Re: Dialectical Psychology

From: Andy Blunden (
Date: Sun Jun 05 2005 - 19:21:05 PDT

Mike, Dot Robbins has invited me to participate in the "Dialectical Psychology" group as well. I have accepted with all sorts of qualifications about my lack of professional or academic qualifications or experience, but to be able to interact with this wonderful group of people is an opportunity which I could not pass up. However, the web page is entirely in Russian and I do not speak Russian, so I was wondering if knowledge of Russian is necessary for participation?

At 06:44 PM 5/06/2005 -0700, you wrote:

Sasha Surmava sent this message to xmca, but somehow it seems to have ended up only coming to me (unless I am mis-reading the cybersigngs). In any event, it is of interest to xmca and so I am passing it along
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Alexander Surmava <>
Date: Jun 5, 2005 5:30 PM
Subject: RE: Talk of courses and discussions

Dear Mike et al,
As you know ISCAR has announced a possibility of creating sections. So we've sent there a proposal. Here is its text.
We a group of Russian psychologists and philosophers who are already ISCAR members or in process of registration are going to establish an international section of "Dialectical psychology" (the term belongs to L.S.Vygotsky).
Among us are Felix Mikhailov, Lev Naumenko, Alexey Novokhatko, Vladimir Kudriavtsev, Elena and Gennady Kravtsov, Elena E. Sokolova, Elena and Sergey Mareyev, Galina Mishina, Alexander Simakin, Gennady Lobastov and me Alexander Surmava. Most of us are disciples of Evald Ilyenkov, Alexey N. Leont'iev or/and Vasilij V.Davidov.
Each of us is involved in theoretical and experimental investigations in the fields of theoretical, educational and special psychology, methodology and epistemology.
We are interested in wide international cooperation in the process of development of cultural historical and activity theory and practice. We are sure, that this development can and must be based on the same theoretical background on which Lev Vygotsky stood, on the basis of high European philosophical rationalism which is marked by names of Plato, Spinoza, Hegel, Marx and Ilyenkov.
We are sure that wide international cooperation can give a powerful impulse to the development of our common work. Last year a theoretical seminar concerning problems of cultural-historical psychology was organized in Moscow. We are going to continue it both in off-line and on-line forms as well as to publish the results of our common search, to organize seminars, conferences etc., etc.
We invite everybody who is interested in "Dialectical psychology" section of ISCAR connect with us through website , or by E-mail: .
Alexander Surmava
We hope that some of XMCA members will join us.
Now we are thinking about how to make our Moscow wide theoretical seminar on cultural-historical psychology really international.
I hope that the theoretical level of it is already high enough to put before us such goal. Those who can read and understand Russian can take a closer look at it on my site and
Anyway we'll try to do some steps to translation the most interesting voices from our seminar into English, and the most interesting voices from XMCA into Russian.
By the way, at last "The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology" is connected to WWW. Its E-mail is
Sasha Surmava


Alexander V. Surmava

Ph.D. Assistant Professor

The Russian State University for the Humanities

The Vygotsky Institute of Psychology
Liapidevskogo str. 8-2-274

125581 Moscow, Russia

tel./fax: (095) 455-88-24


From: Mike Cole []
Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 2:57 AM
Subject: Re: Talk of courses and discussions


Time will tell, Kevin.
Lets see if there is sufficient interest to develop the requisite discusssion.

On 6/5/05, Kevin Rocap <> wrote:

Dear Mike, Phil, et al,

Greetings!  Thanks for working to organize a discussion on language and CHAT.  I'm one of those with a perennial interest in the topic. ;-)

Of course I've worked with a lot of school-based and school-linked programs on issues of second language acquisition and development, particularly in dual language programs (with a healthy dose of interest in home-school-community interactions issues) and so have some particular interests from that angle.  It seems to me we'll have a number of intriguing and divergent as well as synergistic "objects" for a discussion framed under this general topic. ;-)  How could it be otherwise?

Related to my interest is an ongoing sense that folks who look at the issues strictly from a language acquisition and development perspective, don't always take into account the perspectives, theories and approaches of multiculturalists (including issues of examining power relations, as well as multicultural content and purposes in learning activities) and neither of those groups, generally, seems to have much commerce with the learning and cognitive sciences theorists (though there has been some progress recently).  And, then, of course, we have CHAT ;-)  One thought for me is that CHAT could help serve an integrative function with regard to these others, no?

I guess we'll see.

In Peace,


Andy Blunden, on behalf of the Victorian Peace Network, Phone (+61) 03-9380 9435
Nancy Fraser Australian Tour 26 July-7 August 2005,

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