Basic theoretical approaches to the picture of the world study

The correlation of the cognitive picture of the world with the linguistic one and their connection. The secondary nature of the linguistic picture of the world in relation to cognitive. The approach to the study of specific situations in the art world.

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Yakimov Petr Anatol'evich, Ph. D. in Pedagogy, Associate Professor

Orenburg State Pedagogical University


In the article the main approaches to the study of the world picture in modern science are analyzed. Cognitive and linguistic pictures of the world can be examined from the point of psycholinguistics, semiotics, linguistics, cognitive linguistics and linguoculturology. First of all, different approaches are emphasized, the correlation of the cognitive picture of the world with the linguistic one, their close connection, and also the secondary nature of the linguistic picture of the world in relation to cognitive is considered. The search allows us to determine the approach to the study of specific situations in the art world exactly (religious, mythological, philosophical, scientific, artistic, poetic) in accordance with the Russian linguistic picture of the world.

Key words and phrases: cognitive picture of the world; linguistic picture of the world; linguocognitive, linguistic, psycholinguistic, semiotic, linguocultural approaches.


В данной статье анализируются основные подходы к исследованию картины мира в современной науке. Когнитивная и языковая картины мира могут быть исследованы с позиции психолингвистики, семиотики, лингвистики, когнитивной лингвистики и лингвокультурологии. Различные подходы подчеркивают, в первую очередь, соотнесенность когнитивной картины мира с языковой, их тесную связь, а также вторичность языковой картины мира по отношению к когнитивной. Данное исследование позволяет более точно определить подход к изучению конкретных вариантов когнитивной картины мира (религиозной, мифологической, философской, научной, художественной, поэтической) в соотношении с русской языковой картиной мира.

Ключевые слова и фразы: когнитивная картина мира; языковая картина мира; лингвокогнитивный, лингвистический, психолингвистический, семиотический, лингвокультурологический подходы.

It is possible to define several approaches to understanding the essence of the picture of the world in modern science, on the basis of its nature and correlation with other close phenomena. We do not claim to have the exhaustive description of all approaches in the article; we will point out only some of them.

From the point of view of the psycholinguistic approach, the concept “the picture of the world” is synonymous with the psychological concept “the image of the world” (that emphasized in the L. Wittgenstein's works, although A. A. Leontiev speaks about these concepts nonidentity [6, c. 297]), important for determining the essence of which is the so-called “general scientific change to the person” and transferring the focus of attention to the psychological status of knowledge as an asset of individual consciousness and subconsciousness [2]. Knowledge, associated not only with the collective, but also with individual experience, differing in the objectivity and reliability degree, characterized by dynamism and openness, determined by historical and sociocultural conditions and incorporating into their structure unconscious and non-balanced components [Ibidem], is important reference point in the world, necessary to be able to live and act in this world [5]. The image of the world, which is the fundamental basis of any human activity, is formed (synthesized) from two sources: “from the experience of a social group, ethnos or the whole humankind, accepted and internalized in the form of knowledge by each individual person, and from a personality's activity in the surrounding world, in the reality of material and ideal objects” [Ibidem, c. 18]. At the same time, the image of the world consists not only of abstract meanings, but also of personal meanings. A man is biased in the vision of the world: it is always colored by his personal experiences [5].

A. A. Leontev, referring to M. K. Mamardashvili's, F. Hegel's, A. A. Uhtomsky's studies, points to three types of generalizations that play an important role in the formation of the psycholinguistic image of the world: generalizations at the activity level aimed at revealing “constant properties of things”, “discretization of the objective world and its transformation into the world of objects”; generalization at the level of the current relationship between the man and the world, aimed at “stopping” the ever-present reality; generalization is not the level of the universe in the course of purposeful reflection, aimed at building a system of knowledge about the world [Ibidem, c. 16]. Therefore, the image of the world is not given to a man initially: it is formed in the process of acquiring experience and is the result of complex cognitive operations; language at the same time serves as an instrument of these operations and a way of the learned knowledge fixing [11, c. 94]. world linguistic cognitive picture

However the image of the world can be completely reflexive: “situational, i.e., fragmentary” and “extrasituational, global”; at the same time, “the utmost level of such reflection corresponds to the scientific and philosophical interpretation of the world” [6, c. 298]. Such images of the world, on the one hand, are formed within the individualpersonal vision of the world by a man, represent a variety of options, on the other hand, they can be combined into invariant, abstract models that describe common features in the vision of the world by different people. It is important to emphasize that psycholinguists note the stereometric nature of the consciousness movement in the image of the world, as well as its multidimensionality, similar to the world itself.

