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Re: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology (reading Holowinsky, part 2)
- To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Re: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology (reading Holowinsky, part 2)
- From: Anton Yasnitsky <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 19 May 2010 12:58:20 -0700 (PDT)
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Here are only SOME of my comments on the paper by Holowinsky (1988). Vygotsky and the History of Pedology, please see below:
Tautundzhian, 1983 --
FALSE. The author's name is Tutundzhan, or, as it is spelled on the journal's web-page - Tutunjyan O. M.
By the way, this paper of 1983 is available online, in Russian: http://www.voppsy.ru/issues/1983/832/832139.htm
In December 1981, a conference was organized - TRUE
Nineteen papers and six panels discussed in depth his contributions -- FALSE: the conference was banned by the Party officials and never took place. Still, conference proceedings were published.
Jacques Carpay retold us the story of this conference @ MCA, http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~content=a785310030&db=all
...parts of his book Thought and Speech were prohibited from publication (Kolbanovsky, 1968). --
Comment. I personally definitely prefer referring to the book as Thinking and Speech, but, as we have seen, this is a matter of taste. Generally, the reference to the "parts of the book" is unclear, but the author refers to Kolbanovsky's paper that I do not presently have access to, and I am unable to verify this statement. In any case, the issue of prohibition to publish Vygotsky is a tricky one, and I am determined to distrust ANY reference to the prohibited publication of Vygotsky's works, until I see at least one document where it is clearly stated. Until then we have no compelling reasons that anybody ever banned Vygotsky,--despite what the guys kept telling us all the way--and may equally believe that somebody was just not persistent enough to have the stuff published. Actually, this is exactly what G.P. Shchedrovitskii stated on a number of occasions. References available upon request.
Vygotsky's work Historical Meaning of Psychological Crisis written in 1926 had not been published by 1979 (Radzikhovsky, 1979) --
PARTIALLY TRUE. Clarification: the work, indeed, had not been published by 1979, but it was published in 1982-1984 six-volume collection of Vygotsky's works, and the author of the paper on the history of Vygotskian psychology could and should have mentioned that. A reference to Radzikhovsky in this context looks a little bit redundant. Still, it is not not quite clear why this specific work is mentioned: quite a few of Vygotsky's works (including his books, like, e.g., his Psychology of Art, The History of development of higher mental functions or Tool and sign) had not been published during Vygotsky's lifetime and even well after Stalin's death, so there is nothing special about the Historical Meaning manuscriopt. Especially so, since, as recent research shows, in all likelihood Vygotsky was not going to publish this work, but did publish the substantially revised, improved and succinct excerpts from the manuscript as a series of scholarly journal
articles (see Zavershneva, 2009, Zavershneva & Osipov, 2010).
V.M. Bekhtiarev -- normally, this name is spelled as Bekhterev. I guess, the author attempts to render the Ukrainian (more precisely, Western Ukrainian) spelling of this Russian name.
Depaepe, 1985 --
Comment and remark. Holowinsky provides pretty good exposition of Depaepe's work. FYI, since then, quite a lot of pretty good stuff in the area of the history of education came out. The authors to follow are--among others--Marc Depaepe, Rita Hofstetter, Bernard Schneuwly, et al. Just google the names. Anyway, further refs available upon request.
Note on David's note that "There is considerable confusion between "pedagogy" and "pedology"."-- We need to carefully distinguish between paedology/pedagogy in Europe and those in the Soviet Union. Two very different contexts, and very different meanings of "paedology" in the two traditions. In Europe, paedology was a nice initiative that for natural reasons declined fairly soon (see, e.g., Depaepe, Marc (1997). The heyday of paedology in Belgium (1899-1914): a positivistic dream that did not come true), whereas in the Soviet Union "paedology" was an extremely successful, militant and Marxist, fast spreading all over the place discipline and social practice under the leadership of Zalkind and some other, less significant figures. Until some point, though :)...
