relation
towards them. Several aspects of this relation are
described in E. Bullough’s conception of ‘Psychical
Distance’, J. Stolnitz’s theory of ‘Disinterested
Relation’, V. Aldrich’s notion ‘Seeing as’. Much
may be said about historical discussion between
two alternative sets of theories of art – among a
theory of imitation and a theory of expression,
which were developed in modern aesthetics by
Clive Bell, Susanna Langer, R.W. Collingwood,
Morris Weitz, Monroe Beardsley and others. A
good critical analysis of these theories one may
find in a very interesting monograph of George
Dicke (Aesthetics. An introduction. Pegasus,
1971. -200 p.). But if Dicke analyze imitationism
and expressionism as simply different alternative
theories, we want to unite them dialectically as
descriptions of polar sides of the same pictorial
There are two sides of a work of pictorial art,
mutually tied. The first side we call naturalistic
tendency, the second – symbolistic tendency.
conception. Some historical and conditional
details are helpful for this purpose, especially
when a spectator has a good artistic experience
and taste. But a real work of art has some other
levels, situated within its inner plans. The more
profound an artist is, the more number of these
levels one can find in his picture. These levels
express symbolically author’s artistic conception
of a human relationship towards the world,
towards different aspects of reality. Author’s and
spectator’s visual thinking starts on these levels.
Many inexperienced people do not know
about such a complex structure of serious artistic
works. Their glances are slipping along a surface of
a master-piece, though even in this case primitive
feelings of aesthetical pleasure do appear. It is true
that there are many professional art critics who,
also, are able to describe the first sur-face plan of
an art work only; much is to be done to educate
aesthetically those people, especially those critics,
who assure public, that an artist usually does not
know what he creates, that an artist creates mostly
unconsciously or subconsciously. It is true that
often an artist is not able to retell painted contents
by means of words. But it happens, we believe,
not because of his non-rationality or irrationality.
A real painter creates by means of visual thinking
primarily, but not with the help of verbal thinking.
A verbal name of his picture is only n prompting,
Proportions of these tenden-cies are very
different in various art works. According to his
philosophical and artistic program a painter
may prefer one tendency more than another,
consequently one painter may be called, in general,
naturalist, another – symbolist. Still two aspects
of a picture, naturalistic and symbolistic, are its
attributes. In order to communicate with a painter,
a spectator must recognize, more or less, naturalgeometric forms and shapes of a painted artistic
object. So the first plan of an art work (its surface)
is a naturalistic (imitationistic) key, by means of
which one can enter into an author’s intention,
not necessarily a true one, how to enter to the
bottom of his divisionally rational construction.
When an artist starts his work he, may be,
does not know his final rational result. But if he
finishes his work successfully and does not want to
deceive spectators, he mostly consciously knows
this result. Of course, it does not mean that an
artwork is a closed system. This system is open for
a private spectator’s imagination, and sometimes
one can discover even those deep levels of a
talented art work, which its painter did not realize.
Thus, art develops in different directions as a result
of mutual penetration, balance and unbalance
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Vladimir I. Zhukovskiy and Daniel V. Pivovarov. The Nature of Visual Thinking
of naturalistic and symbolistic tendencies.
Masterpieces are historical landmarks of this
dialectical process. We think, that a real pictorial
masterpiece is a pure balance and harmony of
naturalistic and symbolistic sides of a picture, so
some deep essence is expressed geometrically
and colourfully in a very naturalistic-realistic
The second condition of a masterpiece is a
visual expression of some deep philosophical
idea, which is out of age, eternal and international
humanistic. Such masterpieces survive via
centuries and are open always for new modern
interpretations. We think that a good public artistic
education is to be based on a written history of
such masterpieces, around which other historical
one-sided attempts to develop various mode of
naturalism and symbolism may be centralized.
This is an idea of a new short and condensed
course of history of arts with a causal explanation
of arts’ process.
