Re: [xmca] Historical Development

From: David Kellogg <vaughndogblack who-is-at>
Date: Fri Feb 29 2008 - 21:23:48 PST

In the San Diego-Helsinki Seminar, Mike makes the point that LSV's view of "central" and "peripheral" lines of development (and also his view of an all-encompassing "social situation of development") suggests a "very strong influence of Gestalt" psychology.
  Of course, that's right. But it's a LITTLE hard to square with the bit of LSV we're talking about just now, namely "The Crisis in Psychology". Right there in Volume Three, we've got something of a Jeremiad against Koffka. And in the heart of the Crisis, on p. 245, when he starts talking about the frog that blew itself to be the size of an ox and exploded, we've got this:
  "Gestalt psychology also originally arose in the concrete psychological investigation of the processes of form perception. There it received its practical christening; it passed the truth test. But, as it was born at the same time as psychoanalysis and reflexology, it covered the same path with amazing uniformity. It conquered animal psychology, and it turned out that the thinking of apes is also a Gestalt process. It conquered the psychology of art and ethnic psychology, and it turned out that the primitive conception of the world and the creation of art are Gestalten as well. It conquered child psychology and psychopathology and both child development and mental disease were covered by the Gestalt. Finally, having turned into a world view, Gestalt psychology discovered the Gestalt in physics and chemistry, in physiology and biology, and the Gestalt, withered to a logical formula, appeared to be the basis of the world. When God created the world he said: let there be
 Gestalt – and there was Gestalt everywhere (Kofflka, 1925; Kohler, 1917, 1920; Wertheimer, 1925)."
  And then LSV does to Gestalt psychology exactly what he does to Pavolvian and Freudian and Sternian psychologies. As Heidi says, it is retired from the department and is given the (purely ceremonial) rank of General.
  Doesn't it seem to you that if LSV were alive today, he might be saying exactly the same thing about "activity"?
  David Kellogg
  Seoul National University of Education

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Received on Fri Feb 29 21:26 PST 2008

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