Soul and Mind: Linguistic Evidence for Ethnopsychology and Cultural History

by Anna Wierzbicka
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Soul and Mind: Linguistic Evidence for Ethnopsychology and Cultural History
Author:
Anna Wierzbicka
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1989
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American Anthropologist
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91
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1
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41
End Page: 
58
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English
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Abstract:

ANNA WIERZBICKA

Australian National University

Soul and Mind: Linguistic Evidence for Ethnopsychology and Cultural History

The author shows that the Russian word duga 'soul' has a much wider scope of use than the English word soul and that it embodies a dgerentfolk psychology filly congruent with what has been described as the Russian "national character'?. She also shows that the English word mind stands for an Anglo-Saxon folk category, which has been reijied as an objective category of thought. She links the decline and fall of the concept soul and the ascendancy of mind in English with changes in the cultural history and in the prevailing Western ethnophilosophy.

HE RUSSIANWORD DUSA (ROUGHLY,'SOUL') IS--alongside sud'ba (roughly, 'fate/ destiny') and toska (a painful feeling)+ne of the leitmotives of Russian literature and Russian conversation (see Wierzbicka 1990b). Its range of use is extremely wide, and its frequency extremely high. In English translations of Russian novels, dufa is sometimes translated as soul; in most cases, however, it is either omitted or replaced with either heart or mind. To some extent, this can be explained in purely cultural terms: Anglo-Saxon culture doesn't encourage much talk about "souls," and English prose doesn't tolerate as many references to people's souls as typical Russian prose would. If the translator of a Russian novel does try to render duia as soul wherever possible (rather than simply omit it), the high frequency of the word soul gives the English prose a slightly odd flavor.

Even if a translator is eager to always render dufa as soul, no matter how often it is used, and in this way to violate Anglo-Saxon cultural conventions in order to remain faithful to the spirit of the original, it is often felt to be simply not possible, because the range of contexts where dufa can be used in Russian is much wider than the range of contexts where soul can acceptably be used in English. In other words, often dufa cannot be trans- lated as soul not just because the frequency ofsoul would become too high for Anglo-Saxon cultural tastes, but for intrinsic linguistic reasons (which is not to say that those intrinsic linguistic reasons are not, ultimately, culturally determined as well). For example:

Mne stalo legte na duSe. [Grossman 1980:49]

I actually felt relieved. [Grossman 1985351

*I felt relieved in [lit. 'on'] my soul.

The high frequency and the wide scope of use of the Russian dufa distinguishes it not only from the English soul, but also from its closest equivalents in other European lan- guages, in particular French 2me and German Seele. One could even arrange European languages on a scale, with Russian and English at opposite ends and with French and German between.

To illustrate this general proposition let me mention here one somewhat crude but characteristic statistic: of 50 occurrences of dufa in Tolstoy's War and Peace, I have counted only 26 that have been rendered as Seele in German (Tolstoy n.d.) and only 18 as a&e in French (Tolstoy 1945).

ANNAWIERZBICKA

is in the Department of Linguistics, Australian National University, GPO Box 4, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia.

Individual counts of this kind, however, can be misleading, as the frequency of the literal equivalents of duia depends of course on the translator's attitude. In the English translation of War and Peace by Louise and Aylmer Maude, most instances of duia have in fact been rendered as soul, often producing rather bizarre English sentences. The results of such over-literal translations are interesting, because they highlight the wide scope of the use of duia in Russian. For example:

"It can't be helped! It happens to everyone!" said the son with a bold, free and easy tone, while in his soul he regarded himself as a worthless scoundrel whose whole life could not atone for his crime. [Tolstoy 1930 I:452]

Terrible doubts rose in his soul. [Tolstoy 1930 I:552]

Pierre in his secret soul agreed with the steward . . . but he insisted, though reluctantly, on what

he thought right. [Tolstoy 1930 I:504]

The impression of relatively high f~equency of duia in Russian is confirmed by word counts such as Zasorina's (1977) or Steinfeldt's (1974). According to Zasorina's data, duia occurs as many as 377 times in a corpus based on one million words of running text; and if we add to this the occurrences of the adjective duievnyj and the adverb duievno the figure will rise to 450. According to KuEera and Francis (1967), the corresponding figure for the English soul is 73. It is also instructive to compare these figures with those for the Russian word telo and the English word body. Thus, in Russian, the 450 occurrences of duta correspond to 31 1 of telo, whereas in English, the 73 occurrences of soul correspond to 291 of body. In other words, in the English corpus there is, roughly speaking, 1 occur- rence of soul to 4 occurrences of body, whereas in the Russian corpus there are as many as 6 occurrences of duia (that is, six times more) to 4 of telo.

I believe that differences in the scope of use of duia in Russian and of the normal use of soul in English reflect differences in underlying semantic structure, and that these reflect, in turn, significant differences in cultural outlook, or in what is sometimes called ethno- psychology. In what follows, I will explore the differences between the Russian duia and the English soul, and their cultural implications, in some detail.

The Need for a Semantic Metalanguage

The word soul stands for a concept that has often been said to be philosophically im- portant (like truth, knowledge, or good); but its meaning has not been elucidated in the phil- osophical literature. Some philosophers treat this word simply as a more elegant and somewhat stylized substitute for the word mind, as Kenny (1973) does in the title of his book, The Anatomy of the Soul: Historical Essays in the Philosophy of Mind. Others feel that soul should not be simply identified with mind, but that the relationship between these two concepts cannot be clarified, because both concepts are too elusive. For example:

The claim that the Soul exists seems to be a bigger claim, and a more controversial claim, than the claim that the mind exists. . . . Although they are different, the notions overlap. It is not possible to give a simple yes-or-no answer to the question as to whether the mind and the Soul are identical. In some contexts "mind" means much the same as "Soul" and in other contexts it does not. Generally speaking, however, Soul more than mind. [Teichman 1974:3]

In my view, however, it is entirely possible to give a simple yes-or-no answer: no, they are not identical. Rigorous semantic analysis does allow us to clarify these elusive con- cepts and to spell out their relationship in a clear and precise way. But to do this, one needs a suitable methodological framework; above all, one needs a culture-independent semantic metalanguage. Over two decades, I have tried to develop such a metalanguage, and to apply it to many other semantic domains, in a number of books and articles (Wierzbicka 1972, 1980a, 1980b, 1985, 1987, 1988). In essence, the proposed metalan- guage is based on a small set ofwhat I posit as universal semantic primitives, correspond- ing to Leibniz's "alphabet of human thought." This set includes I,you, someone (person), something, this, world, where, when, want, don't want, think, say, imagine, know, part, and become.

