Re: Leont'ev-Vygotsky controversy

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Feb 17 2004 - 09:39:28 PST

Ana-- I believe that the discussion of the basic concepts, their relations
to each other as used in the 1930's and as they have come down to us now
is is very helpful for our own conceptual clarity as we set about conducting
research. I am less interested in trying to sort out the motives and "real
reasons" for the choices people made in Russia in the 1930's that are NOT
grounded in the research we are trying to do now. We know that even the
so called "original" texts of Vygotsky were sometimes from student notes and
have been differently presented in Russian editions, never mind translations.
I did my best 25 years ago to get the original articles in Ukrainian published
and at least some are now publically available in English-- even if not in

The plain fact of the matter is that to re-enter the discussion seriously
requires that we collect a number of key texts and examine them. I simply
cannot do that right now. I worry that second/third hand accounts create
a form of playing "telephone" or perhaps Vygotskian chaining.

Perhaps someone in the group will identify a set of key texts and we can
find a way to make them available, and agree on a period of joint discussion.

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