[xmca] Fwd: Your criticism of Activity Theory

From: Mike Cole <lchcmike who-is-at gmail.com>
Date: Mon Jul 30 2007 - 03:34:00 PDT

>From Alex Kozulin, who I invited to join the discussion. I have not read the
paper and
imagine we will have a few differences of opinions and lessons to learn

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alex Kozulin <alexk@icelp.org.il>
Date: Jul 30, 2007 5:20 AM
Subject: Re: Your criticism of Activity Theory
To: mcole@weber.ucsd.edu

 Dear Mike,

My critique of Activity Theory (Leontiev and some other members of Kharkov
group) has been summarized in my book *Psychological Tools*, pp.24-31.

Three main points of this critique:
1) Leontiev and Co. neglected the cultural aspect of Vygotsky's theory and
attempted to derive the forms of psychological activity directly from
material (labor) activity bypassing the symbolic aspect;
2) Leontiev's activity theory obscured the distinction between activity as
an exploratory principle and activity as a target of
psychological investigation. As a result the phenomena of activity were
"explained" through the category of activity;
3) Leontiev and his followers' choice of Marxist terminology forced them
to elaborate the relationships between such categories as "production" and
"objectification" belonging to a societal level with the category of actions
belonging to individual level. They, however, were unable to elaborate these
relationships in a productive way.

Attached please find a curious paper that can be used for your XMCA

Alex Kozulin,

----- Original Message -----
*From:* Mike Cole <lchcmike@gmail.com>
*To:* Alex Kozulin <alexk@icelp.org.il>
*Cc:* eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
*Sent:* Sunday, July 29, 2007 6:34 PM
*Subject:* Your criticism of Activity Theory

Hi Alex--

A colleague on our discussion group, XMCA, referred approvingly to your
criticism of activity
theory. I am away from my library and cannot look up what, in particular,
the reference is.

What do you take to be the main criticism(s) of activity theory.
By activity theory, what enemble of ideas are you referring to:
More modern interpretations of the idea:

Perhaps you could provide us text or a reference to help guide our

ps-- you are of course welcome to join in. That would be great.

xmca mailing list

Received on Mon Jul 30 03:35 PDT 2007

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