HISTORY

In the most recent work (Goddard 1989; Wierzbicka 1989b), the following elements have also been considered: good, not, other, two, and, very tentatively, can.

The hypothetical primitives appear to have the status of lexical universals; that is, they are concepts for which most (if not all) languages appear to have words (or morphemes). I postulate that all complex meanings, in all languages, constitute different configura- tions of these elementary conceptual building blocks. Since these different configurations can be represented in the form of paraphrases in natural language (any natural lan- guage), they are intelligible and intuitively verifiable.

In what follows, I will try to explicate concepts such as the English soul, mind, and heart, or the Russian duia, relying as far as possible on the proposed primitives. In addition, the proposed explications will also contain some words-such as see and happen--which are probably not elementary but which are close to the level of primitives and which I have discussed in other publications (see in particular Wierzbicka 1980a).

Soul

We can begin with what seems reasonably clear: the word soul can only refer to persons, not to things; it doesn't normally refer to a person as a whole, but only to one part of a person; the part to which it refers is not a part of the body; and it cannot be seen.

But the phrasing "a part of a person" seems to suggest that there are other parts, which are seen as being on a par with the soul. In fact, however, the concept "soul" evokes just one other "part," which is in some sense on the same level: the body. In other words, the concepts "soul" and "body" seem to reflect a dual, rather than a multiple, structure. For this reason, it may be more accurate to phrase the relevant component as 'one of the two parts of a person' rather than simply 'a-part of a person'. This idea of dual structure fits in well with the idea of "invisibility": in the folk philosophy reflected in the word soul a person has two parts--one that can be seen (the body) and one that cannot be seen (the soul).

However, there are at least two other aspects of the concept "soul" that haven't been mentioned so far: one referring to the "transcendental," otherworldly nature of this (hy- pothetical) entity, and another referring to its moral character, that is, to its links with the idea of "good." To account for the first we could simply add to the explication the component 'it is not part of this world'. But in fact, the transcendental character of "soul" seems to have some positive aspect as well: souls are not seen as part of "this" world because they are seen as belonging to another, spiritual world, a-world that material things are not part of and that has some links with an immaterial good being or beings (God and perhaps other good spirits).

The link between "soul" and-a spiritual world of good beings explains the fact that the soul is also the source of values in a human being. This can perhaps be represented as follows: 'because of this part a person can be a good person'. This leads us to the following definition of soul:

one of the two parts of a person
one cannot see it
it is part of another world
good beings are part of that world
things are not part of that world
because of this part, a person can be a good person

For example, the reflection of the soul in someone's eyes is a reflection of that hypothet- ical, invisible entity which is at the root of all good in a person and which belongs to a spiritual world different from the world of which material things are part.

It might be suggested that the link of the concept "soul" with values should be repre- sented in terms of "good" and "bad," rather than simply "good": 'because of this part, a person can be good or bad'. Linguistic evidence, however, seems to suggest that the link

ANTHROPOLOGIST

in question is perceived in terms of good alone, that is, in terms of a person's capacity (or incapacity) for good. For example, one can call someone "a kind soul," or "a good soul," but not "a cruel soul," "a bad soul," or "an evil soul"; and a "soulful expression" could refer only to a good-oriented face, never to a vicious, evil-looking face, distorted by hatred, anger, or jealousy.

Needless to say, the idea that entities of this kind (otherworldly and potentially good) exist at all belongs to a philosophy of the human person which not everyone would want to subscribe to. Nonetheless, it should be acknowledged that this is a part of the folk philosophy of the speakers of English, embodied in the language (no doubt due to the Christian tradition).

The existence of "souls" has often been denied, of course, as for example in the follow- ing quote: My mind is incapable of conceiving such a thing as a soul. I may be in error, and man may have a soul; but I simply do not believe it. [Thomas A. Edison, quoted in Stevenson 1946: 18881

But to deny the existence of "souls" one has to know what this word stands for in the shared semantic universe of the speakers of English. Since the existence of "souls" is often denied, the meaning of the word soul must include something-some supernatural or transcendental reference-which would explain some people's need to voice such denials.

It is interesting to note that in older English the meaning ofsoul was different from what it is now, and reflected a different folk philosophy. The existence of soul in that older meaning could not be so readily denied because that older soul was open to introspection (rather like mind is in contemporary English). Witness Hamlet's mother:

0Hamlet, speak no more;

Thou turn'st mine eyes into my very soul;

And there I see such black and grained spots,

As will not leave their tinct. [Act 111, sc.4, 1.891

In that older meaning (which has survived in most people's passive knowledge of English, and to a varying degree in a stylistically marked active use), soul refers to an entity which has both a religious and a phenomenological (psychological) dimension.

The meaning in question (soul2) can be portrayed as follows:

one of the two parts of a person

one cannot see it

it is part of another world

good beings are part of that world

things are not part of that world

other people can't know what things happen in that part of a person

sometimes the person doesn't know what these things are

these things can be good or bad

because of this part, a person can be a good person

Other people can't know what is happening in a person's soul2. The "owner" of the soul can know, but doesn't always do so: sometimes one has to make an effort to drag these things to the surface of one's consciousness; and often people prefer not to make that effort (as Hamlet's mother indicates).

One gets the impression that in modern English this older sense of soul is often em- ployed as a conscious stylization, or as a kind of rhetorical figure. Consider for example the title of a recently published book: The Closing of the Amencan Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today's Students, by Allan Bloom. The word soul hints here-perhaps somewhat metaphorically-at "spiritual riches," which are opposed to an education-oriented toward the world of material things and material success (see Bowler 1987).

Such archaic and perhaps metaphorical use of soul should, I think, be distinguished from an equally marked modern use which appears to be philosophically and religiously

HISTORY

neutral. This third sense of soul occurs more often in translations (not only from Russian, but also from German and French) than in original English discourse. For example:

if he had been able to believe in work as a positive value, a self-justifying principle, believe in it in the very depth of his soul, even without being himself conscious of doing so. . . ." [Mann 1976:34]

In this use, soul seems to make no reference to "another world," and to focus primarily on the psychological and moral aspects of a person's existence. Like soul2, however, it hints at a "deep" stratum of a person's personality, which the person is not immediately aware of. Since the use in question is rather marginal in modern English, and is encoun- tered mostly in translations, I will call it soul, (for marginal):

a part of a person

one cannot see it

other people can't know what things happen in that part

sometimes the person doesn't know what these things are

these things can be good or bad

As this explication suggests, the psychological use ofsoul does not seem to imply a body- soul dichotomy, has no "transcendental" implications, and does not refer to a moral "core" of a person (because it doesn't contain the component 'because of this part a per- son can be a good person'). Rather, it is seen as a substratum of hidden psychological processes, unknowable to the outsiders, and not necessarily clear to the "insider." None- theless, for all its psychological orientation, soul, does seem to refer to values, to the no- tions of "good" and "bad." It is different in this respect from mind, which has come to occupy a place of great importance in modern English, and, presumably, in the under- lying folk philosophy of the human person. Before we take a closer look at the concept of "mind," we will discuss the use of the Russian word duia as a counterpart of the English soul.