There was a general climate in the Soviet Union of the 1920s which fostered attempts at child study... --
Comment. I would say: The Bolsheviks most enthusiastically and lavishly supported ALL scientific research (not just child study) from 1920s onwards, until the collapse of the Soviet Union.
...During the decade, 1920-30, four different orientations evolved within Soviet psychology... -- FALSE. Certainly many more. The list may be discussed, but four orientations is certainly a major misrepresentation of the multitude of the ideas in the Soviet Union back then. Yet, Holowinsky refers to McLeish (1975), and, thus, may be excused for this one.
[Vygotsky in 1917-1923] was a teacher of literature and psychology at a high school in the city of Homel. --
Comment. Well, not only a teacher, and not only of literature, and not exactly at a high school, but, anyway, yes, a teacher, TOO.
Vygotsky introduced into psychology an historical approach to the understanding of human mental development, and... --
FALSE and, for obvious reasons, totally ridiculous. No comments.
...and the study of children's mental development based upon Marxist ideology. --
Equally false and ridiculous. From here, onwards: Holowinsky renders Vygotsky quoting Leontiev, Luria and El'konin, and--with one exception of a paper of 1931--without referring to Vygotsky's own texts--isn't it a little bit weird? The result and the quality of his discussion is quite predictable.
Vygotsky published Fundamentals of Defectology, and in the same year, a book with the intriguing title Fascism in Psychoneurology (1934). --
FALSE. Both books came out posthumously, so one can not say that Vygotsky "published" these books. The first one was a compilation of either somebody's course notes or a stenographic protocol of his lectures, most likely not revised by Vygotsky himself. The second title, too, came out after Vygotsky's death, as a book signed by half a dozen other prominent psychoneurologists of the time (including the then late Vygotsky), and, according to the footnote, Vygotsky's was only the last, the fourth chapter. Judging by the style of the text and the circumstances of this publication appearance we have NO REASONS to believe without reasonable doubt that the chapter in its entirety was authored by Vygotsky himself. (By extension, the same argument holds for ABSOLUTELY ALL posthumous publications of Vygotsky).
Leontiev and Luria consider this view to be the central position of all of Vygotsky's criticism of Piaget (1931:22). -- MISLEADING REFERENCE. The only item that was published in 1931 indicated in the paper's bibliography is:
Vygotsky, L.S. (1931). Questions of pedology and sciences. Pedologiia, 3:52-58. Apparently, page 22 is outside of this very article. NO other source of 1931 can be found on the list. Furthermore, I am under the impression that the author did not understand the Russian word "smezhnye" in the original title of Vygotsky's 1931 paper, otherwise, I guess, he would have correctly translated the title as "Paedology and allied sciences"
Pedology became an easy target at the time of Stalin's increased suspicion of foreign influences. --
FALSE. Holowinsky seems to assume that Stalin was increasingly suspicious of foreign influences on Soviet science, I guess. Given that no international event of primary importance would take part without Stalin's knowledge and personal authorization, how would one explain a series of international scientific congresses held in the Soviet Union throughout the decade of 1930s (actually, until the beginning of WWII in 1939) such as:
1930, July - Second International Congress of Soil Scientists (Moscow and Leningrad) incidentally, this field was called "pedology", too :)
1931, September - Seventh International Conference on Psychotechnics (Moscow)
1934, May - Fourth International Congress on Rheumatology (Moscow)
1935, August - Fifteenth International Physiological Congress (Moscow and Leningrad)
1937, July - Seventeenth International Geological Congress (Moscow) --
not to mention Soviet scholars' participation in international conferences abroad worldwide until the end of the decade. Psychologists are certainly not an exception from this general pattern.
By the way, the Westerners would return from their trips to the Soviet Russia, often critical of the Soviet lifestyle, but also often totally overwhelmed by the achievements and the unbelievable progress of Soviet science of the period. Another reason for the Westerners' envy was the resource base and the lavish funding offered to the Soviet scholars. References available upon request. Well, it appears real life hardly fits black and white picture of the "oppressed science", after all, and not the liberal requirement of democracy as a precondition of science is not necessarily and universally true.