Now we want to illustrate and to prove just
a little this sketched conception of visual thinking
in arts. We have no place now to deepen into a
description of a nature of a childish picture. We
would say only, that little children have to solve
an extremely hard problem, when they try to
understand adults’ notions. Children see ordinary
things (tables, chairs, animals, etc.) approximately
as we adults do. But adults use words to designate
classes of things, i.e. essences, and little children
do not understand, why, for example, a word
‘table’ may express in one case a fourlegged
table, in other case – a table with one leg only
and so on? A child has to build rational images of
sensually perceived things himself. And this is a
real personal creativity.
Accordingly to the psychological theory of
interiorization, a child must firstly exteriorize his
conjecture about invisible essence and materialize
it in a visible geometry. A childish picture is an
example of this exteriorization. It is wonderful
that pic-tures of all children in the world are
similar, there is just the same geometorical
alphabet in those pictures, it is amazing how little
children of different nationalities can read and
understand pictures of each other easily, but many
adults do not understand them. Adults falsely
see in that pictures sensual naturalistic copies
of external individual things, but not Visible
Essence, sketches of notions. Adults are mistaken
when they try to correct childish pictures in order
to make them similar to ordinary physical things.
The symbolical side is the main parameter of such
a picture.
When a child has solved his conceptional
problem he usually stops his further painting,
does not want to improve it. Some of more eldest
children continue to draw, and their pictures
become more naturalistic. It is very significant
that great artists sometimes want to return back to
a childish manner of drawing to express essences
very geometrically-economically. Picasso was
among them. You can see, below, several examples
of a childish drawing of essences. A child draws
his notion as a logical circle in the middle of a
list of paper, and a background is meaningful for
him as all others things around. Do not insist,
that a child simply waste paper. He concretize the
logical circle while drawing some details which,
he believes, are essential. For instance, ‘a cat’ is
a circle with several short lines within it and with
schematic nails. It is because of cat’s wooly soft
hair and dangerous scratching nails a child has
firstly a notion (essence) of each cat.
Look at the second picture. How
economically a childish understanding of a notion
‘door-keeper’ is symbolically expressed in it!
You see a one-handed ‘head-legger’ with a spade.
The third picture clearly expresses a personal
childish attitude towards such a life-meaningful
object for a child as his parents’ behaviour. You
see the author in the corner, he has no hands to
give them to his parents, who have also no hands
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for the author and who love only author’s brother
(or sister). Thus, the symbolical side of visual
thinking in arts one may trace to begin from
childish attempts to draw essences. And this side
determinates the other, naturalistic one. In adult’s
art these sides can change their force, periodically
overweighing each other during Art history.
Now let us offer you explanations of several
great art masterpieces from the point of view
of two correlated tendencies, naturalistic and
symbolistic. ‘Diskoflingerl’ of ancient Greek
sculpturer Miron is well known. But a few people
can see in this sculpture not simply a sportsman,
but a visible essence of Apollo – the god of
peace and war. Miron expressed geometrically
in his work the harmonical theory of Heraclitus,
the philosophy of symmetry of peace and war
forces, which are in a mutual struggle eternally.
Natural lines of a human figure are subordinated
to the main idea of antique dialectics. Lines of
hands, shoulders and so on are the mental key to
recognize a bow and an arrow in a battle position.
Just the same lines with additional of a head and
some other body lines are embodied an ancient
Greek lyre, a musical instrument of a silver-bow
god Appolo.
Contemporaries of Heraclitus and Miron
did understand this visual rational image because
they were accustomed to a mythological kind
of thinking and highly experienced in arts. But
modern people mostly see in this sculpture only
a physical body, and art critics notice in it many
mistakes from the point of view of anatomy of a
hu-man body. Miron’s ‘Diskoflinger’ is an eternal
masterpiece, which visually expressed a great idea
in a very laconical and perfect geometrical form.
Who can prove that Miron did not know what he
creates, consciously!
Look at the two pictures of V.T. Surikov
– on ‘Countess Mororova’ and ‘Stepan Razin’.
Naturalistically they are very different, but
symbolically they are identical. Surikov was
influenced too much by the widely spread (in
Russian society in the very end of the 19-th) idea
of a lonely strong hero, who knows that he will
die and still goes against the modern life stream.