Duia

As noted earlier, soul can always be translated into Russian as duia, while the reverse is not true. Common Russian prayers "za upokoj duSi . . .," "for the eternal rest of the soul of person X . ..," appear to use the word duia in exactly the same (Christian) sense in which the word soul is used in analogous English prayers. Materialist ideology denies the existence of dufa in this sense; for example, in Soviet kindergartens children are often taught rhymes such as the following one:

. . .no nauka dokazala

?to dugi ne su9testvuet

'but science has proved

that soul doesn't exist'

On the other hand, in contemporary Russian literature, loyal communists and party of- ficials who would never seriously use words such as grex 'sin' or satana 'satan' often use the word dufa-apparently not in opposition to telo 'body' but in reference to moral and psychological aspects of a person's personality. For example, Rybakov has no hesitation in attributing the words dufa and dukuno to Stalin (in an internal monologue):

I vse ravno on [Stalin] roiden ne dlja poeziji, poet ne moiet byt' borcom-poezija razmjagtaet

dub. [Rybakov 1987 III:48]

'And in any case he [Stalin] was not born for poetry. A poet cannot be a man of action-poetry

softens the soul.'

It seems to me that to give a coherent account of all such facts we have to postulate two different, though related, meanings of the word dufa: a religious or quasi-religious meaning corresponding to the meaning ofsoul, explicated earlier, and a second meaning, which we will discuss in more detail later, and which has no exact equivalent in English. This second meaning of duSa has an entirely different status from that of soul, in English: it is extremely common, and deeply rooted in the common Russian "ethnography of speaking" (see Hymes 1968) and "ethnography of thinking." It is much closer in status to the "psychological" meaning of the German word Seele. But the psychological use of dufa has a much greater scope than that ofSeele (not to mention soul,), and the underlying concept ('dufa') has to be regarded as different, and unique. Before we explore this con- cept in more detail we will first discuss the English concept of "mind."

Mind

The idea that mind is a folk concept reflected in the English language rather than an objective and universally valid category of human thought may seem surprising, if not impertinent. It is relatively easy to see that concepts such as those encoded in the Japa- nese words kokoro or ki (see Lock 1984), in the Samoan word loto (see Gerber 1985), or in the Ilongot word rinawa (see Rosaldo 1980), are culture-specific. It is harder to realize, however, that the same applies to the concept encoded in the English word mind. Titles of scholarly articles, books, and chapters such as, for example, "Western Conceptions of the Mind from the Greeks to the Nineteenth Century" (Murphy and Murphy 1969) re- flect, I think, this error of perspective.' They illustrate the familiar problem "of the rei- fication of essentially Western ethnopsychological categories that are then taken as the conceptual foundation of scientific inquiry" (Schieffelin 1985: 127; see also Lutz 1985:67). A less familiar aspect of this problem is that it is usually English-rather than "Westernm- ethnopsychological categories that are taken as the conceptual foundation of scientific inquiry; and that English categories are often mistaken for "Western" categories and con- structs. The concept of "mind" is, I think, a case in point-and a particularly striking one, in view of the colossal role it plays not only in psychology, psychiatry, and anthro- pology, but above all, in philosophy.

When anthropological literature refers, as it often does (see for example Hsu 1985; Johnson 1985; Shweder and Bourne 1984), to the concepts of "person" or "self' ("I") in a cross-cultural perspective, this is in my view justified, despite the wide variation in the folk philosophies of person and self, because the words person (someone) and Iseem to have semantic equivalents in all languages of the world, and so can be reasonably regarded as conceptual universals. But this is not true of the English concept "mind" (as it is not true of the French concept "esprit," or of the Japanese concept "ki"). It is a concept specific to Anglo-Saxon culture, which has no exact semantic equivalents in other European lan- guages, Ict alonc in other, geographically and culturally more distant, languages of the world.

It is intcrcsting to consider from this point of view thc claim often madc in the anthro- pological and philosophical literature about the "Cartesian" split between body and mind, dominating Westcrn ethnopsychology and cthnophilosophy as a whole. Dualism is, no doubt, a characteristic fcature of traditional "Wcstcrn" folk philosophy insofar as Westcrn culturc has bcen, traditionally, a Christian culture. But this traditional dualism has to do with the distinction between body and soul, not betwecn body and mind.

A diffcrcnt kind ofdualism to have cmerged in Westcrn culture is thc sharp distinction betwccn two "parts" of a living human pcrson, a material and an immaterial one, vicwed as inseparable; that is, between thc body and something other than the body but inex- tricably linked with thc body. But as soon as we identify that other "something" as mind, we are exchanging a univcrsal, scientific perspective for an Anglocentric onc; we are adopting the point of view of a particular folk psychology in thc bclief that we are dis- cussing folk psychologies from a culture-independent point of view.

Philosophical discussions often seem to be confuscd on this point bccause of their fail- urc to take into account scmantic diffcrences among words such as soul, &me, and Seele; and betwcen the older and the more recent meanings of these words. For example, Teich- man writcs:

Some philosophers, for example Leibniz and Teilhard de Chardin, have believed that every cre- ated thing, whether animate or not, has or is a Soul or mind. [1974:2]

She docs raise the question of "how we know, if we do know, that all these opinions about the nature of the mind are indeed opinions about the mind," but she totally ig- nores the linguistic aspect of the problem, that is to say, the fact that mind is an English word, without exact equivalents in French, German, or Latin. Consequently, she con- cludes that "there must be some description of the mind to which we can all assent" (1974:4), forgetting that, for example, Teilhard de Chardin was talking about ime, not about mind.

Similarly, Dcscartes opposed body, corps, to ime (Descartes 1952), and the concept of 'ime' as used bv Descartes was no doubt derived from the folk conceDt encoded in the French word ime, as it was used in 17th-century Frcnch. It was certainly different from that encoded in the modern English word mind.

