- 国際基督教大学学報. I-A, 教育研究 = Educational Studies
- no.27, pp.129-154, 1985-03-31
Suppose here we have a chair, a stool, a bench, and a sofa. When you are very tired, you would take a sofa for making yourself comfortable. A bench would be preferable when you enjoy talking together with your love. These are all made as a seat, but they can also be used for other purposes. For example, a stool is available as a footstool, and a bench, a sofa as well, good for building a barricade, because the weight keeps it from removal. When you want to take a rest after a long walk, you could seat yourself on a stone, a log, or else rolling around there. Neither a stone nor a log is, of course, not a seat in itself, but it serves as a seat when you are seated on it. An English word "Thing" could be translated into Japanese in two ways; either Mono and Koto. Let's take a typical example. "Thing" in the sentence "I haven't had a thing to eat all day" would be Mono in Japanese. On the other hand, "Thing" in the sentence "It is a good thing to give up smoking" would be Koto. Mono is a thing, grammatically speaking, an indication of the subject or the object in a statement. Koto is a thing, an expression of the predicate. A chair, a log as well, is Mono, a material which can materialize itself as a seat only through one's action of taking a seat. This action is Koto. Therefore, the action of taking a seat functionally transforms a chair or a log as a material into a thing which can materialize itself as a seat. In other words, Koto of one's taking a seat acts as a possibility of actualizing oneself, which we define as koto. Under some appropriate requirements, koto has a possibility of being transformed into KOTO as an action to the object. If you are such an infant that you can't be seated by yourself, Koto of taking a seat must remain as a latent, probable action. A stool can be defined as mono, a thing which can be probably transformed into a seat, a footstool, or whatever through some action. When you are seated on a stool, it is defined that the stool is now materializing itself as MONO of a seat. When the stool seems fragile, it must remain as a latent, probable material, because it may not bear the weight of you in spite of the appearance as a seat, which will keep you away from seating yourself. Mediated by Koto, mono can be transformed into MONO, and koto can also be transformed into KOTO by Mono. In this way, there could be theoretically supposed an interactional process between Mono and Koto. If we take a view-point of the subject of self-organizing activity, we could hypothetically analyze out four directions of the interactive actualization. Firstly, when I am doing an action to a thing, mono is being actualized into MONO mediated by Koto. SURU is a Japanese word corresponding to the DOING an action. See Figure 1. Secondly, when my action is becoming in effect, koto is now being actualized into KOTO mediated by Mono. NARU is a Japanese expression of the BECOMING. Thirdly, when I choose a thing to do something with, I am recognizing it as being there. The recognition that a thing, mono, is there is an action of mine, KOTO. BEING of a thing is ARU in Japanese. Fourthly, when I am going to do some action, I am conscious that I am having myself as a subject who is going to act upon a thing. Activity, koto, concentrated on some action leads to the consciousness, MONO, of myself as a behavioral subject. HAVING myself in act upon a thing can be expressed as IRU in Japanese. When I am having myself as a subject, I will be able to do a thing in effect. At the same time, the effectiveness will be fed back to the becoming of my action. The becoming will direct me to recognize a thing as being there. And the recognition of an object will guide me to the subjective consciousness of myself in action. Psychological self-organizing activity could be assumed to actualize itself continuously by way of this feed-backing route, as illustrated in Figure 1. In this paper, some episodes are psychologically examined in order to demonstrate this feed-backing process between Mono and Koto. Through the reconsiderations, first of all, we can also get to the conclusion, as B. Kimura (1982) suggested, that Koto must be superior to Mono so that self-organizing activity could maintain its subjectivity in one's phenomenal world. The second is that the reversal of Koto's superiority to Mono would cause behavioral retardation and subjective reduction or collapse. Needless to say, this conclusion can naturally be led from the first. Thirdly, autonomously waving rythm predominantly generated in one's looping process of feed-back would synchronize others' looping into the self-organizing activity.