Re: Motives and goals: Leont'ev and Axel

From: N*** (
Date: Sat Feb 07 2004 - 06:48:01 PST

Carol Macdonald wrote:
> Hi N
> Certainly one should conceive of Vygotskian periods-this is very

At a certain level yes. A detailed, comprehensive approach is done by

What I was thinking about when I said periods was Wertsch's arguments
that Vygotsky moved from his theory of complexes (Chapter 5) to
scientific concepts (Chapter 6). I think the work on scientific concepts
is great, but Vygotsky was mainly explaining the significance of Shif's
work. Vygotsky's main work on concepts was of the more traditional kind
that Wertsch says "Vygotsky leaving behind".

More to the point, it seems we have to be careful with periods
especially how they are used by Wertsch in that they are not simple a
break but related in very important ways. Unlike Wertsch's argument I do
not see anything from chapter 5 and 6 that would signify a break from
Vygotsky's perspective. He saw the work interrelated. Much of the text
Child Psychology is an extension of the work in chapter 5.

> Thank you for the point about the two falling out of favour at the same
> time. What was the reason for Leont'evs fall?

None of them were on Stalin's "buddy list". What I tend to be confused
about is the assumption that Leontiev replaced Vygotsky as a force in
psychology which was not the case. While Lenin was in power all three -
Vygotsky, Leontiev, Luria, had a special place in Soviet psychology, but
this did not continue long after Vygotsky's death.

> I am particularly interested in the origins of Vygotsky's concepts (cf
> Gillen 2000 on the ZPD).

You may find some of the articles on my Vygotsky Project helpful.

I think Ape, Primitive, and Child is a great book to get a comprehensive
  look at mediation. Also Luria's books are great concrete studies on
cultural mediation.

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