RE: Leont'ev-Vygotsky controversy

Date: Thu Feb 19 2004 - 03:20:18 PST

Dear Friends,
Thank you so very much for such an interesting discussion. I hope there can be
more talk about "object" and "mediators" in future. This note concerns the
aspect if "unity," and I would just like to say a couple of things. The first
is about Alexei Alexeevitch (son of A. N Leontiev). Alexei Alexeevitch makes a
real point of mentioing and crediting Vygotsky, Luria, and many other thinkers
in almost all of his lectures I have heard at Moscow State Univ. this year, and
at a conference in Mexico last year. Yesterday, when he was speaking about
activity, he mentioned Vygotsky posivitely at least 20 times. He spoke directly
about serivous problem of applying the term "activity" alone, without the
accompanying aspects of consciousness, personality, individual free will of
action, etc. It is most interesting to see A. A. Leontiev connect his
psycholinguistic theories to one of the central cores of Vygotsky, with natural
changes, of course. Here is a quote from him:"Is there a psychology of
activity? There is no such thing! And there never was such a thing either for
Vygotsky or for Leontyev! There was 'a psychology of activity, of
consciousness, of of personality'...Unfortunately, contemporary psychology has
to a large extent gransformed itself from a science of the infinitely
developing human being in an infinitely changing world, from a science of the
action of the free and creative personality, into a a science of a limited and
rigid consciousness" )[p. 44] (Leontyev, A. A. (1992). Ecce Homo:
Methodological problems of the activity theoretical approach. Multidisciplinary
Newsletter for Activity Theory, 11/12, 41-44.

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