For example, Murphy and Murphy (1969:144) in their anthology of Western psychol- ogy introduce excerpts from ~escartcs's work, Les Passions de l'~me, with the following sentence: "Let us let Descartes have his say on the mind-body interaction," thus identi- fying Dcscartcs's ime with the English mind. In the excerpts themselves the word ime is somctimes translated as soul and ~omctimes as mind: but the concluding. comments are again framed in terms ofmind: "Dcscartes' mind-body dualism began to run into rougher and rougher water as physical and biological science progressed" ( 1969: 148).

If one translates Dcscartes's word ;me as mind, and then uncritically bases one's inter- pretation of Descartes's thought on this translation, one is likely to distort that thought- just as one will do if one translates Freud's word Seele as mind and assumes that this is an adequate translation.

In the casc of Freud's work, it has been claimed that the identification of Seele with mind has led to a very serious misinterpretation of his teaching. Thus, Bettelhcim writes:

Of all the mistranslations of Freud's phraseology, none has hampered our understanding of his

humanist views more than the elimination of his references to the soul (die Seele). Freud evokes

the image of the soul quite frequently-especially in crucial passages where he is attempting to

provide a broad view of his system. . . . Unfortunately, even in these crucial passages the trans-

lations make us believe that he is talking about our mind, our intellect. [1983:70]

In my view, Bcttclhcim underestimates the objective difficulty in translating Freud's Seele into English, and dismisses too lightly the differences between the German word Seele and the English word soul (although he does mention in passing that "in common American usage the word soul has becnmore or less restricted to thc sphere of religion" and that "this was not the case in Freud's Vienna and it is not the casc in German-speaking coun- tries today," 1983:76). Nonetheless I believe he is right in objecting to the rendering of Seele as mind as "totally inadmissible" (Brull's words, Brull 1975:275).

In the case of Descartes, no doubt less harm is done bv idcntifving. the word ime with

, L>

the English word mind, because of his emphasis on conscious thinking as the most impor- tant nonbodily aspect of our humanity. Yet to imply that Dcscartes saw human beings as composed of a body and a mind is misleading.

It should be added that the identification of concepts such as ;me or Seele with the En- glish concept of mind has sometimes been defended on the grounds that "Mind in English became an all-inclusive tcrm to designate 'that which is not material' " (MacLcod 1975:121). In my view, this is an illusion. Mind has become not so much an all-inclusive tcrm as the dominant term for a nonmaterial halfof a human being. But it is not the same half that either Descartes or Freud was talking. about.

It is therefore misleading to present the conceptual dualism opposing body to mind as a characteristic feature of "Western culture" as a whole. Linguistic evidence shows that this dualism is a characteristic feature of Anglo-Saxon culture, not necessarily of Western culture in general.

It is certainly not a feature of Russian culture, which opposes telo 'body' to a charac- teristically Russian concept of duSa,, not to anything like the English mind. In fact, Rus-

sian-like German and French-doesn't havc a word for mind (the French word esprit and the German Geist translate both mind and spirit, and so are not exact semantic equiv- alents of either of these words). The closest Russian counterparts of mind are um and razum; but these, like the English intellect and reason, or the ~'rman Verstand and Vernunft, are viewed as "mental faculties" (exercised in mental activities), rathcr than as "entities" or pseudo-entities such as soul, heart, or mind. For example, babies have neither um nor razum, as they don't have an intellect or a reason, whereas they do have a mind. Adjectives derived from these nouns point in the same direction: umny' means something like "clever"; ra~umny'something like "rational." The fact that in many contexts um translates cleverness and intelligence further highlights the lack of correspondence between um and mind.

One can only agree with Johnson (1985:98) when he writes: "In the Western world, particularly, questions about the body were methodically dissociated from questions of the mind and/or soul. Althouch most commonlv described as 'Cartesian,' such dissocia- tion derived support from other philosophical, theological, and folk traditions in the West." It is harder, however, to accept Johnson's further statement that: "Mind/body distinctions enjoyed a relative ascendancy in the Western world as describing methodi- cally and philosophically different forms of reality. As repeatedly noted, the Western em- phasis on dualism left its imprint on science, psychology, and ordinary 'ways of thinking' (see Ryle 1949)" (1985:98).

First, the "ordinary ways of thinking" rcflected in the English language are different from those reflected in French, German, or Italian. Second, even if we restrict our atten- tion to the English-speaking world, what exactly enjoyed a relative ascendancy in that

. ..

world? The is impdrtant for the correct understanding of European cultural his- tory. I believe, however, that to answer it we need conceptual tools more precise and more reliable than unanalyzed folk constructs such as mind and soul.

Changes in the Folk Concepts "Soul" and "Mind"

The older stratum of English (reflected, for example, in Shakespeare's plays), includes, as we have seen, the word soul which combines transcendental (religious), psychological (phenomenological), and moral aspects. According to the folk theory reflected in this con- cept, a human being has two "parts": a material one, which can be seen (the body) and an immaterial one, which cannot be seen (the soul); and the immaterial part is not a part of "this world" (with the implications that it belongs to "another world" and that it can perhaps be separated from the body). Clearly, this is a Christian soul, but a Christian soul which is also seen as an inner "place," where events occur that are inaccessible to out- siders but in principle accessible to introsvcction. These events havc a moral dimension and are subject to a person's will.

In the same stratum of English there was also the word mind, which appears to havc meant something rathcr different from what mind means in present-day ~ngiish. To begin with, it didn't seem to focus on the intellectual and the rational, on thinking and knowing, in the way the modern mind does. For example, when Mary Baker Eddy wrote, "God is Mind, and God is infinite; hence all is mind" (quoted in Stevenson 1946:1306), she seemed to mean something closer to the spirit than to the present-day mind.

Second, the older English mind was clearly linked with emotions, whereas in present- day English emotions are normally linked with heart, not with mind. Hence, the archaic nature of the following quotes:

The mind that would be happy, must be great

[Young,Night Thoughts, Night IX, 1.1378; quoted in Stevenson 1946: 13091

The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,

A savageness in unreclaimed blood.

[Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act 11, sc.l,1.33; quoted in Stevenson 1946:1312]

HISTORY

Present-day minds are not described as "happy" or "fiery"; rather, they arc described as "inquisitive," "inquiring" (seeking knowledge), "brilliant" (good at thinking), "keen" (active in thinking and seeking to know), and so on.

Third, the older English mindseemed to be linked with values, whereas the modern one is morally neutral. Consequently, the references to a "noble mind," "ignoble mind," "in- nocent mind," or "generous mind" in older English literature sound a little strange and archaic to the modern car.

