Re: [xmca] is Leontiev (1983) available in English?

From: Andy Blunden <ablunden who-is-at>
Date: Sun Aug 03 2008 - 18:26:13 PDT

I have copied these three articles to the AN Leontyev
archive on the MIA:

There is also a very interesting introductory article by ANL
in Volume 3 of the LSV CW, which maybe I could scan for the


Steve Gabosch wrote:
> David Kellogg kindly wrote me offlist with a better idea about which
> Wertsch volume had a Leontiev chapter:
> He said:
> *******************
> I think it's this:
> Leontiev, A.N. (1979, 1981). The problem of activity in
> psychology. In Wertsch, J.V. (ed.) The concept of activity in Soviet
> psychology. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
> But this seems very similar to Chapter Three of Activity,
> Consciousness and Personality to me; there are minor differences, which
> might just be due to retranslation.
> As I understand it, Activity, Consciousness and Personality was
> ANL's attempt to develop a theory of personality. There is a rather
> different Leontiev book, called Problems of the Development of the Mind
> (1981, Moscow: Progress), which I found somewhat more representative of
> the man and his oeuvre.
> ************************
> Yay! So there is another book by L. in English. I thought so. In
> fact, we studied from this one in 2003 (he says, wiping away some mental
> cobwebs). It was two chapters in section II of Problems of the
> Development of Mind - the famous hunters and beaters example of activity
> is discussed in this chapter 2. (Activity, Consciousness, and
> Personality, was discussed in 2000 on xmca.) The book is not in print,
> of course, but there are some extracts online, courtesy of Paul
> Ballantyne, links below. The Wikipedia entry on Leontiev carries these
> links, btw. We studied this material in a version from the original
> book itself - I printed out pages 157-273, all of section II, but that
> is all I have. Chapter 1 in this section offers a look at the depth of
> Leontiev's work in evolutionary zoopsychology, aka comparative
> psychology, which was an important basis of his theory of human activity
> and consciousness. I was looking at it tonight in part to find clues to
> understand differences between animal and human communication, as part
> of the discussion of the difference between signals and symbols.
> Extracts from: Leontyev, [Leontiev], A.N. (1981). "The problem of the
> origin of sensation" (pp. 7-53). In Problems of the Development of the
> Mind. (Trans. M. Kopylova) Moscow: Progress Publishers.
> Extracts from: Leontyev, [Leontiev], A.N. (1981). "An outline of the
> evolution of the psyche" (pp. 156-326). Problems of the Development of
> the Mind. (Trans. M. Kopylova) Moscow: Progress Publishers.
> On this site there is also an excellent, very helpful and succinct
> summary of Leontiev's approach to comparative psychology, and how it
> connects to his work on activity and the human psyche.
> The Comparative Psychology of A.N. Leontyev (U.S.S.R.), by Charles W.
> Tolman
> One thing I notice as I skim over this Leontiev material again was how
> dense and difficult it seemed a few years ago, but now it seems much
> more readable, now that I have a better idea of where ANL was going, and
> perhaps, of some of the limitations of, and constraints on CHAT in his
> generation. But whatever "shortcomings" one may see - and they are
> always important to see - and easier to find in hindsight! - such as his
> discussion of animal communication, which does not (because it couldn't)
> take into account important recent findings, such as monkeys that have
> alarm sounds for different kinds of enemies (from above or below, for
> example) and chimps that can talk to humans (and each other!) using
> human taught sign language - despite any of this kind of shortcoming, or
> others, ANL's writings played a huge role in rounding out, updating, and
> codifying first generation CHAT work in way that made 3rd generation
> CHAT possible, and that alone makes him important to study. I think the
> proposal to conceptualize Vygotsky and Leontiev as co-leaders of the
> general CHAT lineage over the course of a first and second generation
> was a brilliant and constructive one.
> I think we will also see more Luria appear in 3rd generation CHAT, which
> I think we are still very much in, as scholars discover ways that his
> cultural-historical methods in neuropsychology offer insights into how
> to understand recent discoveries in brain science - in
> cultural-historical, and not just biological and medical ways. As I see
> it, Luria, like Leontiev, also left many clues for how to tap 1st
> generation CHAT, and use the cultural-historical method to its fullest.
> Luckily, some of Luria's important work is still in print in English.
> But are there other important Luria books and articles out of print, or
> never translated?
> Is there any chance the Leontiev material in the three 2005 Journal of
