• free will;
  • emotion;
  • methodology;
  • Vygotsky;
  • Leont'ev


For a materialistic and monistic theory of emotional processes an overcoming of the Cartesian dualism is of fundamental importance. Following Vygotsky's analysis in The Teaching of the Emotions the concept of a free will stands in the background of this dualism of higher and lower processes. While Vygotskij is able to solve this dualism in the area of emotions in his late work, starting with the lecture Infancy, a solution to the problem of the will is still due. Here Vygotskij radically rejects the separation of higher and lower emotional functions according to a dualism of psychology and biology. He replaces this separation with a dialectical relationship of rudimentary and ideal form. Vygotskij delivers a most interesting methodological pre-clarification for the problem of the will, supported by empirical work and theoretical considerations, but it is Leont'ev who succeeds in giving an acceptable solution. This was possible by determining the neuropsychological base of the will by means of Bernstein's psychophysiology of movement.