Thus, the older mind had spiritual and psychological dimensions, but it did not have the predominantly intellectual orientation which it has now, with thinking and knowing dominating over any othcr nonbodily aspects of a person's inner life. It is true that the current concept of "mind" doesn't entirely exclude emotions and moral impulses, as reason and intellect do. Nonetheless, the current mind focuses on thinking and knowing, not on feeling, wanting, or any other nonbodily processes. The phrase "a good mind" sug- gests that a person can think well, rather than that he or she has some othcr "good" qual- ities. It is as unambiguous in its intellectual implications as a "good heart" is in its emo- tional and moral ones.

I suggest the following explication of the modern mind:

one of the two parts of a person

one cannot see it

because of this part, a person can think and know

Thus, several interesting things appear to havc happened in the history of mind: it shed its spiritual connotations, lost its links with values and emotions, and became a concept focused on the intellect, more or less to the exclusion of any other aspects of a person's "inner" life.

Parallel to these changes in the meaning of mind, and of the changes in the meaning of soul which we considered earlier, a certain compartmentalization developed in the folk theory of the person: emotions have been relegated to the "heart," moral choices have become restricted to character or conscience, and any otherworldly concerns have been rel- egated to the soul (in the new, narrowly religious sense of the word).

It has often been pointed out that in Western culture a split occurred between intelli- gence and emotions, and that these two aspects of human personality havc come to be seen as opposing each other (e.g., Cunningham and Tickner 1981; Johnson 1985:125127; Lutz 1985:84). It is important to add, however, that this separation of "thinking" from "feeling" was accompanied by another split: that between the psychological and the moral aspect of the human person. At the time when the human person was seen as com- posed, essentially, of a body and a soul, the soul was both psychological and moral (as well as transcendental); at the time when the human person is seen as composed, cssen- tially, ofa body and a mind, that mind is seen as purely psychological (with the emphasis on the intellect, not on the emotions).

Furthermore, the more narrow scope of the modern mind in comparison with the older soul seems to be accompanied by a lesser "depth," as the modern emphasis on the intcl- lect-on thinking and knowing-is also an emphasis on the rational and the conscious. Hamlet's mother didn't want to know what was hidden in the depths of her soul. It would be harder to refer to "the depths of one's (own) mind," and to express a desire not to know what was hidden there. Soul was seen as "deep" and hard to know in its deeper strata. But the modern mind doesn't seem to have an inscrutable "bottom." (One can still give thanks from the bottom of one's heart, but one can hardly believe something "at the bottom of one's mind.")

In fact, even other people's minds don't secm to us as inscrutable as their souls used to seem to our ancestors. The problem of the "unknowability of other minds" is much dis- cussed by philosophers, but in ordinary language this unknowability doesn't secm to be implied by the use of the word mind. In fact, modern psychology and the more recent cognitive science seem to be predicated on the assumptiin that-what is called "human mind" can be studied. For this reason, I have not included in the explication of mind the component 'other people can't know what these things are'.

The soul used to be a very comprehensive concept, combining religious, psychological, and moral aspects, seen as one and jointly opposed to the material body. In the course of its history, however, soul became restricted to the purely religious sphere. A concomitant change affected mind, which replaced soul as a word referring to the psychological aspect of the human person and as the dominant counterpart of the body in modern Anglo-Saxon thinking. This victory of mind over soul, combined with the shift in the meaning of mind, attests to the birth of a new kind of dualism in English "ordinary ways of thinking," a dualism devoid of religious and moral connotations and reflecting the supreme value placed on rational thinking and knowing, rather than on other aspects of the human pcr- son. To put it rather crudely, a human being used to be thought of as composed of a body and a transcendental, moral, emotional, "inscrutable" soul; and now it tends to be thought of as composed of a body and an intellect.

This is, then, what the "ascendancy of mind" in the English-speaking world means- according to the testimony of the English language.

What exactly has happened in the other parts of the Western world is a matter for further investigation. A semantic study of the words Seele, esprit, ;me, and their closest counterparts in other European languages should, I think, prove revealing from the point of view of Volkerpychologie and cultural history. This article, however, concentrates on the Russian duSa, and on the lexical contrasts between English and Russian.

In Russian, one can be said to feel love in one's duSa. For example:

Ja vas Ijubil . . .Ijubov' elEe, byt' moiet

v dule moej ugasla ne sovsem

'I loved you once . . .that love perhaps

has not yet died in my soul'

Even more typically, however, love is linked with serdce 'hcart'. For example, a popular song includes the following line:

Spasibo serdce, tto ty umeei' tak Ijubit'.

'Thank you heart that you can love so much.'

One constraint that applies to both serdce (and heart) and duSa is that only good or bad feelings can be felt in one's hcart: one cannot feel surprise in onc's duSa any more than one can feel it in one's serdce or in one's heart. Otherwise, however, good and bad emotions can in principle be said to be felt either in one's duSa or in onc's serdce.

It is interesting to note that both duSa and serdce are often contrasted in Russian with golova ('head'), that is, with the organ of thinking, as organs of emotions. For example:

golova ustaet dumat', dula tuvstvovat' ['Tsvetaeva 1972:1041

'the head grows weary of thinking, the soul of feeling'

This might seem to suggest that in the context of emotions duSa is simply an equivalent ofserdce. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There are many emotions which can be said to be felt either in one's duSa or in one's serdce, but the interpretation of the emotion in question is in each case differrnt.

To begin with, not all emotions that can be linked with onc's serdce can be linked with one's duSa. For example, good feelings that a person may have for a dog or a cat would normally not be linked with one's duSa, though they could easily be linked with a person's serdce. It is instructive to consider in this connection the following passage from Tsvetae- va's letters, where serdce as an organ of emotions is explicitly contrasted with duSa as an organ of emotions. (Tsvetacva is writing about her ten year old son, Mur.)

Menee vsego razvit-dulevno: ne znaet toski, sovsem ne ponimaet.

HISTORY

Lob-serdce-i potom uie-duia: normal'naja duSa desjatiletnego rebenka, t.e.-zacatok.

(Kserdcu-otnoSu Ijubov' k roditeljam, ialost' k iivotnym, vse elementarnoe-k duSe-vse bes

pritinno bolevoe.)

Xudoiestvenen. Otmetaet krasivoe-v prirode i vezde. No-ne pronzen. (Pronzen = duSa.

Ibo duSa = bol' + vse drugoe.) [1969:131]

'Least of all is he developed spiritually [dufevno]: he is a stranger to yearning [toska], he simply

doesn't understand it. . .