> Russian and Eastern Psychology issues Dot mentions will appear in a more
> accessible form? And the book idea Dot mentioned looks like the perfect
> way to get ACP back in print. That would be remarkable to interview
> Dmitry, as well as include the A.A. material from the 2005 Russian book,
> and have three generations of Leontievs, and Sokolova, represented in a
> new English translation. And while I am tooting the horn of getting
> seminal CHAT work in English and in print, as many know, Engestrom's
> 1987 Learning By Expanding also needs to be back in print in English!
> - Steve
> On Aug 3, 2008, at 1:28 AM, Phil Chappell wrote:
>> Hi Dot,
>> Thanks so much for pointing to these issues in JREEP. My university
>> finally got a subscription and I'm able to access the articles you
>> mention. Certainly a Collected Works of A.N. Leontiev would be a
>> valuable addition to our collective resources. The "home lecture" on
>> Will prepared by ANL especially for his grandson contains some
>> interesting and apparently final thoughts in a welcome accessible
>> style. I've pasted the abstract below
>> Thanks again and regards,
>> Phil
>> Published based on a tape recording, the text represents a 1978 “home
>> lec-
>> ture” personally prepared for and read to the grandson of A.N. Leontiev
>> [Dmitry], at his request when he was a first-year student at the
>> School of
>> Psychology of Moscow State University. The lecture was recorded on a tape
>> recorder that had recently been given to A.N. Leontiev on the occasion
>> of his
>> seventieth birthday. In preparing the transcript for publication only
>> stylistic
>> corrections were made; repetition and grammatical and syntactical
>> dispari-
>> ties were eliminated, along with clarifying questions and their
>> answers when
>> they added nothing to the main substance of the lecture.
>> Chronologically, the lecture “Will” is one of the last, if not the
>> last, original
>> scholarly texts of A.N. Leontiev and it merits publication. It is
>> significant in
>> that A.N. Leontiev did not specifically devote a single published
>> work, manu-
>> script, or public lecture to the problem of will. Except for lecture
>> notes and the
>> stenographic records of his courses in general psychology, the
>> publication of
>> which would be possible only after extensive work, this lecture is the
>> only
>> source of clarification of his views on this issue. The content of
>> this lecture
>> probably does not require a special commentary, as it was designed for an
>> audience with minimal understanding of psychology, and is
>> distinguished by
>> its exceptionally accessible explanations.
>> On 02/08/2008, at 8:00 AM, Dot Robbins wrote:
>>> Steve wrote: "For sure, we need Leontiev's writings already in
>>> English back in
>>> print, and more translated and published. I wonder if there is
>>> anything else in English by Leontiev we might be able to get on one of
>>> these sites in the meantime."
>>> In the Journal of Russian & East European Psychology, there are three
>>> issues of A. N. Leontiev in English. Vol. 43, Nos. 3, 4, 5, 2005. The
>>> first issue is a translation written as a small book for the 100th
>>> centennial celebration of Leontiev's life and the conference in
>>> Moscow. The second issue has an introduction by E. E. Sokolova, and
>>> The Study of the Environment in the Pedological Works of L. S.
>>> Vygotsky; Transference of Action as a Function of Intellect; The
>>> Problem of the Development of the Intellect and Learning in Human
>>> Psychology; Paper Presented at the All-Union Institute of
>>> Experimental Medicine. And the third issue has lectures transcribed
>>> and translated. The lectures are taken from a book from 2000, Smysl.
>>> I have an extra copy of the Russian version, and would be happy to
>>> send it to anyone who is interested. Also, in 2005, Dmitry Leontiev
>>> (with A. A. Leontiev [he worked on it before his death on August 12,
>>> 2004], and E. E. Sokolova)
>>> published a book called A. N. Leontiev: Activity, Consciousness,
>>> Personality....There are very interesting pictures, commentaries, a
>>> re-publication of Activity, Consciousness, Personality, oral
>>> biobliographical notes on A. N. Leontiev, and a listing of all (or
>>> most) of his publications. I would love to see this book translated
>>> into English, if anyone would be interested in such a project. It
>>> might be an interesting idea to have an interview with Dmitry
>>> Leontiev about his grandfather, and have that published. If there is
>>> interest, I would be happy to contact him about that.
>>> with good wishes to all,
>>> Dot
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> xmca mailing list
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Andy Blunden +61 3 9380 9435 
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Received on Sun Aug 3 18:28 PDT 2008

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