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Re: [xmca] Vygotsky NEVER spoke of "cultural-historical theory", "cultural-historical psychology", or "cultural-historical school"

That's very interesting, Anton. It is far from surprising, I guess, that he and his colleagues discussed this question. I gather that the discussion you are talking about is in 1930-31, so later than the notes in "Crisis". The question would not go away!

Along the lines of what David said, I remember a very passionate discussion in 2000 among those who participated in what was called S11 (a big demonstration against the World Economic Forum in Melbourne) which had created a new "convergence" bringing together people from the "old" workers' movement and the "new" social movements, etc. The discussion concerned the name that the movement was going to give itself. A fellow made the point that giving ourselves a name was premature and would act as a barrier to self-clarification, as we did not yet know who we were. He carried the day easily as there was no answer to this.

So what I see is on the one hand a desire to make a concept of the scientific movement's own identity, including one which refused to set any boundaries on its identity (by means of naming), and the understanding that it was premature. Anyway, who can tell? But I do get sick of the undercover wars which go on under the banner of names of theories and that which takes place under the banner of the real history of Vygotsky.


Anton Yasnitsky wrote:
So he would never give to his project the name of any variety or "brand" or specialism of psychology. His work is simply "psychology".
... Vygotsky's way was to never give a name to the concept until the concept was ready, and sometimes not even then.---

Not exactly so.

Consider, for instance:


7. Notes about the name of his own theory (“NB! We are missing a name”)
are especially interesting because to this day we have virtually no testimony
about how Vygotsky named his theory. In a document dated during the time he
was working on the manuscript of The History of the Development of Higher
Psychic Functions (i.e., approximately 1930–31) we read:

 <QUOTE within QUOTE> 
NB! We are missing a name, a designation. It should not be a signboard
(intuitivism). Not instrum., not cultural, not signif[icative], not struct., etc.
Not only because of the blend with oth[er] theories but also because of the
int[e]rnal lack of clarity, e.g., the idea of analogy with instr. = only scaffolding,
dissimilarity is more essential. Culture: but where is culture itself
from (it is nonprimordial, and this is hidden). So:
1) for the method the designation
meth. of d[ou]ble stimulation.
2) for theory as a whole
а) psychol. of higher functions, i.e.
b) histor. psychology or
с) histor. theory of higher psychol. f[u]nctions.
Because the central concept for us is concept of
higher function:
it contains a theory
а) of its development, b) of its psychol. nature; с) of the method of its
 </end of QUOTE within QUOTE>  

In discussing the name, Vygotsky dwells on option 2c, but it should not be
forgotten that he is describing here his own approach of the 1930–31 period,
that is, he is analyzing it on the eve of major changes. After a year, already
the concept of psychic function was gradually losing its role as a guiding
instrument, a leading term, although it remained in the conceptual framework
of the theory.
</end of QUOTE> 

p. 30 in --
Journal of Russian and East European Psychology, vol. 48, no.1,
January–February 2010, pp. 14–33.
© 2010 M.E. Sharpe, Inc. All rights reserved.
ISSN 1061–0405/2010 $9.50 + 0.00.
DOI 10.2753/RPO1061-0405480101
E.Iu. Zavershneva
The Vygotsky Family Archive
New Findings

Reminder: For discussion of the after-life of Vygotsky's theory's name after Vygotsky's death see Keiler's paper @ PsyAnima, Dubna Psychological Journal ( http://www.psyanima.ru/  ), issue 1, 2012

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 12:27:15 AM
Subject: Re: [xmca] Vygotsky NEVER spoke of "cultural-historical theory", "cultural-historical psychology", or "cultural-historical school"
So he would never give to his project the name of any variety or "brand" or specialism of psychology. His work is simply "psychology".


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