The head-the heart-and then the soul [duia]: the normal soul of a ten year old child, i.e. an

embryo. (I regard love for one's parents and pity for animals as pertaining to the heart; every-

thing elementary, all pain without a cause belongs to the soul.)

He is artistic. He notices beauty in nature and everywhere else. But he's not pierced by it. (To

be pierced means to have a soul. For soul is pain plus everything else.)'

To some extent, statements of this kind should no doubt be regarded as pcrsonal and idiosyncratic. One can hardly accept a poet's pcrsonal "definitions" of key concepts such as duia as objectively valid explications of the Russian words in question. Nonetheless, the general thrust of these definitions must accord fairly well with other speakers' intui- tions, since it corresponds quite well with the observable range of the word's use.

The conclusion seems to be this: duia is scen in Russian as an organ of deeper, purer, and more morally and spiritually colored feelings than serdce. But the word organ might suggest one part among many. This would be consistent with the meaning of serdce, but not with that of duia. Dufa is scen not as one part among many, but as one of the two parts, that is, it is a person minus the person's body (the invisible half). But it is also viewed as an internal spiritual theater, a place where events happen of a kind that could never happen in the world of inanimate things (oduievlennyj-lit. 'having a soul'-is also a word for 'animate'). These events are unknowable to outsiders ("Euiaja duSa potEmki," the proverb says, 'another person's duia is unfathomable'). Feelings occupy a prominent place among these events, and thesc are also hidden to the outsiders (unlike more super- ficial feelings, which can be associated with observable symptoms).

The hidden nature of feelings associated with duia is no doubt linked with their "deeper," more spiritual nature. Externally observable feelings can occur in animals as well as in peoplc. For example, an animal, too, can be afraid, startled, or enraged. But the feelings linked with duia have to be deeper in two different ways: they cannot be ex- ternally observable and they have to be of a kind that only persons (rather than animals) could experience. This suggests that they should be linked with values.

But while the emotions and the thoughts that one has in one's dufa and the feelings that one has "on" one's duia arc hiddcn to the outsiders, there is no implication in the Russian concept that they may be hiddcn to the "insider" as well. Furthermore, there arc many expressions in Russian that point to a widely felt need to express those hidden inner states to someone, to exteriorize them. Thcse include: "izlit' duSu" lit. 'to pour onc's soul (duia) out'; "otvesti duSu" 'to relieve onc's soul (dufa)'; "otkryt' duSu" lit. 'to open one's soul (duia) '; "duSa naraspaSkum lit. 'a wide-open soul (duia) ', that is, 'a communicative, sincere, frank person'; "razgovorivat' po duSam' ", 'to talk from soul to soul', that is, very intimately; eaduievnz' 'from behind the soul', that is, truly intimate; and so on. What thesc expressions suggest is that while other people cannot know what goes on in a person's dufa without being told, there is an expectation that people would normally want, and need, to tell someone what goes on in there. To account for this, I have included in the explication of duia, the component 'a person would want someone to know what these things are'.

It is also possible that duia suggests actual or potential good feelings toward other peo- ple. As evidence for this conjecture I present the following facts (commonly mentioned in Russian dictionaries). First, the adjective dufevnyj implies not only 'sincerity', 'frankness', 'openness', and the like, but also 'scrdec'nost', an affectionate quality. Second, a similar implication is present in the expression "govorit' po duSamn lit. 'to talk from soul to soul'. Third, the expression "duSa-Eelovek" 'a soul-human being' implies a good,

friendly, tender person. Fourth, the word duia or its diminutives can be used as terms of endearment, like darling in English. This brings us to the following definition of duia2:

one of the two parts of a person one cannot see it because of this part, things can happen in a person that cannot happen in anything other than

a person
these things can be good or bad
because of this part, a person can feel things that nothing other than a person can feel

other people can't know what these things are if the person doesn't say it

a person would want someone to know what these things are

because of this part a person can be a good person

(because of this part a person can feel something good toward other people)

The idea of 'things happening' in a Russian duia is, I think, important, because it suggests a dynamic inner world, which can be likened to a stage rather than to an entity. The proverb "Euiaja duSa potcmki" 'another person's soul is unfathomable' refers not so much to the unknowable quality of another pcrson's duia as to the mysterious processes that go on there (above all, emotional, but morally colored, processes).

It should be stressed, however, that while the Russian duia is secn above all as a moral and emotional core of a person, it does not totally exclude other functions of a person's inncr life, such as thinking and knowing-as long as those other functions are somehow linked to values, and to a person's hidden inner world. In particular, the word duSa can refer to a pcrson's inner knowledge. For example:

~elovek-v duSe-znal, Eto vybrosivgis' iz okna-upadet vverx. [Tsvetaeva 1972:613]

'You knew in your soul that if you threw yourself out of a window you would fall on your feet.'

The knowledge in question, however, cannot be purely factual or rational-it must be related to values. Similarly, duia can refer to inner speech. This is sometimes rendered by means of the

word heart, but frequently is simply deleted. For example:

On v duSe uprekal Ljudmilu . . . .[Grossman 1980:40]

In his heart he reproached Ljudmila . . . . [Grossman 1985:72]

But again, while one can reproach, blame, or praise someone in one's duia, mathematical or logical problems can only be solved in a pcrson's golova ('head'), not in a pcrson's duia.

Human will, too, is included in the domain of duia, whereas in English it is usually linked with character rather than with soul. For cxample, Chandler (Grossman 1985: 18) translates Grossman's (1980:37) expression duievnaja sila 'spiritual strength' (where du-Sevnaja is an adjective derived from duia) as strength ofcharacter.

The wide scope of the concept duia is also clearly illustrated in the following sentence

from Pasternak's novel Doktor Zivago:

V Jurinoj duSe vse bylo sdvinuto i pereputano, i vse rezko samobytn-vzgljady, navyki i pred-

raspoloienia. [1959: 781

Once again, in a context such as this, duia cannot be rendered in English as soul. In Max

Hayward and Manya Harari's translation of the novel, it is rendcred as mind:

Everything in Yura's mind was mixed up together and misplaced and everything was sharply

his own-his views, his habits and his inclinations. [I958571

Thus, the Russian duia is used very widely, and can refer to virtually all aspects of a person's personality: feelings, thoughts, will, knowledge, inner speech, ability to think. Given the richness and the scope of this word it is not surprising that in the opposition telo (body) and duia it is the duia which is commonly secn as the more important one and which tends to be identified with the person as a whole. For example: HISTORY

Ja eto moja duSa-osoznanie ee. [Tsvetaeva 1972: 1241
'I am my soul-my perception of it.'