Studies in the field of psycholinguistics make it possible to characterize the picture of the world as a demonstration, on the one hand, of collective consciousness, on the other, individual.

Within the semiotic approach framework, the picture of the world is defined from the positions of modeling sign systems - primary (language) and secondary (myth, religion, poetry, cinema, etc.). Initially, the world model was defined as “the image of the world, got as a result of transcoding perceived signals - primary data recorded by instruments (artificial or organic, i.e. receptors) and secondary data resulting from the recoding of primary data” [10, c. 15]. To study the peculiarities of the embodiment of the religious picture of the world in poetry, it is important that, according to the ideas of the semiotic approach, the world picture is differently modeled by different sign systems, with the least abstraction degree and the most modeling ability possessed by the sign systems of religion, even in comparison with the units of language.

From the lingo-cognitive approach, the picture of the world is “the initial global image of the world that underlies the human vision of the world, which represents the essential properties of the world in the presenters' understanding and is the result of all person's spiritual activities. The picture of the world appears in this interpretation as a subjective image of objective reality and therefore enters the class of the ideal, which, not ceasing to be an image of reality, is objectified in symbolic forms (primarily in the language - note by P. Ya.), not fully capturing in one of them” [Ibidem, c. 21].

Cognitive (direct - in Z. D. Popova's and I. A. Sternin's terminology [8]) picture of the world is formed not only by the senses, but also by means of abstract thinking. Cognitivists consider various forms of existence of the picture of the world - rational and sensual, dialectical and metaphysical, materialistic and idealistic, theoretical and empirical, scientific and “naпve”, natural-science and religious, physical and chemical, etc., which can be created as a result of: “1) reconstruction, i.e. explication, extraction, subjecting, objectification and understanding of the world of images that underlie human life, and especially his practical activity, and 2) construction, i.e. creation of the development of the new images of the world, carried out by a special reflection, systemic issues. These procedures are similar in their internal structure [Ibidem, c. 24].

It is important for us, that the cognitive picture of the world, both in the individual consciousness of the personality and in the collective consciousness, affects the perception of the surrounding world:

1) “offers a classification of elements of reality;

2) offers techniques for analyzing reality (explains, describes, predicts);

3) regulates the sensory and rational experience of the individual for his storage in consciousness, memory” [Ibidem, c. 52].

Despite the fact that the cognitive picture of the world is manifested by various sign systems and information codes - art, rituals, etc., the cognitive interpretation of the language results observations is the most important source of modeling fragments of the cognitive world picture [Ibidem, c. 50], at the same time, the linguistic (mediated) picture of the world is formed as a result of the materialization and “exaggeration” of the cognitive picture of the world through units of language at different levels. According to E. S. Kubryakova, the study of the сontact points between the cognitive and linguistic pictures of the world is best carried out in the course of research into the directions of nominative activity, which is the main mechanism for creating a linguistic picture of the world, researching real means and nomination methods, a socio-cultural situation, in which there is a nomination, as well as the speakers' intentions [4, c. 64].

According to the representatives of this approach, in the knowledge of the world and the patterns definition of its interpretation, the linguistic picture of the world takes a direct part: it is a kind of grid, imposed on the world perception by a man, on his evaluation, a set of notations, affects the division of experience and the vision of situations and events. Cognition of the world occurs through the prism of language and experience, which is acquired by a man together with the seizure of language, which includes not only the body of linguistic units, but also the rules for their formation and functioning in the text. What is more, the linguistic picture of the world is a kind of projection of the conceptual system of human consciousness, which unites innate concepts, concepts formed in the process of person's dynamic subject-cognitive activity, as well as concepts that are separated from words of associations of meanings that are repeated in semantic structures [Ibidem, c. 65].

This position brings cognitivists closer to representatives of the linguistic approach. Being an adherent of the linguistic approach, L. O. Cherneyko argues, that with the relative integrity of the linguistic picture of the world determined by the unity of language, the integrity of the cognitive picture of the world is impossible, since “no ideological unity in society is observed” [13, c. 67-68]; the picture of the world is dynamic [Ibidem, c. 67]. The researcher speaks about the possibility and necessity of isolating the basic worldview invariants, the combinatorics of which become the basis for the empirical diversity of vital positions.

L. O. Cherneyko's conclusion is important, made while comparing the concepts “cognitive picture of the world” and “world model”: the world picture and the world model, in spite of the fact that they can have the same form of objectification - language, they are differentiated as designations of different types of reality: the first notion denotes objective reality, and the second is the subjective one [Ibidem, c. 67-68].