To express this idea Surikov invented a special
geometrical scheme, which determines a whole
set of his brilliant pictures. This is a scheme of
a triangle against element. The hero-triangle
induces a turbulent movement within a laminary
normal stream of life. An active diagonal line
across Surikov’s pictures is drawn in such a way
that it expresses the inevitable defeat of the hero.
Countess Morozova, one of the leaders of old
Russian Orthodox Church, died in exile. Thus,
under a surface of Surikov’ different pictures
you can find a more deep level of a geometrically
expressed essence.
A.A. Ivanov’s masterpiece ‘Christ’s
advent to people’ (1837–1857) is well-known
in each country. But even eminent art critics
can not explain its main idea. They qualify it as
a marvelous eclectical picture, they ar unable to
find its geometrical-meaningful centre, to name
the main figure. Some of them think that Christ
or John may be that figure. It is wrong. Ivanov as
influenced by philosophy of Shelling and his main
artistic idea was the idea of an artist who may be
the only one human measure of truth and faith.
And the very imperceptible figure on his picture
is the central figure in a modern clothes and with
a european hat (among others in ancient clothes).
And this figure is lvanov himself!
Usually God’s space and man’s earth are
drawn in religious icons in a form of a numeral
‘eight,’ ‘8’. It is a sign of indefinity, which is
standing vertically. God’s Son, Christ, is the
middle of this figure. Christ unites God’s and
man’s worlds, lvanov puts ‘8’ horizontally. The
painter himself now in the role of Christ, he unites
and mediates two opposite worlds – the world
of faith and the world of truth (knowledge). In
the first circle you see pupils of Christ, in the
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opposite circle–non-believers (‘book-people’ and
pharisaioi). If the first are surrounded by green
life’s colour, the seconds are situated in a desert.
Christ appears on the side of unbelievers because
he is more important for them. But you also can
see in the left corner of the picture a Jerusalem
temple and a yellow twig of the green tree upon
the temple. It means that Christ’s doctrine (‘twig’)
begins weakening, and Christ’s apparition is
necessarily for his pupils also.
All figures are very naturalistic (realistic), as if
you see a photo of a real event. But the naturalistic
side of the picture is totally subordinated to the
author’s conception of a true artist. The artist here
is shown as the middle of a weighing machine,
on which faith and knowledge are weighed.
Christ is a light unbalanced force on the side of
knowledge, and yellow twig is a counter force.
So the balance is restored again, and the picture
seems to be highly harmonical. The more you
deepen into lvanov’s picture, into bottom levels of
its structure, the more you understand, by means
of your visual thinking, the author’s conception.
You are able to understand that lvanov found
the golden medium among faith and knowledge,
and different figures on his picture, young and
old, delighted and skeptical, etc., are nothing
else but images of lvanov’s personal biography.
These figures are symbols of his own creative life
way; the cen-tral figure is symbolized his found
meaning of life. Much is to be said about lvanov’s
skill to harmonize oppositions on each part of his
The more general artistic idea, the more
abstract may be its visual geometric expression.
The top of this visual thinking in pictorial art was
achieved, we suggest, by Kazimir Malevitch in
his suprematism (in his art of pure forms). His
‘Black Square’ is the more abstract painting out
of possible. As Malevitch himself wrote in his
explana-tions, this work artistically expressed
the Hegelian dialectics of pure existence and
nothingness. At first a spectator’s existence is
situated on a white background of the canvas.
Then a spectator is pulled in the blackness of the
square, into its infinity; it is difficult to return back
on the white surface of phenomenon. Such is a
pulsation of life and death and a pulsation of a
spectator’s attention. Impressive people are better
not to survive aesthetically ‘Black Square’. Many
artists and art critics hate this masterpiece. Even if
they do not understand its idea, they nevertheless
feel that Malevitch revealed in a naked form
absolute, which is cold and dangerous for normal
people. Two sides of each great artistic pictures
-naturalistic and symbolistic – are perfectly
identical in ‘Black Square’ accordingly to the top
level of artistic material and abstraction. Thus
every great master finds his own original form of
visual thinking and materializes this form in an art
masterpiece, eternally alive.
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