The trcmcndous value which the Russian culture placcs on the inncr world called dufa is reflected in the fact that duia is used in Russian as a symbol of pricclessncss. For ex- ample:

Ona duSu otdast za Knee pjat' sveEej. [Tsvetaeva 1972:113]

'She would give her soul for an additional 5 candles.'

Of course, this use of duia as a symbol of pricelcssncss may be relatcd to duia, ('soul') rathcr than to duia,. But in Russian, thc psychological duva2 is closely relatcd to thc reli- gious duia ,-much more closely than the English mind is related to the English soul. Thus, as well as the components:

one of the two parts of a person

one cannot see it

which soul, mind, duia, and duia2 all share, duiap shares also with duia, (and with soul,) the component:

because of this part, a person can be a good person

a component which the morally neutral mind doesn't have. In addition, the pcrsonal, 'spiritual' component of dush.5

because of this part, things can happen in a person that cannot happen in anything other than a person

sets 'duia'apart from thc material world and in contrast to it; this corresponds, in a way, with the contrast bctween 'this world' and 'the world of spirit', hinted at in the definition of duia , (and of soul, ):

it is part of another world

good beings are part of that world

things are not part of that world

It should be added that in Russian thc words for soul (duia,, adj: duieunyjl and for spirit (dux, adj. duxovnyjl are cognate, and are felt to be synchronically related. Dufa, is not only formally identical with dufa, but also is cognate, and is felt to be cognate, with dux. Mind is of course not formally related to either soul or spirit, and is semantically further from them than duSap is from duia, or from dux.

One final point should be made in the present context. Although the Russian word duSa can be used in two different senses-a religious and a psychological one-it seems none- theless clear that it can also be used in a third sense, which combines the psychological meaning with the religious one. This is particularly clear in sentences referring to reli- gious experiences, or to religiously inspired moral efforts, as in:

MuEitel'no tjaielo na duSe. Znaju, Eto eto k dobru duSe, no tjaielo. Kogda sproSu sebja: Eto ie

mne nuin-ujti ot vsex. Kuda? K Bogu, umeret'. Prestupno ielaju smerti. [Tolstoy 1985:284]

'My heart [dujh] is heavy. I know that this is good for my duSa but it is hard. I ask myself: what

do I need-(I know:) to get away from everybody. Where to? To God, to die. It is criminal of

me, but I want to die.'

It would be counterintuitive to say that in sentences of this kind there are some in- stances of duSa, interspersed with some instances of duia,. Rather, we are dealing here with a complex duSa,-emotional, moral, and transcendental. Here the psychological duia, suffering, rejoicing, and striving after good and after God, seems to be identified with the transcendental dufa, destined to leave the body and to be united with God.

If duia does indeed have three distinct senses-one religious, one psychological, and one combined-we would have to acknowledge that in actual use it is by no means always clear which sense is intended. Since, however, in some contexts religious connotations are clearly excluded, it appears that for present-day Russian an account in terms of three distinct (though not always distinguishable) senses offers the most satisfactory descrip- tion. (In addition, there are also a host of idiomatic expressions involving duSa; these, however, cannot be discussed in the present article.)

"Res Cogitans," "Res Sentiens"

The ethnotheory embodied in the English language opposes the body to an (imagi- nary) entity centered around thinking and knowing. It clearly reflects the much-dis- cussed rationalistic, intellectual, and scientific orientation of mainstream Western cul- ture. The ethnotheory embodied in the Russian language opposes the body to an (ima- ginary) entity of a rather different kind: subjective, unpredictable, spontaneous ("things happen"), emotional, spiritual, and moral; hidden, and yet ready to reveal itself in ivti- mate and cordial personal relations; personal and interpersonal at the same time ("Ce- lovek v drugix ljudjax i est' duSa Eeloveka", 'you in others, that's what your soul [dufa] is', Pasternak [1959:82] says).

Of course the English lexicon, too, allows the speaker to view the human person as an emotional, communicative, moral, and spiritual being, by supplying words such as heart, spirit, conscience, character, personality, and so on. But the basic dualistic model embodied in the English lexicon (body vs. mind) ignores those aspects of the human person and fo- cuses on the intellectual and rational aspect. By contrast, the basic dualistic model em- bodied in the Russian lexicon focuses on the emotional, the spontaneous, and the moral, not on the intellectual and the rational.

If the ethnotheory embodied in the English language sees a human being as, above all, a "res cogitans" ('a thinking thing'), the ethnotheory embodied in the Russian lexicon sees a human being, above all, as a "res sentiens, moralis et personalis," that is, a 'thing' which feels, which chooses between good and bad, and which needs intimacy with other similar 'things'.

To put it yet another way, the orientation of the old English soul was, above all, meta- physical and ethical; the orientation of the modern English mind is, above all, epistemo- logical; the orientation of the Russian duSa is, above all, phenomenological and ethical.

One is tempted to raise the question of possible differences in behavior corresponding to these differences in outlook. The stereotype of Russian behavior suggests that the Rus- sians not only tend to see human beings as composed of a body and a 'duSa', but also tend to, and feel free to, behave as if they were composed of two such parts; and the ste- reotype of Anglo-Saxon behavior suggests that the Anglo-Saxons not only tend to see human beings as composed of a body and a mind, but that their cultural norms encourage them also to behave as if they were composed of two such parts (and inhibit overt displays of their emotions and inner life). For example, Hedrick Smith's ( 1976) description of Rus- sian behavior would certainly fit in with such an idea. (Smith is describing Russian view- ers' reactions to the Western film version of Pasternak's novel Doctor Zhi~a~o.)~

What stuck in my mind was the moment when everyone, foreigners and Russians alike, broke out laughing at the movie's portrayal of the meek, milquetoast welcome given by young Zhivago and his step-parents to his step-sister returning to Moscow by train from Paris. It was abrupt and cool, a quick flat, unemotional Western peck on the cheek and a handshake, obviously di- rected and acted by people unaware of the effusive, emotional outpouring that occurs when Rus- sians greet or part at a railroad station. They immerse each other in endless hugs, embraces, warm kisses on both cheeks, three times, not just kissing in the air for show, but strong, firm kisses, often on the lips, and not only between men and women, or between women, but man- to-man as well. Westerners used to discount this as an idiosyncrasy of Nikita Khrushchev with his famous bearhugs of Fidel Castro in fatigues and beard. But it is the Russian way. [1976: 1341

Studies of the Russian national character point in the same direction. For example, Gorer (1949) writes:

Great Russians, with the exception of the Soviet elite, do take much pleasure in expressing aloud

the emotions which are momentarily possessing them. There is a considerable Russian vocab-

HISTORY

ulary for the expressing of the emotions, "pouring out one's soul'' being one of the most common. For many Russians this is the most valued aspect of living. Indeed, feeling and expressing the emotions you feel is the sign that you are alive; if you don't feel, you are to all intents and pur- poses dead. [I 949: 1601

Dicks (1952) stresses "the overflowing vitality and spontaneity" of the Russian, his need for "direct, spontaneous, heart-to-heart contact and communication," and his read- iness to "lay bare his soul" ( 1952: 159).