All in all, the anti-paedological campaign has absolutely nothing to do with international affairs, and is totally internal issue.
The fight against pedology was led by Makarenko and Medinsky, etc. --
BLATANT FALSIFICATION. Totally ungrounded stream of consciousness, a bunch of claims not substantiated by any reliable reference or empirical evidence. Makarenko was a notable yet far from an influential figure whose range of activities was basically all within Ukrainian SSR, working with education of homeless children (bezprizorniki) and juvenile delinquents under the jurisdiction of the Ministry or Internal Affairs, possibly, NKVD, indeed. The whole narrative about Makarenko comes out of nothing. Finally, in the very end it turns out that we still understand next to nothing about Vygotsky's relation to paedology. Regardless of numerous flaws, inconsistencies, and mere mistakes in the paper's argument and factography.
Finally, a comment on comment (see below):
RE: p. 126: The last two sentences of the third para on the left amalgamate
1929, when pedology was perfectly legal, and 1934 when it was already
Comment: Paedology was by no means banned in 1934. Thus, to give just an example, see the list of Vygotsky's publications (Lifanova's list: http://www.voppsy.ru/journals_all/issues/1996/965/965137.htm ):
207. Paedology of adolescent. -- Book, >500 pages
250. Foundations of Paedology, 1st ed. Moscow, >200 pages (posthumous edition)
250. Foundations of Paedology, 2nd ed. Leningrad, ~130 pages (posthumous edition)
In addition to that, note also two editions of Blonskii handbook on Paedology of 1934 & 1936 and a handbook by Uznadze (aka Usnadze) on Paedology that came out in Georgian in Tbilisi in 1933. All of these books, absolutely legal and mainstream, had been approved by Narkompros (Ministry of Education) and passed official censorship of Glavlit. So, the rumours of peadology's death before 1936 turn out slightly exaggerated...
----- Original Message ----
From: David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com; Culture ActivityeXtended Mind <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tue, May 18, 2010 10:22:21 PM
Subject: Re: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology
Anton is a historian, and a very good one. My stepfather was a good historian too, so I know that good historians are apt to be a little gruff one we get things wrong, and they have occasionally been known to freight historical details with very considerable importance.
I gather that one of the things that offends Anton is that Vladimir Zinchenko is referred to as "Vasya", short for Vasily and not Vladimir. Holowinsky might have been thinking of Davydov, whose name really is Vasily.
Here are some of the things I found that might be wrong in the article on pedology.
p. 123: "parts of his book Thought and Speech were prohibited from publication". Well, the whole thing, actually.
p. 124: There is considerable confusion between "pedagogy" and "pedology". The two things really were quite different, and in fact "pedology" was established partly in reaction to "pedagogy", as a science in its own right. We applied linguists understand this very well; people are always confusing us with linguists, which is a little like confusing a cucumber and a concubine, or a protestant with a prostitute.
p. 126: The last two sentences of the third para on the left amalgamate 1929, when pedology was perfectly legal, and 1934 when it was already banned. Vygotsky's pedological work, including "Pedology of the Adolescent", was published in 1929. "Fascism in Psychoneurology" was, of course, published in 1934, after the capitulation of psychologists like Jaensch, Ach, and Jung to Nazism.
Now what I don't understand is this: in 1934, Vygotsky really did publish a set of lectures called "Fundamentals of Pedology". By then, the struggle against pedology had already been going on for so long that Vygotsky himself had criticized pedology (in Chapter Six of Thinking and Speech). It can't be the usual problem with sonambulent publishers, either, because they're stenographic records of lectures delivered at the Second Moscow Medical Institute that very year. Perhaps he knew he wouldn't be around to face the consequences.
