Sholohov Moscow State Humanitarian University
The article contains a brief review of the concept «context» which is gaining its place among the key concepts in modern theoretical and empirical psychology. A comprehensive analysis of scientific literature leads the authors to distinguish two complementary conceptions of context – structural (which regards a fragment of a text as a semantic system) and functional (which treats it as a mental sensegenerating mechanism). The authors suggest an understanding of mentality as a recursive-contextual phenomenon, where each fragment of its subject matter exists in the context of other fragments – parallel, preceding or ensuing. Such understanding may form a basis for the contextual approach in psychology.
Keywords: a context, contextualism, contextual approach, structure and functional approach, recursion