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[Xmca-l] Re: Soviet Psychology Overview Article

When cultural psychology reappeared on the American radar in the early
1980's, Andy, many argued that it was a "branch of psychology." I argued
that in order for it to be fulfilled it would have to become Psychology, so
it would never happen because entrenched structures of the disciplines
would never allow one of its parts to become the the organizing whole. This
applies within existing structure of Psychology and among the humane and
biological sciences and arts would have to be re-configured.

Maybe I was wrong.  But I cannot see it happening in my life time. Time
will tell.

On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 6:43 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

> I found this paper extremely interesting.
> It's rather confronting opening, saying that Soviet Psychology had
> "failed," is really crediting the world-conquering ambition of Vygotsky's
> vision expressed in the "Crisis of Psychology" text, towards forming not a
> "Marxist psychology" (i.e. yet another school) but "general psychology" -
> that is, he aimed to reorganise psychology internationally. I think we take
> for granted now, that psychology is fragmented into myriad schools, but in
> those times, the interwar years, this fragmentation of psychology was
> emblematic of the world crisis manifested in the rise of fascism and
> stalinism and the evident termination of progress in Europe. It was a
> central problem for all theory! At that time, it was still expected that
> Psychology would develop like the natural sciences. So I accept the
> author's characterisation, together with the claim that Vygotsky's vision
> is gradually being fulfilled and his school has made a crucial contribution
> to the eventual achievement of an international psychology. The paper is
> very optimistic in that respect.
> I like the perspective for International psychology - the merging of
> universal, cultural and indigenous currents of research. Very interesting.
> Also the view that Psychology will develop along too distinct paths - the
> reductive neurophysiological and the humanistic - with Luria in a founding
> role in both! This seems a valid description, and emphasises the importance
> of promoting understanding of Luria's life.
> I have made a very modest effort to trace how Hegel's efforts in
> philosophy to create what could be conceived of as a cultural psychology
> took about 80 years before manifesting in Vygotsky's ideas. And it seems
> there is a second phase of that journey being described in this paper. A
> grand vision cannot directly translate into a global research program. It
> has to arise bit by bit.
> The characterisation of the internationalisation process as spread of
> mainstream Psychology + interest in cultural variation. I don't know about
> this one.
> I did find a couple of criticisms of Vygotsky odd, mainly that Vygotsky
> did not give a prominent place to *collaboration* in his psychology (while
> Piaget did) because he "took collaboration for granted" - I think this is
> an error. "Collaboration" is one of the ways  Vygotsky's ideas connected up
> with people in the West.
> The author's ideas about how research is transmitted, or taken up, are
> interesting too. That theories are appropriated piecemeal and put to work
> in the research project which is doing the appropriation.
> The three reasons why Vygotsky's school "failed" to win over to an
> international psychology: (1) stalinist repression (2) lack of attention to
> experimental research and the careful documenting of their protocol - seem
> reasonable, though I think the ideological gap and the uniqueness in time
> and place of the conditions of the revolutionary ferment which gave birth
> the CHAT ought to be mentioned too. The author instead refers to
> "overemphasis on theory".
> Wonderfully comprehensive review of the development of international
> psychology!
> Thanks for that Mike (and for your contributions as document in the
> chapter!)
> Andy
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> *Andy Blunden*
> http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> On 8/12/2015 4:45 AM, mike cole wrote:
>> Yes, Huw.  I found that odd too. Perhaps it is the date? I also posted it
>> on a Russian site. It will be interesting to see what they have to say.
>> Yes, Larry, that is an amazing archive. I did not have time to peruse it.
>> mike
>> On Mon, Dec 7, 2015 at 8:10 AM, Lplarry <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>> Mike,
>>> The entire edited volume seems a treasure trove of tracing the formation
>>> and dissemination of knowledge(s) moving through time. A profound work of
>>> scholarship.
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: "Huw Lloyd" <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
>>> Sent: ‎2015-‎12-‎07 7:40 AM
>>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Soviet Psychology Overview Article
>>> It seems completely nuts to describe the soviet research program as a
>>> failure.  They demonstrated far more success than any other endeavour in
>>> scientific psychology that I have studied.  Most psychology projects
>>> can't
>>> even establish a coherent theory, let alone apply it.  They are forever
>>> wading around in hypotheses and impressions, or focusing upon incoherent
>>> slices of phenomena without regard to its origins.
>>> "Psychology today is undergoing a transformation. It is becoming an
>>> international science, which aspires to uncover universal laws of human
>>> behavior and cognition as well as to account for their cultural
>>> variation.
>>> How can we understand the transformation of concepts, ideas, and
>>> approaches
>>> involved in this process? In this chapter, I examine a historical
>>> precedent
>>> for the globalization of psychology. In the 1920s–1930s, a group of
>>> Soviet
>>> researchers led by L.S. Vygotsky proposed a new kind of scientific
>>> psychology that would be international in scope. It was revolutionary in
>>> its assumption that the study of mind and behavior, in phylo- and
>>> ontogenesis,
>>> had to be grounded in the study of the cultural and material conditions
>>> in
>>> which people live. Although this research program as such largely failed,
>>> the Soviet psychologists contributed much of value, and their ideas were
>>> taken up—and transformed—by Western psychologists. These ideas form the
>>> basis of the genuinely international psychology that is only just
>>> emerging
>>> today, and to which the “cultural-historical” psychology of the Soviets
>>> was
>>> a precursor."
>>> http://www.edition-open-access.de/studies/1/30/index.html#2
>>> Best,
>>> Huw
>>> On 6 December 2015 at 19:45, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>> This morning I stumbled over the attached historical overview of Soviet
>>>> Psychology in relation to international psychology that I thought would
>>> be
>>>> of interest to MCA-o-philes.
>>>> http://www.edition-open-sources.org/studies/1/30/index.html
>>>> fyi
>>>> mike
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch


It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
object that creates history. Ernst Boesch