Seoul National University of Education
--- On Tue, 5/18/10, mike cole <email@example.com> wrote:
From: mike cole <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology
To: email@example.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tuesday, May 18, 2010, 6:16 PM
The post that Anton pointed us to is nonsense. The article on Pedology is
more interesting, although he does mischaracterize me as THE editor
of Mind in Society. Some interesting refs there. The article was written in
about 1987 at a time when it was not so easy to get straight information
on these matters. The Makarenko stuff was interesting. I didn't know he was
connected with the NKVD (assuming that is true).
Ease up. history is long, life is short.
On Tue, May 18, 2010 at 6:06 PM, Andy Blunden <email@example.com> wrote:
> Fair point, Anton. I didn't check it because I didn't feel I qualified as
> someone 'familiar with Vladimir Petrovich Zinchenko', though I did 'know
> about the existence of such person'. I've read some of his work but I know
> nothing about the person beyond that. I have always tended to confuse the
> two Zinchenkos; are they father and son? I have checked it now, of course,
> and from your comment I guess there must be a gross factual error in that
> little paragraph. But I can't tell. I'll have to trust you.
> Anton Yasnitsky wrote:
>> I am under the impression you did not check out the link, specifically,
>> the quote in English. If not, please, feel free to do so. Just in case, here
>> is the link again:
>> Please let us know if you do not believe this example counts as a
>> ----- Original Message ----
>> From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
>> Sent: Tue, May 18, 2010 8:12:24 PM
>> Subject: Re: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology
>> When political leaders in my country tell you that another person is a
>> fool but don't have time to justify their claim they say: "Trust me!"
>> Anton Yasnitsky wrote:
>>> Here is my first reaction to Eugene's question, the rest will follow when
>>> I find time to fully enjoy the paper in question:
>>> Below is the link to my favourite example of Holowinsky's scholarship
>>> that can be best appreciated by anybody familiar with Vladimir Petrovich
>>> Zinchenko, or who at least knows about the existence of such person and the
>>> basics of his genealogy:
>>> Enjoy :)
>>> ----- Original Message ----
>>> From: Eugene Matusov <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
>>> Sent: Tue, May 18, 2010 4:13:32 PM
>>> Subject: RE: [xmca] help: Vygotsky and pedology
>>> Dear Anton-
>>> Can you elaborate on Holowinsky's points in his article that you view as
>>> wrong, please? And what is your basis for this criticism? I'm asking
>>> questions not because I want to challenge your views but because I want
>>> learn more about this interesting and potentially influential history and
>>> you are a specilist in this area.
>>> PS I was surprised to read in Holowinsky's article about Makarenko's
>>> opposition to pedology. Do you know more about that, by any chance?
>>> Eugene Matusov, Ph.D.
>>> Professor of Education
>>> School of Education
>>> University of Delaware
>>> 16 W Main st.
>>> Newark, DE 19716, USA
>>> email: firstname.lastname@example.org
>>> fax: 1-(302)-831-4110
>>> website: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu
>>> publications: http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu/vita/publications.htm
>>> Dialogic Pedagogy Forum: http://diaped.soe.udel.edu
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: email@example.com [mailto:xmca-
>>>> firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Anton Yasnitsky
>>>> Sent: Monday, May 17, 2010 4:55 PM
>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>> Subject: Re: [xmca] help
>>>> If I may add a comment, the author, as a rule, presents a lot of
>>>> say just "erroneous" would be a gross understatement--stuff in his
>>>> so I would like to thank Mike for the paper and am anticipating a really
>>>> hilarious reading :)
>>>> ----- Original Message ----
>>>> From: Joao <email@example.com>
>>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>>>> Sent: Sun, May 16, 2010 9:11:14 PM
>>>> Subject: [xmca] help
>>>> I need to find the paper "Vygotsky and the History of Pedology" of Ivan
>>>> Holowinsky. (School Psychology International, v. 9, 1988) Can anyone
>>>> Joao Martins
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca mailing list
>>> xmca mailing list
> Andy Blunden http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>+61 3 9380 9435 Skype andy.blunden
> An Interdisciplinary Theory of Activity: http://www.brill.nl/scss
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