In his work, the author compares and analyzes such concepts as human, person, personality, entity, individual, and self. He considers the views of major philosophers and psychologists of the past on these concepts. There are ideas of P. Florensky, A. Losev, G. Shpet, L. Rubinstein, L .Bozhovich, A .Leontiev, S. Freud and other scientists writing on the content, functions, origin and value of the psychological phenomena mentioned above. The views of a person, individual, and Self have undergone dramatic changes over time. Russian philosophers wrote about the impossibility to define the individual, they considered it a myth, miracle, mystery, and at the same time limit of self-construction or self-creation. Russian psychologists dropped the concept of individual below the concept of personality, and even equated with the subject. In addition, for a while the identity was considered a product of the collective. The notion of Self is considered in a similar way. It is either identified with the subject or object, or it is said to propagate using vegetative means, or like the individual may manifest properties of a soluble substance. However, the Self is recognized to be characterized by generating creative abilities and functions. Psychoanalysts first considered Self as a mental institution, then as a main authority or substructure of personality. S.Freud builds a topology of the following structure: Ego, Super-Ego, Id, each of them performing their own functions and keeping their own energy. S. Freud spoke about the historical implications of mental acts. Considerable attention is paid to the origin of Self. The development of the Self does not occur automatically, and there are concepts put forward by the psychoanalysts and psychologists.
The author emphasizes that the paper compares psychological approaches to personality and psychoanalytic approaches to the Self. In psychology, we are dealing with a person (a person?) without Self. In psychoanalysis, we are dealing with Self, but without personality. Both psychologists and psychoanalysts tend to reduce the Self to the individual, subject, representative, or mere body.
The paper analyses such polysemantic terms as “subject”, “individual”, “personality”, and which form sincretic notions, e.g. “subjectivity of personality”, “multisubjectivity of personality”, etc.
The author claims that he was unable to find in the works of other authors meaningful connections between the concepts of «subject» and «personality». The concept of «subject» is used in such a wide meaning that its content potential is close to zero. It highlights the complexity of understanding the subject, and provides evidence of the difficulties that the author finds in the works of the leading philosophers and psychologists who are concerned with the issue of personality. As a result, the author concludes that the analysis of the different forms of reflexivity and, their base practices are the theory of psychology of the subject.
The second term of the triad – the individual or the individuality, is both the subject and the subject matter and objective of an infinite number of studies. At the same time the concepts of «subject» and «personality» are not congruent to the concept of «individual», although many attempts to define or describe the personalityare repelled by the notion of individual. The phenomenon of personality expresses a rather late result of human development.
The interpretation of these terms by G.G. Shpet, S.L. Rubinshtein, B.M. Teplov, A.N. Leontiev, etc. is refurbished. The author believes the main issue of psychological research is personality. On the ontological plane,there are two notions of personality: down — to the subject — to a function or a collection of functions; and up — to the personality — to an ideal, to the limit of self-construction, to spirituality and freedom.
One of the chapters from the book “Way of thinking: the problem of the historical unity of scientific knowledge” by V.P. Zinchenko (edited by T.G. Shchedrina), published in 2011 is presented. V.P. Zinchenko describes his outstanding teachers, especially about P.Y. Galperin and his colleagues: A.R. Luria, A.N. Leontyev, P.I. Zinchenko and D.B. Elkonin, A.V. Zaporozhets, A.A. Smirnov. The contributions of these outstanding scientists in psychological science are shown on a par with biographical account and their personal traits.
Keywords: history of Russian psychology;
history of psychology;
A.N. Leontiev’s psychological theory of activity;
A.N. Leontiev school;
Russian psychological school;