The study done in the Harvard Russian Research Centre led to similar conclusions. Bauer, Inkeles, and Kluckhohn (1956) write:

In our clinical sample the modal subjects showed a great need for intensive face-to-face relation- ships, skill in creating such relationships, and deep satisfaction from them. They 'welcomed oth- ers into their lives'. . . . These Russians are expressive and emotionally alive. American stress upon autonomy, social approval, and personal achievement does not often appear in the Russian protocols. Russians demand and expect moral responses (loyalty, respect, sincerity). [1956: 1351

Furthermore, the results emerging from the semantic analysis of the words duia, soul, and mind are quite remarkably consistent with the ideas put forward on an entirely dif- ferent basis in Russian thought, especially in the theories of the so-called Slavophiles, who contrasted Russian culture with Western culture. Walicki (1980) summarizes their views as follows:

In their philosophy of man and their epistemology, the Slavophiles .. . were largely concerned with analyzing the destructive influences of rationalism. Rationalism, they argued, is the main factor in social disintegration, and also destroys the inner wholeness of the human personality. . . .Natural reason, or the capacity for abstract thought, is only one of the mental powers and by no means the highest: its one-sided development impoverishes man's perceptive faculties by weakening his capacities for immediate intuitive understanding of the truth. The cult of reason is responsible for breaking up the psyche into a number of separate and unconnected faculties, each ofwhich lays claim to autonomy. . . .Only faith, they claimed, could ensure the wholeness of the psyche. . . . Thanks to orthodoxy, Russians were still capable of attaining this kind of integration. . . . The inhabitants of Western Europe, on the other hand, had long since lost their inner wholeness, their capacity for inner concentration, and their grasp on the profound currents of spiritual life. Western thought was everywhere infected by the incurable disease of rational- ism. [1980: 1031

The Slavophiles did not only describe the differences between Russia and Western Eu- rope (as they saw them), they also evaluated them. But whether or not one agrees with their evaluation, one must admit, I think, that linguistic evidence tends to support their perception of the differences in question.

Conclusion

"Inye vesEi na inom jazyke ne mysljatsja," 'there are things which cannot be thought in another language' (Tsvetaeva 1972: 151). Thoughts related to duia can hardly be thought in ordinary (idiomatic) English, and since in Russian a very high proportion of thoughts seem to be linked with the concept of duia, to a Russian the universe of Anglo- Saxon culture often seems to be characterized by bezduiie, lack of duia. In a characteristic passage, Tsvetaeva (1972:464) expresses her dislike for a fellow Russian emigre by ac- cusing him of having become Anglicized, and thus affected with "the English soul-less- ness," "englizirovannoe bezdusie." This is no doubt a subjective and one-sided view, and English people might similarly accuse the Russian national character of "mindlessness." In both cases, the contrast between the two cultures can be seen as epitomized in lexical differences ("they don't even have a word for duia" versus "they don't even have a word for mind"). Although lexical differences of this kind can be misinterpreted and exagger- ated, they do mean something; and if carefully and cautiously interpreted they can be regarded as clues to the different cultural universes associated with different languages. In the case of Russian, the word duia seems to be one of the particularly valuable and

revealing clues; and in the case of English, the decline and fall of the word soul, and the ascendancy of the word mind,seem to provide particularly significant evidence for cul- tural history and for prevailing modern ethn~~hiloso~h~.~

Notes

'Similarly, D'Andrade (1987) compares the "Western model of the mind" with a non-Western (Ifaluk) "model of the mind," apparently without noticing that the very concept of 'mind' is an English folk construct, with no equivalent in Ifaluk. What he is really comparing is the English and the Ifaluk models of 'person' (for which both these languages do have a word), and his comparison is interesting and instructive; but the subject of that comparison is not quite what he says it is. Consider, for example, the following sentence: "The model used on Ifaluk also differs from the present Western model in considering the mind to be located in the gut, which includes the stomach and the abdominal region. Thus, thoughts, feelings, desires, hunger, pain, and sexual sensations are all experienced in the gut" (p. 143). This is like saying that "in the Russian model the mind is located in the soul." The point is that neither Ifaluk nor Russian has any (lexicalized) folk concept of the 'mind'. On the other hand, they both do have the concept of 'person', and also the concepts of 'think' and 'want', which appear to be universal conceptual primitives (although being embed- ded in different semantic and cultural systems they cannot of course be exact pragmatic equiva- lents).

D'Andrade's description of the "Western folk model of the mind" is not really focused on the folk concept 'mind' either. It is true that English has common verbs for perceptions, belief, knowl- edge, feelings, desires, and wishes, and this fact does throw a light on the English folk model of person, but not on the folk concept of 'mind'. The very fact that a phrase such as "a good mind" has nothing to do with feelings, perceptions, or desires, demonstrates that. Feelings and wishes have something to do with "a good heart," but not with "a good mind"; whereas perceptions have noth- ing to do with either.

*Cf. the following passage in Herling's book A World Aflpart ( 1986: 1 15):

Musical instruments were the most precious and most sought-after objects in the camp. The Russians love music quite differently from Europeans; for them it is not a mere distraction, or even an artistic experience, but a reality more real than life itself. I often saw prisoners playing their instruments, plucking the strings of a guitar, delicately pressing the keys of an accordion, drinking in music from a mouth-organ hidden in the grasp of both hands-full of great sadness, as if they were exploring the most painful places of their souls. Never has the word "soul" [duSa, A.W.] seemed so understandable and so natural to me as when I heard their awkward, hastily improvised compositions, and saw other prisoners lying on their bunks, staring vacantly into space and listening with religious concentration. . . . Sometimes these musicians were asked to stop: "It tears one's soul."

"For further discussion of the issues raised here, and for further justification, see Wierzbicka 1990a.

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HISTORY

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