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Re: [xmca] Vygotsky and Behaviourism

It would be helpful to clarify this wouldn't it, David.
In Vygotsky's speech, when he says:

"Classical reflexology ... reduces everything to a common denominator. And precisely because this principle is too all-embracing and universal it does not yield a direct scientific means for the study of its particular and individual forms."

I took this to be a damning criticism of reflexology, but maybe "reaction" is different from "reflex"?

On "Behaviourism," I have always taken this word in a very broad sense as including all those approaches which say that "consciousness" is not a legitimate object for science.

Vygotsky says: "Consciousness is only the reflex of reflexes" which he says have a "social origin". And he says this in the context of praising Wm James. But he goes on to *criticise* reflexology for *excluding* mental pheneomena from its investigations, i.e., he criticises reflexology for what I have always called behaviourism (though I may be eccentric in that use of the word).

So my reading he criciises reflexology and behaviourism, but to different readers he is both a reflexologist and a behaviourist. :) As he says: "Kings are not always royalists."

As Alice would say: "mysteriouser and mysteriouser."


David Kellogg wrote:
On p. 31 of "Making of Mind", Luria writes of arriving in Moscow from Kazan in 1923: "The situation in the institute when I arrived was peculiar indeed. All of the laboratories had been renamed to include the term 'reactions': there was a laboratory of visual reactions (perception), of mnemonic reactions (memory), of emotional reactions, and so forth. All this was meant to eliminate any traces of subjective psychology and to replace it with a kind of behaviorism." Luria clearly thinks that "reactology" really was a kind of relabelled behaviorism. So do I! David Kellogg
Seoul National University of Education

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