This volume presents the reader with a stimulating rich tapestry of essays exploring the nature of action and intentionality, and discussing their role in human development. As the contributions make clear, action is an integrative concept that forms the bridge between our psychological, biological, and sociocultural worlds. Action is also integrative in the sense of entailing motivational, emotional, and cognitive systems, and this integration too is well represented in the chapters. Action is defined, and distinguished from behavior, according to its intentional quality. Thus, a constantly recurring theme in the volume involves the dialectic of action-intentionality, and specifically the questions of how and when these concepts are to be distinguished.
Chapter 13: Intentional Self-Development Through Adulthood and Later Life: Tenacious Pursuit and Flexible Adjustment of Goals
Intentional Self-Development Through Adulthood and Later Life: Tenacious Pursuit and Flexible Adjustment of Goals
Human ontogeny and action stand in a reciprocal causal relation; we must pay attention to both sides of this relationship to gain an adequate understanding of development and intentional self-development in cultural contexts. Across the life span, development creates and destroys personal action potentialities; the ways in which individuals act upon, and interact [Page 374]with, their environment and themselves are influenced by prior experiences and achievements, as well as by ontogenetic and age-graded change in competencies, interests, and contextual affordances. When self-definitions and identity projects become articulate during ontogeny, however, a dialectical shift occurs in the relation between ...