In the center of attention of the linguocultural approach representatives is the assertion that the pictures of the world and linguistic pictures of the world are ethnically specific. The national-cultural distinctiveness of scientists is seen primarily in the presence of specific fragments of the world picture, their hierarchy, the system of connections, etc., specific for this or that linguoculture [12, c. 58]. Linguistic culturologists reveal a set of “key words” denoting the constants of the ethno-linguistic consciousness (in the terminology of S. G. Ter-Minasova and V. A. Maslova) specific to each national cultural picture of the world (Yu. S. Stepanov) - invariants of the national culture. The constants of the Russian national consciousness, according to Yu. S. Stepanov, are peace, our and others, Rus, native land, time, fire and water, bread, vodka and drunkenness, a word, faith, love, truth and verity, law, conscience , fathers and children, home, comfort, eternity, fear, longing, sin, sadness, sorrow, according to A. Vezhbitskaya - soul, fate, anguish; in the studies of A. D. Shmelev - this is space, distance, breadth, freedom, expanse; other authors - avos, daring, pity, arity, unity, home, life, friend, fool [12].

Linguistic culturologists introduce such a concept as a national cultural picture of the world. The national cultural picture of the world is fuller, richer and deeper than the linguistic one. The national language verbalizes the national picture of the world.

It is important to determine from what positions the picture of the world can be explored in our work. According to the representatives of the linguistic cognitive approach, the basis of any picture of the world is the paradigm of the following categories:

1) the observer, the subject of the picture of the world;

2) what is observed, the object of the picture of the world;

3) the result of observation, the actual picture of the world [10, c. 31-33].

According to the researchers, the subjects of the picture of the world can differ: by age - an adult or a child; by the adequacy of the view of the world - a mentally normal person or a person with a violation of the psyche; by modernity or archaism: people of modern civilization and people of archaic worldview. In accordance with this, the following types of pictures of the world are distinguished:

1) a picture of the world of an adult and a child's picture of the world;

2) a picture of the world of a mentally normal person and a psychopathological picture of the world; 3) a “civilized” picture of the world and archaic [Ibidem, c. 32].

We should accept, that there can be as many pictures of the world as there are so-called “worlds”, which draw attention to the subject of the world's pictures. With this approach, the synonym for “peace” is reality, being, nature and a man. Depending on the way the world is reflected, one can speak of an integral picture of the world (the reflection of the world as a whole) or of a local picture of the world (the reflection of a separate fragment of the world picture). Integral pictures of the world include mythological, religious, philosophical, physical, chemical, etc. An example of a local picture of the world is the majority of private scientific pictures of the world that give the model of a fragment of the universe (for example, the study of the comic picture of the world, the dialectal picture of the world, the metaphorical picture of the world, etc.).

From the position of “image type” or “technique of performance”, the world's pictures are characterized by the following peculiarities: whether different subjects view the world in the same way; from which point in space the world is observed (it is stationary or moves behind the image); from one or from different distances the subjects are looking at the world; whether they are represented by the world “homogeneously or heterogeneously, i.e. rhythmically, with the same elaboration of all parts or with the unmotivated accentuation of only some parts” [Ibidem, c. 34].

According to A. A. Zaliznyak's, V. V. Ivanov's and V. N. Toporov's opinions, obtained in the course of reconstructing the world model of the ancient Slavs, the world picture is a multi-level system that exists primarily in the special time and is located in the special space [3, c. 136]. Space and time in a number of other categories (change, cause, fate, number, relation of the sensory to the supersensible, etc.) constitute a kind of “grid of coordinates” [1, c. 15-16], through the prism of which a man builds a model of the world in his mind; despite the fact that “every civilization, social system is characterized by its special way of perceiving the world” [Ibidem, c. 17], the named categories are universal for different world paintings on the grounds that are inherent in a person at any stage of the history, but changeable in content. The universality of these categories in the study of various pictures of the world is emphasized by modern research. For example, examining the conceptual sphere of M. Tsvetaeva's poetry, V. A. Maslov primarily refers to spatial and temporal representations in the poetic picture of the author's world, V. M. Shaklein addresses the same categories, analyzing the evolution of the linguoculture of the pre-Christian and Christian world [1].

Thus, despite the existence of different approaches to interpretation of the concept “the picture of the world”, the correlation between the cognitive picture of the world and the linguistic picture of the world, their close relationship, as well as the secondary nature of the linguistic picture of the world in relation to the cognitive one are emphasized. The most valuable in the study of the picture of the world are spatial and temporal representations, as well as representations of the subject and the object of observation.


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